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Leggett & Platt cuts High Point landfill waste to zero

Follows AHFA’s EFEC environmental program

HIGH POINT — Leggett & Platt’s furniture components facility here achieved zero-waste-to-landfill status as of Oct. 1, the company announced.

This represents the diversion of 41 tons of solid waste annually, which was previously sent to landfills, and is the culmination of five years of efforts, officials said.

L&P began diverting waste which its implementation of the EFEC environmental management system in October 2009. EFEC (Enhancing Furniture’s Environmental Culture) was created by the American Home Furnishings Alliance for the residential furnishings industry.

For the High Point facility, involving all employees and utilizing the continuous improvement philosophy were the keys to success, the company said. In 2009, five continuous improvement teams were formed to address employee education, utility usage, recycling, packaging reductions and wood pallet usage. These teams achieved such successes as 10% reduction in electricity and natural gas usage, 74% reduction in new pallets purchased and over $10,000 saved in packaging material costs, in addition to the elimination of landfilled waste.

These reductions have taken place over a five-year period, during which business has grown well over 30%, officials said.

“We were blown away by the enthusiasm of our employees when we started our green journey,” said Murray Catton, the High Point facility’s branch manager. “We’ve arrived at zero landfill because our people have embraced recycling and participated on teams tasked with reducing waste generation.”

The program won the 2014 Outstanding Business Recycling Program Award given by the Carolina Recycling Assn. Leggett & Platt’s High Point facility, in conjunction with the Tupelo Sleeper (Mississippi) and No-Sag (Indiana) facilities, was a finalist for the 2011 Sage Award, which recognizes excellence in the home furnishings and bedding industries through commitment to sustainable business practices, social responsibility and profitable growth.

The High Point facility is also a partner in the North Carolina Environmental Stewardship Initiative and participates in the EPA’s WasteWise program.

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