Ark-Ell Spring – Houlka, MS
Ark-Ell Springs, located in Houlka, Mississippi, manufactures metal seating components, with a majority being sinuous wire springs. The branch produces and delivers approximately 2 million feet of finished seat and back springs per week, supplying a large number of the furniture manufacturers in North Mississippi. Additionally, the branch warehouses and distributes a wide variety of other products used in furniture manufacturing. Some of those products include reclining furniture hardware, foam edgings, clips, and sewing supplies.
Ark-Ell Springs became EFEC registered in 2010, and continues to excel in the program and set examples for other L&P furniture facilities.
Notable goals and projects for Branch 0331 include:
- Convert to hand dryers instead of paper towels throughout the facility to reduce landfill contributions
- Conducted research on hand dryers and determined they are only possible in office areas due to it being too hot on the production floor
- Recycle used antifreeze from forklift maintenance
- Maintenance personnel now reuse antifreeze when making repairs to water pump, radiator, or thermostat on forklifts
- One gallon saves $12
- Install a badge system to eliminate the need for paper timecards
- Currently analyzing costs and benefits realized at other branches that have converted
- Reduced landfill waste by reducing received (mailed) catalogues
- Contacted vendors and stopped receiving all unwanted catalogues
- Reduced the amount of lost propane during the unloading process by approximately 200 gallons per load
- Achieved a 10% decrease in energy used by the office
- Installed a wall in the reception area in the front office to reduce heat loss
- Sealed the kitchen wall to reduce air loss
- Achieved a 10% decrease in water use by the office
- Fixed water leak in front office and replaced leaking toilets
- Reduced energy usage due to compressed air leaks
- Developed a process for elimination of noticeable air leaks by year-end
- Reduced cardboard usage by 5% plant-wide.
- Switched customers from box to bulk pack or crates
The facility participates in the “enhance” program sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The facility was able to advance from the “Steward” level to the “Leader” level award in 2015.
The EFEC team participated in several activities throughout the year. In March 2016, they visited Little Bits Daycare and shared information about recycling, built bird feeders using recycled milk jugs, and gave all children repurposed plastic tote bags filled with crayons and fruit snacks. A Flowering Dogwood tree and Petunias were planted on the facility property in honor of Arbor Day. The team donated money to the Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Office for a drug dog and received a certificate in return. In July 2016, the facility donated and sponsored a hole for a golf tournament benefitting Living Independent for Everyone (LIFE), which works to empower Mississippi residents with disabilities. Additionally, the EFEC team donated to a regional rehab center to sponsor a regional sports competition.