Successful competitors must see how they measure up against others. Successful companies know that the biggest competition is with oneself. The spirit of self- or continuous improvement that drives daily business decisions and connects them with long-term goals is essential.

As a lean manufacturer, Metcam believes that anything that doesn’t add value is waste, but also that the handling of waste should still offer value for the community and protect the environment. That’s why the 2018 Georgia Manufacturer of the Year recently established the EHS recycling and containment center.

“The sheer volume of recycling we have was a little surprising,” said Jason Freeman, Metcam’s Continuous Improvement Manager. “We didn’t realize we were going through so much. We have so many different items to recycle that it was often hard to tell where they were throughout the plant.”

A covered, gated facility with tagged item bins for each recycling type, the new EHS recycling and containment center not only improves work flow and organization, it also helps the vendors that come to pick up plastic containers, fluorescent lights, IT recycling pieces and other waste items. Furthermore, it gave Freeman and the Metcam team another key continuous improvement perspective on sustainability.

“It allowed us to see some of the items we’re using and question why we’re buying so many of this or that,” Freeman added. “We could then go talk to departments differently about those things. Maybe we should change this up or use something else. What exactly is going on in there that makes you have to use so much, say, lubricant for welding?”

That added insight from the recycling and containment center not only promotes self-sustaining habits for individual employees and across teams, it also advances Metcam’s core objectives of being lean, mean and green.