The Southwire Company Starkville Plant, located in Starkville, MS, developed a team approach to identifying and implementing pollution prevention and recycling opportunities throughout the facility. Pollution prevention efforts saved the company $800,000 in 1996.


In 1995 the Starkville Plant created employee waste minimization teams within each department of the facility. A Corrective Action Team (CAT), made up of the environmental coordinator and plant manager, leads pollution prevention efforts. The CAT team meets quarterly to discuss the plant’s progress in waste minimization and establish goals. The team also identifies those work centers and waste streams creating the most wastes and highest costs, and develops plans for action. The team uses total quality methodologies and full cost accounting to facilitate their efforts.


In 1996, a 10 percent reduction in the rate of overall scrap generation per production saved the company $193,000. The reduction was primarily due to scrap reduction efforts by the building wire department, which reduced scrap by 27 percent. Reductions were achieved by substituting materials, improving procedures, and upgrading equipment.

A waste minimization team within the power cable department found that frequent changeovers were generating an excessive amount of bleeder scrap. Planning improvements reduced scrap generation by 50 percent in only one month.

A T-wire stripping line was installed in 1995. This line strips insulation from copper wire, allowing the wire to be reused instead of scrapped. Copper scrap was reduced by more than 50 percent in 1996.

Waste generation was reduced in the Hoffman Drawing Solution System by using less raw materials and allowing more time between sludge removals. Use of drawing solution was reduced 68 percent, cutting costs by 66 percent. In addition, the generation of spent drawing solution was reduced by 50 percent saving, $6,225 in disposal and treatment costs.

In addition to their pollution prevention efforts, Starkville recycled approximately 40,000 pounds of cardboard packaging materials and 4,440 gallons of used oil, and returned 13,195 pallets for reuse in 1996. Also, 906,241 pounds of PVC pipe bleeder scrap and strippings were recycled, of which 104,000 pounds were reused by Starkville in the manufacture of new products.