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HWTR Pollution Prevention

My Watershed

NIC Global Manufacturing Solutions

Realizing a Cascade of Savings from Pollution Prevention

Drum container with hazardous waste and flammable labels attached.

The Company
NIC Global Manufacturing Solutions saves $150,000 each year by strategic pollution prevention efforts at its Woodinville plant. The facility assembles mechanical and electromechanical devices and fabricates sheet metal.

Eliminated Hexavalent Chromium
The efforts began in 2006, when NIC invested about $20,000 to initiate a new metal cleaning process that eliminated the use of hexavalent chromium. Hexavalent chromium is a heavy metal that persists in the environment and can accumulate in living things. It can cause health problems and may contribute to certain types of cancer.

Previously, NIC had to evaporate the chromium-containing wastewater and dispose of the sludge as dangerous waste. The 5,000,000 BTU evaporator system used approximately $8,000 in natural gas each month.

Drum container with hazardous waste and flammable labels attached.

Eliminating the chromium meant the company could realize savings in multiple areas. In 2008, NIC received a wastewater discharge permit from King County for its metal cleaning and treating operations. This allowed the company to turn off the evaporator and avoid the costs of disposing of the dangerous waste sludge. King County presented NIC with a 2010 Gold Award for exemplary compliance with the county’s wastewater discharge program.

Now NIC is saving approximately $150,000 in waste disposal and energy costs each year. The company expects these annual savings to increase as energy costs rise.

Energy Efficiency Projects
NIC continued their efforts to reduce costs through strategic energy efficiency projects. The company partnered with the Snohomish County Public Utility District on a $78,000 re-lighting project to reduce electrical energy usage. They replaced the older fluorescent lighting system with a more efficient system that will save an estimated 40 percent of energy costs.

NIC also installed an air compressor system that is more energy efficient. They estimate the new equipment will save another $25,500 per year.


Governor's Award for Sustainable Practices

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