AHT Cooling Systems Inc., USA expanded its operations in March 2017 with the opening of a state-of-the-art 143,000 ft2 assembly facility in Charleston, South Carolina. As highlighted in our company logo, AHT is an environmentally-friendly, “green”-focused company manufacturing, selling and installing Low-GWP refrigerated cases using only natural refrigerants, mainly R290 (refrigerant propane). In a continuing effort to reduce our environmental impact from our operations in South Carolina, we set out to become a 100% landfill-free recycler of waste by the end of 2019. With recycling solutions in place for wood, metal and printer ink, the new focus became finding a solution for all other operations and general office wastes.
“AHT has been a global leader in developing commercial refrigeration products that reduce the impact on the environment for many years. As our business continues to expand in the US, we want to ensure that our daily operational impact on the environment is also managed in a smart and sustainable manner.” – Devin Tombs, President
Tim Miller, Supply Chain Leader, along with the support of numerous other AHT employees, helped drive the efforts of researching the local recycling programs available. According to Tim, “One of our biggest delays and challenges was finding a company who could take and recycle our Styrofoam waste”. His search succeeded earlier this year when he was introduced to VLS Recovery Services, LLC of Charleston, SC.
VLS Recovery Services currently offers recycling services in 9 locations across the US, including Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. Each year they convert roughly 80,000 tons of material as waste-to-energy or Alternative Engineered Fuel (AEF). The Charleston Industrial Recycling Facility (IRF) is their newest facility and has been in operation since May 2018. Their “Beneficial Reuse” process begins with the delivery of plant trash and production discards to their IRF. These materials for recycling are known as Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials and are thereby not classified as solid waste. The delivered materials are first sorted where various recyclables, such as cardboard and plastic, are removed for recycling and reuse. The remaining materials are then shredded and blended to make an alternative high BTU fuel source called “Shredded Heat” which in turn gets used at various burn facilities as fuel for cement kilns and gasifiers to produce steam and electricity. This process creates a 1:1 conversion of delivered material to the Alternative Engineered Fuel, which offsets the use of natural resources like coal and natural gas.
In July, months ahead of schedule, AHT was able to achieve its goal when material was delivered to the VLS facility and converted to an AEF which resulted in the issuance of our first “Certificate of Recycling.” “We are very proud of this achievement, the hard work by all AHT employees to make this a success and we look forward to the partnership with VLS as we continue to minimize our environmental impact,” said Tim in response to receiving this certificate. AHT will continue to develop both internal processes and external products for a positive impact on the future sustainability of our planet and natural resources.