Manufacturing Recycling Project Leads to $10K Community Investment
Arthrex Manufacturing Inc. East (AMIE) has found a way to turn scrap tungsten carbide tools used for cutting and shaping Arthrex’s implements and implants into money that is invested in helping women and children in Collier County, Florida, have better lives.
AMIE began recycling the tungsten carbide tools a few years ago. Lead Manufacturing Supervisor Steve Dyal, who has a lifetime of experience in manufacturing, knew the tools were more valuable than some of the other scrap metal they were being sorted with. His team began working to separate and recycle these materials individually.
“Most of our cutting tools, I would estimate 85-90%, are made of tungsten carbide,” said Steve. “By sorting out those parts from steel, copper and other metals, we can have our vendor pick it up to melt down and create new cutting tools from the recycled carbide. Plus, we get money back for the material.”
What started with a team effort of sorting pieces into drums to be picked up and recycled has grown into a plant-wide effort.
“We are so grateful to the team in the Tool Crib, which is actively involved in this process,” said Steve. “[Tool Supervisor] Lewis Estes and his group ensure it is sorted.”
Employee Relations Specialist Morgan Ryder said in addition to the recycled carbide, AMIE included money collected from the vending machines on the floor to contribute to the total donation.
“It’s amazing how these little things can add up to make such a difference,” she said.
When the money is collected, a team at AMIE, with feedback from Steve and a few other Arthrex team members, determines where the money should be donated. This year, it was determined the donation (a total of more than $10,700) should be split equally between the Shelly Stayer Shelter for Victims of Human Trafficking & Domestic Violence in Immokalee and Youth Haven, an organization located in East Naples that provides an immediate lifeline of home, health and healing for Southwest Florida children and teenagers who have been abused and neglected.
Linda Oberhaus, Chief Executive Officer of the Shelter for Abused Women and Children (Naples and Immokalee shelters), said the shelter values Arthrex’s support as it works to prevent, protect and prevail over domestic violence and human trafficking in Collier County.
“Partners like you help us put more resources to work throughout the community to provide individuals and families with a safety net and an opportunity for a brighter future,” she wrote in a letter to the team. “We especially appreciate your help at this time with the increased challenges imposed upon our participants and staff because of the pandemic.”
After the team determined which organizations the money would benefit, Steve and members of AMIE Human Resources traveled to the shelter and Youth Haven to learn more about how their donations would benefit those organizations.
“I am so grateful that we are able to do this,” said Steve. “This process has opened my eyes to the adversity that many in our community face. To be able to find another use for the recycled carbide and be able to use that money to give back to the community, it means so much.”
Steve said as the price of carbide continues to rise, the impact Arthrex can make on the community grows.
“We have been able to double our money because the price of carbide went from $4 to $8.35. It could get as high as $15. There’s lots of money to recoup, and it will impact a lot of lives,” he said.