Millions of Gallons of Water Recycled and Reused Due to Advanced Environmental Initiative
Mason, OH – Downlite, a major down and feather processor and supplier of responsibly-sourced performance fills to the outdoor, home furnishings and hospitality markets, recently unveiled its new wastewater recovery system that allows Downlite to recycle and reuse up to 99% of the water used to clean and sanitize its down and feather fills – saving up to 40 million gallons of water annually.
Downlite partnered with Ohio-based water-treatment specialists, Artesian Capital Partners (ACP), who designed and constructed the system, and now operates it off-site.
“Water is the new oil,” said Josh Werthaiser, Downlite CFO. “With growing concerns over water scarcity and increasingly stringent municipal water-treatment requirements, we took on this significant and complex initiative, which took over a year, in our endeavor to become a greener company.”
Downlite’s down processing facility based just outside of Cincinnati, has the capacity to supply more than 100,000 lbs. of clean and ready down fill material per week, which requires a large quantity of water to ensure the raw materials have been sufficiently cleaned and sterilized.
“We use up to 120,000 gallons of water per day when our three giant washers are in use to ensure high-quality cleaning,” said Kevin Borgquist, Downlite Director of Processing/Sourcing. “Since the system was installed in October, we’ve saved about eight million gallons of water.”
How the wastewater recovery system works…
Waste water from the down processing machines travels through Downlite’s 65,000 square foot plant to the treatment system and into an aerobic basin to remove organic waste. The water then moves to membrane filtration to remove any remaining waste. The clean water is stored and sent through ozone disinfection before it goes back to the plant for reuse. The sludge recovered from filtration is gathered and composted.
Downlite’s wastewater recovery system is the latest in a series of ongoing environmental and sustainability initiatives, which include installing LED lighting in its plants and office buildings, adherence to bluesign® certification and down traceability, and the development of TDS and RDS down standards.
“We are always looking at how we can minimize environmental impact, and what Downlite can do about it,” said Werthaiser.
Downlite is America’s premiere manufacturer of down and feather, and synthetic bedding products. Its products – comforters, pillows, mattress pads, and feather and fiber beds – are sold under private label and national brand names in leading department stores, specialty stores, and catalogs, as well as to the Hospitality Industry. Downlite also supplies high-quality bulk fills to furniture, outerwear and sleeping bag manufacturers around the globe. Downlite is a bluesign® system partner, TDS and RDS certified, and a proud member of the American Down & Feather Council (ADFC). www.downliteoutdoor.com