MONROE - On November 2, Spencer Cabinetry was honored by Seattle Business Magazine as one of the Washington Green 50, or fifty outstanding companies in the state leading the way in ecological sustainability.
Spencer Cabinetry’s development of new products made from their own manufacturing waste is a major factor in their selection. They are now producing solid wood cutting boards and trivets from the remnants of the premium sustainable hardwood used to manufacture their cabinetry. These come in two sizes: 8”x8” and 8”x16”, and feature no-skid rubber feet which can never fall off because they are pressed tightly into drilled holes.
Carl Spencer, General Manager, observes, “We started manufacturing the cutting boards last year, and all of a sudden people were buying them in quantity to use for Christmas presents. We also use them in conjunction with our main line of kitchen cabinets.”
In addition, Spencer Cabinetry is producing pellet stove fuel from sawdust and shavings from their milling operations. These pellets are roughly ¼” in diameter and 1” long (standard pellet fuel size) which can be readily burned in any pellet stove or furnace. Fuel pellets are considered “carbon neutral” when manufactured from sustainable materials since any carbon dioxide released by burning is consumed entirely by the replacement trees and plants.
According to Spencer, “Making pellet fuel economically out of sawdust is incredibly difficult to do on a small scale -- usually it takes at least $250,000 in equipment and lots of floor space. But it turns out it is not impossible.” Spencer Cabinetry has spent months developing a proprietary process that results in a pellet with greater BTU density and less ash.
As a result of efforts like these, Spencer Cabinetry has reduced their volume of waste by 50% at the same time they have grown 100%, resulting in a 75% total reduction. Spencer credits the continuous improvement efforts of his employees and staff based on the Toyota Production System. “It turns out the leanest manufacturers will likely always be the greenest.”
Source: Spencer Cabinetry
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