At Schnitzer, operational excellence is grounded in our commitment to quality. As we invest in our people and equipment for growth and performance, we constantly review and improve our processes and strive to achieve industry-leading quality, environmental, and health and safety (QEHS) standards. Our focus on QEHS is aimed at ensuring consistency in our products, thereby ensuring our customer's continued satisfaction, maximizing our operational efficiency, and fostering a culture that emphasizes prevention in advance of detection.
Schnitzer's recognition as Scrap Company of the Year by American Metal Market in 2011 and 2013 highlights the strength and scope of our QEHS business model as well as the strong relationships built upon Schnitzer's customer service. These awards underscore our long-standing commitment to quality throughout our processes and the innovation we apply even in post-production. For example, we are continually exploring new opportunities to re-use, recycle, and re-purpose all of the material we process. Approximately 90% of all materials processed are sold as recycled scrap metal for re-use in manufacturing. A portion of the remaining shredder residue is re-purposed as "Alternative Daily Cover" (ADC) by landfills to prevent the interaction of solid waste with other elements, reduce odors and generally compact surface layers.
Our focus on quality is evident in each of our business units:
- Our metals recycling operations invest in advanced separation and extraction technologies which capture more nonferrous metals from the materials we process, reducing the waste we send to landfills while enhancing the quality of the products we deliver to our customers. In 2013, we initiated our voluntary participation in the Recycling Industry Operating System (RIOS™) program at our Everett, MA facility. Our recent certification ensures that our facility is operating at the highest possible standards for QEHS. Our participation in the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001 standardized health and safety management system at our Everett, MA facility strengthens Schnitzer's commitment to safety. By investing in RIOS™ and OHSAS 18001 certification, we are benefiting our people, our productivity and our customers.
- Our auto recycling facilities developed an award-winning mercury switch removal program with trained technicians ensuring safe removal of all switches, from the engine compartment to the trunk, to prevent toxic chemicals from contaminating the air or waterways. We dispose of the hazardous material through the U.S. national ELVs program and Canada's national Switch-Out program. Additionally, the standardized automotive recycling process we established for our operations, which ensures that all vehicle fluids and other hazardous materials are removed and properly recycled or disposed, has been adopted as guidelines in some of our local communities for others to follow.
Our steel manufacturing facility employs QEHS continuous improvement initiatives which enable production of specialized alloys such as high-strength corrosive resistant MMFX, nuclear-grade products and steel produced from locally sourced materials for USGBC LEED-certified projects, while remaining focused on mill efficiencies which maximize our operational performance.
Schnitzer has implemented comprehensive measures to address scrap metal theft including enforcement of strict scrap acceptance policies at all of our facilities. We have invested in significant IT infrastructure and built strong relationships with our local communities in order to prevent metal theft. In addition, the majority of our metal recycling yards are equipped with radiation detection systems which prevent costly radioactive contamination in our facilities as well as the steel manufacturing customer base. These proactive measures support the ongoing growth and integrity of our industry, making Schnitzer a preferred supplier of recycled metals globally.
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