Featherlite Trailers is continually searching for ways to preserve natural resources and improve energy efficiency. Our efforts focus on actions with measurable, verifiable results and active recycling.
The extensive use of aluminum in Featherlite’s products not only resists rust and corrosion better than steel—it also has several ecological benefits. Aluminum can reduce the weight of the trailer by nearly 20%. The lighter weight can lower tow vehicle fuel consumption, not to mention reduce emissions and cut down on engine wear. In addition, the aluminum industry estimates that “for each pound of aluminum which replaces two pounds of conventional iron or steel, a net 20 pounds of CO2 equivalents can be saved over the typical lifetime of a vehicle.”1 Aluminum also offers improved durability, which reduces product obsolescence.
In addition, aluminum is one of the easiest metals to recycle. Recycling aluminum requires 95% less energy and produces 95% lower greenhouse gas emissions than producing primary aluminum.
A Company-Wide Initiative
Featherlite’s Green Initiative covers more than just the materials we use to build our trailers. Here are just some of the initiatives we have instituted in our plants:
- All wood products used to bundle aluminum extrusion are returned to the vendor to be reused instead of being thrown out and winding up in a landfill.
- Aluminum welding wire is spun onto wire spools made of steel instead of plastic, making them easier to recycle.
- Paints are only purchased on an as-needed basis to minimize having to dispose of outdated material.
- All paints used in the paint booth are low in Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPS) and low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s).
- Ozone Depleting Chemicals (ODC’s) are not used in any process at Featherlite.
- The aluminum we buy from mills is almost 90% recycled from pre-and post-consumer use.
- Reusable and re-buildable pallets are sent to a pallet re-furbisher; damaged pallets and scrap wood from other operations are sent to be ground into mulch.
- Office paper and cardboard is collected and recycled.
- Scrap steel, aluminum and stainless steel are all collected and recycled, including the metals’ saw chips.
- Expanded Polystyrene (Styrofoam) is collected in large bags and sent back to the vendor for recycling.
- Empty aerosol cans are collected, shipped as hazardous waste and used in fuel blending. After blending, the cans are then certified empty and shipped as scrap steel.
- As many fluorescent light bulbs as possible are collected and recycled as Universal Waste. We use “green ends” bulbs wherever we can since they contain less mercury.
- Lead acid batteries are collected and sent to a recycler.
- Dry cell batteries are collected and sent in for recycling.
- Exploring a program that will reduce total kWh (Kilowatt hours) by using high efficiency fluorescent fixtures in place of metal halide fixtures.
1 Climate and the Aluminum Industry, ClimateBiz.com