HWTR Pollution Prevention

My Watershed

Huntwood Industries

Huntwood Industries, a Spokane area cabinet manufacturer requested help from Ecology’s Technical Resources for Engineering Efficiency (TREE) team.

Huntwood’s goals for the team were to:

  • Reduce their wash solvent. Huntwood is a Large Quantity Generator of dangerous waste and solvent waste is by far their largest dangerous waste stream.
  • Cut the amount of hazardous and solid waste generated by their manufacturing processes.
  • Conserve water used to irrigate the landscape and lawn surrounding the plant.

The team reviewed Huntwood’s milling and finishing processes, and examined the raw material and shipping/packaging areas as well.

Their Results:
As a result of the TREE team review, Huntwood found they can save $310,000 – $320,000 annually through reduced water use, solvent purchases, and generation of dangerous waste. These impressive reductions include:

Reducing solvent use by 40 percent.
Huntwood invested in solvent distillation and switched to a solvent that mixes better with the distilled solvent. By doing so, they reduced solvent use while expanding their production.

Annual Water Reduction of 735,000 gallons.
The facility reduced annual water use by eliminating one irrigation cycle and instituting better maintenance and oversight of the current irrigation system and water cycles.


Huntwood’s Liberty Lake facility was assisted by Dept. of
Ecology engineers to find ways to reduce dangerous waste
generation and water use, resulting in big money savings.

How They Did It:
Reducing Acetone Waste
Huntwood reduced its acetone waste through a two prong approach. They utilized both spent acetone from outside the company and refreshed acetone from inside the company’s normal production process. In addition to recycling their own used acetone through their new distillation unit, they also purchased spent acetone at a deeply discounted rate from local businesses and put it through their new unit. This combined approach provided them with a “new stream” of economical acetone while also reducing their waste stream and associated cost.

Increasing cross training to improve employee efficiency remains a challenge but Huntwood is making progress. With a reduced workforce taking employees away from regular duties, further cross-training requires cooperation from all departments and production schedules. Huntwood is dedicated to improving and increasing employee development.

Improved Procedures for Finish Sprayers
Huntwood is implementing a training program for all manual spray operations to improve consistency and quality, and to reduce overspray and waste. The program follows federal guidelines. All “new sprayers” will receive the training as part of their On the Job Training (OJT) with annual follow-up for all manual spray operations.

Water Savings
Huntwood eliminated the November irrigation application, reducing annual water use by approximately 735,000 gallons. That same year, Huntwood assigned one employee to maintenance of irrigation sprinklers and watering cycles. The result is consistent times and shorter cycles. The employee will also review the water application rate literature during 2011 and adjust watering accordingly.The employee will continue to review the water application rate and adjust watering accordingly.

More Information
For more information on Pollution Prevention opportunities please contact:

Department of Ecology Lean and Environment Grants 
Hugh O’Neill: 360-407-6354 or hugh.oneill@ecy.wa.gov

Impact Washington
Nigel Moore: 425-438-1146 Ext. 104, nmoore@impactwashington.org

WSU Energy Extension
Cris Love   360-956-2172 or LoveC@energy.wsu.edu

Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
Michelle Gaither   206-352-2050 or mgaither@pprc.org