Houston Foam – Houston, MS

Houston Foam began the Eco Initiative Program in December 2013 and obtained registration a year later. The facility was able to establish and achieve several goals in their first year.

One project the facility worked on was to evaluate the amount of horsepower being applied to machines in the manufacturing process. It was determined that there were opportunities to enhance the efficiency of horsepower distribution, and the facility set a goal of reducing horsepower usage by 5%. After the project was completed in 2015, it was determined that an actual reduction of 8% was achieved. This optimization will result in less energy consumption in Houston Foam’s manufacturing process.

In 2016, the facility further reduced their horsepower from 30 hp down to 5.5 hp just by installing a new roll wrapper.

Two other significant projects in 2016:

  • Reduce use of plastic in wrapped carpet pad rolls.
    • Installed a new roll wrapper.
    • Previously, a plastic bag and plastic sleeve were used on each roll.
    • 2015: 708,500 plastic bags on rolls.
    • April 2016: Discontinued using bags 100%, saving 708,500 plastic bags.
  • The facility has worked extensively with their supplier (Hamilton) to reduce plastic ends and particle board ends going to the landfill. They worked together to implement a return-and-reuse program. The facility also receives a credit from Hamilton for returning these items. The program has saved about 1,000 items from landfill each month and earns the facility purchase credits.

The facility installed electric hand driers in the place of paper towels. The facility completely eliminated the paper towel waste stream!

A large project conducted in 2015 was the evaluation of the waste generated in the destoner process. This process works to settle out hard, undesirable objects from scrap foam that will be used in the bonding process. By optimizing airflow through the machine, the facility was able to reduce the amount of waste generated by 13,000 pounds a month. This also resulted in a reduction in the amount of raw material usage.

The facility was using approximately five gallons of ink every two weeks to print a certification label on their products. By reducing the size of the label, ink consumption was cut in half.

By seeking out more vendors to recycle more waste streams and increasing employee awareness of best waste management practices, the facility was able to reduce landfill contributions by 40% and increase the amount of waste being recycled by 13% in 2014.