Hi Life Products – Ontario, California

Leggett & Platt Hi Life Products (Branch 6008), in Ontario, California, became Eco Initiative-registered in April 2015, and is a manufacturer of high quality re-bond and specialty carpet pad. For Hi Life Products, recycling is just business as usual. What some may consider “trash,” they recycle and use as raw materials to make new carpet pad. Without an operation like Hi Life products, millions of pounds of used carpet pad and polyurethane foam would end up in the landfill.

The re-bonded carpet underlay is made from recycled scrap foam from various industries, including used carpet underlay. Scrap padding is brought to the facility and staged for production. The scrap is then ground and mixed to the desired consistency and stored in hoppers. From the hoppers, the ground foam is sent to a blender, where dyes and bonding chemicals are applied. The foam/chemical mixture is evenly applied to a conveyor line, where it is steamed, extruded, trimmed, laminated, and rolled. Rolls are packaged and stored for shipping.

The prime foam carpet underlay is made from raw chemicals. A chemical mixture is formulated and applied to a conveyor between two laminating sheets and is sent through an oven that activates the foam. The foam is trimmed and stored for curing. Once cured, the product is rolled, packaged, and stored for shipping.

Hi Life Products has been working on the following projects, goals, and objectives:

  • Reduce binder chemical use by 1%.
    • Foam dust generated in the manufacturing process is collected and used in the binder mixture as filler in the re-bond line. Previously, the dust was being recirculated into the grinders for reprocessing.
    • Finer dust is being purchased and applied to the binder mixture on the Prime line. The facility is exploring other ways of using dust generated at the facility.
    • The facility has realized a 1% reduction in polyol and methylene diphenyl diisocyanates (MDI) usage on the re-bond line, and a 2% reduction in polyol and MDI usage on the Prime foam line by using the dust as filler.
  • Reduce waste sent to the landfill by 3%.
    • The facility continued to recycle pallets and boxes.
    • The facility initiated or improved recycling efforts for cans, plastic bottles, paper, ink cartridges, cardboard cores, plastic film and netting, and scrap metal.
    • The facility was able to achieve a 27% reduction of landfilled waste in 2014 compared to 2013.
  • Reduce energy consumption by 5%.
    • Air compressors were replaced with newer models and system upgrades that now use 23% less energy.
    • Office employees have been trained in better energy practices for computer usage. Sleep timers have been set to a maximum of 15 minutes on all office computers.