What Does Your Barricade's Carbon Footprint Look Like?
Plastic barricades made from recycled plastic carry a much smaller carbon footprint than its clunky predecessor, the steel barricade. When your steel barricade is manufactured it goes through a process called galvanization. The galvanization process has been linked worldwide to environmental hazards. Although controls have been put in place in most modernized countries to curb this effect, those controls cost money to the supplier - so if you find a low priced steel barricade most likely it is galvanized somewhere the controls are not implemented because low price of galvanized steel and environmentally responsible galvanization of steel are generally opposites.
One of the main issues with galvanization is the waste water runoff. During the galvanizing process, steel undergoes a pickling process. The pickling process involves immersing product material through a series of tanks to clean and prepare the material prior to immersion in a molten zinc bath. Two major sources of waste water are generated from the galvanizing process: waste acid and acidic rinse water. Waste acid is generated as a result of a buildup of iron and other impurities in the acid which greatly reduces its effectiveness for pickling. The acid must be disposed of properly which takes up landfill space and if it is not disposed of properly it causes environmental damage. Acid rinse waters from the galvanizing process are acidic and contain low metals. This water is in the same situation as the acid; even if disposed of to a treatment plant still produces a sludge that has to be deposited in landfills. Lastly, zinc is used in the galvanization process. Zinc processing produces air emissions and solid waste emissions. The emissions include articulates, zinc fumes, volatile metals, flux fumes and smoke, rubber, plastics and zinc scrap.
When our plastic barricade is produced we use all of the plastic and if there is excess material that is not used it is melted and becomes part of the next barricade. In the production of plastic barricades there are no acids, harmful fumes or substances associated in the birth of our plastic barricades. When the life of the barricade is over you can melt the barricade down to be used for other recycled plastic items. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Posted on April 4, 2011
by OTW Safety filed under