How Lawton is staying sustainable for Earth Day!

By C.A. Lawton | April 20, 2022
Sustainability Article cover

Here at The C.A. Lawton Co. (Lawton), we recycle our waste materials in the best way possible, with minimal environmental impact as our goal. So, with Earth Day coming up this weekend, we figured we would share one of the ways we help the planet.

We Save Landfill Space

Landfill space is precious, and sending our excess foundry sand to the landfill takes up space and gets very expensive. So where can we use it instead? Through a broker that arranges WI DNR (Department of Natural Resources) approved projects, we participate in a program called Beneficial Use (NR 538). Beneficial Use is a regulatory option that allows generators of nonhazardous industrial waste to redirect industrial waste away from the landfill. 

The legislation was developed to provide special conditions for facilities to divert special classifications of industrial waste. Wisconsin’s Beneficial Use program originated in 1997 when Ch. NR 538, Wis. Adm. Code, was first adopted. This code laid out a streamlined process for certain industrial byproducts such as coal combustion byproducts, foundry sand, lime-kiln dust, paper mill sludge, and other high volume industrial wastes with similar characteristics that could be beneficially used in a variety of approved applications. Used foundry sand is a nonhazardous industrial waste.

Our Waste Helps the Community

So, for Lawton, once our industrial waste is DNR approved, our broker coordinates the delivery of our excess sand to an approved project. The broker manages the project from beginning to completion. Past projects included providing fill for a pond conversion in a nearby community and providing fill for a closed quarry so the land can be repurposed for future development. 

Everyone Wins

Beneficial Use offers a trifecta of wins for all involved.

  1. The cost of diverting our sand to Beneficial Use projects is less expensive than landfill fees.
  2. The community wins because there isn’t a large volume of sand taking up precious, limited space in the landfill. This means there is more room for the community and a longer life for the landfill.
  3. The project site wins because they don’t have to buy fill for their development.

Lawton Aims for a Better Future

Our overall goal at The C.A. Lawton Co. is to be as environmentally aware as possible. Our Environmental Policy states, “(We) strive to meet or exceed sound environmental practices in all facets of (our) operations. Our aim is to minimize the environmental impact of our activities, prevent pollution, and protect the environment.” Partnering with the DNR and taking advantage of the legislation put in place, we can take steps toward helping our planet be cleaner, brighter, and happier!