THINK GREEN – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
BUYING IN BULK
Smaller barrels of wire and spools of conduit are more convenient to work with, but PDU Cables designed its manufacturing operations for larger quantities of components, permitting us to be more efficient and produce less scrap and waste.
When you consider the individual “retail” packaging that accommodates most electrical device components, over the course of thousands of cables built each week, the packaging being recycled or thrown away is enormous. We work with manufacture's to develop bulk packaging that better serves our unique needs, reducing the amount of paper and plastic that ends up in a landfill.
PDU Cables receives its conduit coiled on wooden spools. Preventing waste starts with efficient use. Where you can buy spools of conduit at varying lengths, PDU Cables purchases some of the biggest spools available. There is always waste at the end of each spool, but with the larger spools, there are fewer changeovers, which mean less end of spool scrap and waste.
Even utilizing larger spools, PDU Cables still consumes hundreds a month. At the end of each shift, spools are sorted for reuse or recycling. Recycled spools are disassembled with the wooden disks stacked on a pallet and stored awaiting pickup. Inner cardboard tubes are flattened with the rest of the cardboard, and the metal nuts and bolts used to assemble the spool get recycled as scrap metal.
Screws, washers, boxes, knockouts, faceplates, connectors, mounting hardware, are all recyclable as scrap metal. There are many reasons PDU Cables experiences a buildup of scrap metal throughout the day. Screws are not needed, threads get stripped, knockouts are excess, supplied parts and accessories are sometimes the wrong size or don’t meet PDU Cables quality standards. With hundreds of power cables built daily, the accumulation of excess, obsolete and scrap parts is sizeable.
It would be easy just to drop that small screw, mounting ear or knockout in the garbage, but we do not. Every pound of metal recycled is a pound less deposited in a landfill, and a pound less dug out of the ground. PDU Cables collects, sorts, and warehouses its scrap metal until we have enough for delivery to our local metal recycling firm.
Have you ever noticed how sturdy and durable fiber barrels are? They are the perfect package for power cables, especially on raised floor job sites with narrow server aisles where a forklift or pallet jack just isn’t practical. They are easy to roll on their edge to the desired spot on the data center floor before installation.
Because of their durability, PDU Cables tries to use reconditioned fiber barrels whenever possible, reducing our carbon footprint. If you have barrels you would like to put back into service, give your sales manager a call.
Copper is a soft, malleable and ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Copper is the standard for electrical power distribution in data centers worldwide.
The mining and smelting of Copper, like most metals, creates toxic contaminants that can degrade ground and surface water, soil and air quality, and is heavily regulated by state and federal environmental agencies.
PDU Cables consumes millions of feet of copper wire every year, enough to run from New York to Los Angeles. We use somewhere around a half a million pounds of copper wire each year. With that much wire flowing through our warehouse, even the smallest amount of scrap can accumulate into a significant volume of waste copper. Every pound recycled is a pound less mined and smelted. That helps the environment, and PDU Cables is proud to do its part.
Since scrap conduit is difficult to recycle, our priority is always to minimize the amount of scrap as much as possible. Conduit must be sorted by material type and in the case of liquid-tight it requires the sheathing to be separated from the underlying galvanized steel.
Most recyclers require large quantities before they’ll accept a shipment of scrap, forcing PDU Cables to accumulate and warehouse scrap for weeks and even months. Unfortunately, most other cable manufacturers lack the space or production capacity to collect enough linear feet required by a recycler and as a result throw the scrap in a dumpster and ship if off to the landfill.
The biggest source of waste in the manufacture of power cables is packaging materials, cardboard boxes. PDU Cables recycles more cardboard than any other material. While we have worked with our vendors to create bulk component packaging, you cannot visit our warehouse without seeing a couple of pallets or Gaylord’s stacked high with flattened cardboard boxes or other shipping materials. We produce enough waste cardboard that our local recycler keeps one of their trucks parked on-site for us to fill throughout the day.
Recycling one ton of paper saves up to 31 trees, 4,000 kWh of energy, 71 gallons of oil, 10.2 million Btu's of energy, 6,868 gallons of water and 4.5 cubic yards of landfill space. Burning that same ton of paper would generate over three-quarters of a ton of carbon dioxide.
REUSING & REPURPOSING
Bulk materials and components arrive on pallets, in fiber barrels and Gaylord boxes. These containers are ideal for receiving and storing materials in our warehouse; they are also well suited for delivering power whips to the job site.
PDU Cables is always on the lookout for ways to limit or eliminate waste, reuse or repurpose materials. The next time you receive power whips from PDU Cables, look at the fiber barrel and pallet they arrived on, imagined the miles they have logged and parts of the country they have been.
Parts manufacturers usually supply "complete" kits, comprised of parts used for typical electrical installations.
Typical is not what PDU Cables needs when it builds its data center power whips. We substitute parts from the different manufacture's to fit each power whip's unique design and improve overall quality. We have made arrangements with manufacturers to limit these unnecessary extra parts from their kits to reduce scrap.
BE GREEN – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
As the largests power whip manufacturer, PDU Cables believes responsible environmental stweardship is not only an integral part of doing business; it is a fundamental tenant of who we are as a company.
We continuously review the ways we source and use the raw materials used to manufacture our product. We encourage our employees to limit waste, reuse and recycle whenever possible. And we would like to think that our efforts are just another reason why so many companies are choosing PDU Cables as their preferred vendor for branch circuit power whips.
Being Green Flyer - Highlights a few of the things PDU Cables does to be environmentally conscious.