MRO Magazine

Survey uncovers industry attitudes on pollution control

May 17, 2016 | By Rehana Begg

Basic RGBCleveland, OH – Abanaki Corporation, the world leader in oil skimming and coolant maintenance products, is publishing the findings of a recent survey of pollution control professionals. Among other findings, the survey revealed that pollution control is far from a “top-of-mind” priority at most companies.

Pollution control receives little budgeting priority. Almost four out of ten respondents couldn’t recall the size of their pollution control budgets, and one out of four spent just 1-2 percent of their companies’ budgets on pollution control programs. Also, pollution control receives little attention. More than a quarter of those surveyed reported that they spend no time over the course of a year to training personnel about proper pollution control, and 39 percent devote just one to two hours each year on pollution control training.

The survey shows that clean wastewater is a primary concern. Removing oil from water was a “most important” or “important” for 87 percent of those surveyed and 49 percent ranked coolant maintenance as “most important” or “important.” Issues such as groundwater remediation, exterior air pollution, and interior air pollution/indoor air quality generated relatively little uneasiness.

According to Abanaki’s president, Tom Hobson, this finding is not surprising. By removing oil from water, he said, manufacturers can decrease their operating cost through reduced labour and maintenance, increased regulatory compliance, less machine downtime, cleaner work environments and more. “However the survey shows that respondents are struggling with a variety of pollution challenges, which spotlights the need for more education about the solutions that are already available and the importance of continuing product innovation.”


Although the number of U.S. manufacturers recycling their waste has grown steadily over the last few decades, there is still room for improvement. Responses suggest that about one-third of U.S. plants are recycling more than 50 percent of their total waste; 21 percent report that they’re recycling less than 5 per cent of all the waste they produce. Metal recycling is the most popular (68 per cent), followed by paper, cardboard, oil and plastic materials. Of those who recycle, 20 percent reported recycling materials with their own facility, 59 per cent sell recycled material to external parties, and 51 percent dispose of the material to a recycling entity.

Sixty-five percent of those surveyed reported that their facilities were recycling waste oil, either onsite or through a contract with a third-party disposal service. More may want to recycle on site because, of those who recycle waste oil, 38 per cent reported their disposal costs have increased within the last year.

Download the entire survey results and analysis.

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