With a perspective honed by nearly seven decades of responsible manufacturing practices, Vulcan Industries is committed to sustainable operations that will ensure the well-being of our business, our employees, our customers, and our communities for the next 60 years. Vulcan makes eco-friendly choices from the start and is constantly managing consumption and waste during daily operations.
Our operations use water from onsite wells primarily for cooling and cleaning. Water used for cooling in welding operations is classified and permitted by the EPA as non-contact cooling water. Our paint wash system uses low-phosphate, low-temperature chemicals that have eliminated the need to dump wash holding tanks, significantly reducing both our water consumption and wastewater treatment. The remaining paint system wastewater is treated on site to conform to state environmental management standards. The treated water is discharged to onsite septic fields, whose correct operations are verified by monthly sampling and testing via surrounding monitoring wells.
Vulcan Industries facilities use high-efficiency lighting and occupancy scanners to minimize electrical consumption for lighting. The use of low-temperature wash chemicals allows us to operate our paint wash system 50 degrees cooler than was previously required, reducing natural gas consumption by 30 percent. Equipment improvements, such as the recent introduction of a high-efficiency air compressor, have reduced related electrical consumption by 45% annually. The plant hot water heater was changed to a high efficiency system with a recirculation pump reducing gas consumption by 30%, and we continue to find opportunities for further reductions in our overall energy use.
All scrap and waste metals involved in our display production, including steel, copper, and aluminum, are all collected and recycled. Vulcan Industries also recycles corrugated packaging and returns empty chemical drums and totes to vendors for reuse or recycling. Damaged wood pallets are returned to the supplier for repair and reuse or grinding into mulch. Paper products used throughout the facility have recycled content.