PENSACOLA, FLA.—18,777 pounds of vinyl regrind. 16,543 pounds of scrap cardboard and office paper. 800 pounds of scrap oil. All this material is recycled each year at the Hy-Lite manufacturing operation in Pensacola, Fla.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, Hy-Lite is sharing information on the company’s efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle. The manufacturer of acrylic block windows and panels started its recycling efforts in 2007. When the company’s shipping supervisor, Myra Moore, got involved in 2015, additional attention was focused on enhancing the program.
“I truly believe we contribute to spoiling the earth with some of our lifestyle choices,” says Moore, a resident of Pace, Fla. “This can be turned around and slowed down. I think recycling is the start. That’s why I got more involved in our company efforts. Every piece of scrap paper, every soda can, and every cardboard box can be recycled.”
Inspiring Others to Recycle
Moore’s dedication to the recycling effort has spawned more awareness and involvement amongst coworkers. Waste is now looked at twice at Hy-Lite. Every item is scrutinized for the possibility of recycling or reusing.
“Right now we’re regrinding and selling the scrap vinyl from our window frames,” says Moore. “We have another company pick up other items like used oil and cardboard pieces. We also regrind our scrap acrylic from making our acrylic blocks. One of the most important ways we save is by reusing packaging materials from incoming supplies. We now salvage that material to ship our own product. We recycle all incoming pallets, boxes, foam and other packaging material.”
Every Little Bit Helps
While the big efforts are important, Moore is perhaps proudest of her role in salvaging the smaller items. She collects food and beverage containers from the company’s 27 employees and recycles them daily by taking them to a county collection site. Instead of throwing away batteries, electronics, fluorescent bulbs and aerosol cans, the company’s maintenance team saves them so she can take them to designated local areas for recycling.
According to Moore, the passion for recycling has caught on at Hy-Lite. One employee takes home 55-gallon empty drums that silicone comes in. He recycled 96 drums in one year. And, each week Moore herself takes three bundles of plastic sheeting to Walmart’s plastic recycling area. That’s more than 144 large plastic bundles of sheeting a year.
“I am inspired to do a small part because I know it makes a big difference,” says Moore. “I know anything that goes in the landfill never really goes away. As long as there are places that will take recyclable materials, we all have a choice. I’m constantly looking for opportunities to reduce, recycle and reuse. This gives our company the opportunity to be environmentally friendly while saving on dumpster fees and some packaging costs. This is a win-win situation.”