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2023 IEA Environmental Excellence Award Presented to Bachem & ACTenviro

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Author: ACTenviro Corporate
Date: June 5, 2023

This past week, ACTenviro was proud to be honored with an IEA (Industrial Environmental Association) “Environmental Excellence Award” at their annual conference in San Diego. This award was presented to ACTenviro and Bachem for their collaborative effort in developing a carbon recycling program for Bachem, saving them 360K per year and, more importantly, eliminating 50 tons of carbon per year from going to landfill.

Bachem specializes in producing peptide drugs, which are specialty drugs used in a variety of areas of medicine. One of their operations is a vacuum system that hauls solvent vapors out of various processes, runs them through a condenser, and then through a carbon scrubber system. When the carbon becomes exhausted it must be replaced by new carbon. The cost of the waste stream was 25% of the overall program. They reached out to ACTenviro to partner with us for solutions.

Account Manager at ACTenviro:

“We’re involved in all facets of hazardous waste management. Our passion is really providing our clients with comprehensive solutions that both their budget and environmental goals.

Randy reached out to me asking about potential recycling options for Bachem spent carbon, of which they were shipping about 50 tons per year to a hazardous waste landfill. I reached out to some local recycling facilities, we ran the proper analyses, and we were able to reclassify Bachem’s spent carbon as a nonhazardous waste. This now allowed Bachem to participate in a carbon pool program, where they could ship their spent carbon for regeneration and purchase reactivated carbon at a cost less than virgin carbon.

ACTenviro was then able to provide Bachem with a proposal that included a flat rate for each carbon changeout service in addition to a per pound rate for purchase of reactivated carbon. The cost for disposal for their spent carbon was eliminated completely.”

Randy, Director of EHS, Bachem: “One of the challenges that we have here is where the carbon beds are located is the same area as our tank farm, where we’re constantly having vehicles coming on board to remove our waste from our tanks, as well as bringing new chemicals to our tanks for our processes. One of the improvements by Jesse (ACTenviro) was that he could create a clone or copy of the carbon beds that we have here and have them located in the ACTenviro yard. So, he was able to then recharge the carbon banks at the yard and then come to Bachem and just swap them out here in a very short period of time.”  

Jesse Vanderstaay, Lead Project Manager, ACTenviro: “One of the biggest hurdles we came across was that we had a lot of labor going on. We were spending up to four hours on site here, we had to bring all the equipment and material here onsite to complete the project here and we realized we needed to get that out of here. So, what we did was we purchased six additional cannisters where we could take the cannisters to our yard dump the carbon there and bring just the cannisters back here. We changed our onsite time from up to four hours onsite to an hour or less time here to change out the cannisters.”

Randy (Bachem): “[We’re] partnering with somebody that is a specialist in this area, but then also they go above and beyond and find additional resources and additional solutions...”

ACTenviro: “It took about 6 months to get Bachem’s carbon regeneration program off the ground and now ACTenviro is providing multiple services in one stop to limit the amount of time spent onsite and the impact to their shipping and receiving area. It’s really important for generators to take a closer look at the waste streams being produced at their facilities because you never know which may have an opportunity for either reclassification or recycling.”

To learn more about how ACTenviro can help your organization, contact [email protected].


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