It’s been about five years since 300,000 black plastic balls were dropped into the 2.4 million gallon allnex-Wallingford Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP). This one action resulted in a reduction of the evaporation of butanol, methanol, and other Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) solvents from the basin by over 30,000 pounds per year.
The overall TRI reduction effort resulted in allnex-Wallingford being recognized in 2017 by the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce as Large Business of the Year. Additionally, in 2018, we were the recipient of one of the Connecticut Economic Resource Center’s Celebrate Connecticut Awards for having a positive impact in the community and taking the lead in improving our environmental footprint.
With these sizeable accomplishments in hand, one would think the allnex-Wallingford team would sit back and rest on their laurels, but that would not be the case. Committed to continuous improvement in their business operations as well as their corporate citizenry in the Wallingford, Connecticut community, the allnex team voluntarily challenged themselves to further reduce TRI emissions of the WWTP. But how?
Together with an environmental consultant, the team came up with the idea to place a second layer of plastic balls into the basin. These additional balls would just about eliminate the natural gaps that occur when two circular items are placed next to each other, trapping any additional emissions. The project was implemented in June and is projected to reduce TRI emissions annually by an additional 6,000 pounds, or the equivalent weight of two compact cars!
“Our goal is to consistently be able to report that our TRI emissions are below 50,000 pounds each year,” Frank DiCristina, allnex-Wallingford Site Manager said. “While the emissions can never be completely eliminated, we are committed to looking for new solutions that continue to drive down these emissions.
Since 2013, TRI emissions from the WWTP have been reduced by eighty percent. This second layer of balls further reduces the current total emissions by an additional ten percent. What’s even more remarkable is that the effort was not driven by a compliance issue, but rather was a volunteer effort by a team dedicated to the sustainability goals of the allnex organization.