L.J. Smith® Stair Systems - Celebrating 50 Years of Earth Day

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In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22nd, Ohio-based L.J. Smith Stair Systems officials are sharing details on how the company recycles a variety of products. This includes 2.5 million pounds of sawdust and 48 tons of scrap cardboard each year.

2.5 million pounds of sawdust are recycled each year at L.J. Smith Stair Systems operations in Bowerston, Ohio. The company has implemented extensive recycling efforts for the past three decades.

We’re continually reviewing ways to reuse and recycle materials in our facilities. We try to focus on our environmental practices every day, at every location.

Employees at L.J. Smith® Stair Systems manufacturing and distribution facilities know all about recycling. The team has solid environmental practices in place, encouraging everything from recycling sawdust and cardboard, to having LED and motion sensor lighting installed at their facilities.

“We manufacture tens of thousands of wood balusters and newel posts each year,” says Craig Kurtz, president of L.J. Smith Stair Systems. “That process results in lots of sawdust. Right now we recycle about 2.5 million pounds of sawdust each year. We’ve been dedicated to this recycling process for the past three decades.”

Rather than throw the sawdust away, L.J. Smith sells the residue of Red Oak, Poplar, White Oak and Maple sawdust to local vendors. The company’s environmental program partners use the reclaimed sawdust in a variety of products, including compost, top soil and mulch.

Recycling in Action

Recycling at L.J. Smith doesn’t end with sawdust. That’s really just the beginning.

“We recycle about 48 tons of scrap cardboard each year at our Bowerston, Ohio facility,” says Kurtz. “We avoid disposal costs by giving this material to local companies for their use. For us, it’s all about acting responsibly as a corporation.”

Lighting the Way

Additional environmental actions for the company include having replaced their previous light fixtures with LED lights. That change in the company’s four manufacturing operations saves on energy costs … estimated at $40,000 each year in just the Bowerston facility.

“Several of our facilities have motion sensitive lighting,” says Kurtz. “If there’s no motion in a specific area after several minutes, the lights automatically turn off, saving more energy.

“We’re continually reviewing ways to reuse and recycle materials in our facilities. It doesn’t matter if it’s 15 minutes of energy saved with a motion sensor light or thousands of pounds of wooden pallets being recycled. We try to focus on our environmental practices every day, at every location.”

About L.J. Smith

From wooden hand rails to stainless steel cables, L.J. Smith Stair Systems has grown dramatically since its start in 1885. For 135 years the innovative company has developed new products, solutions and stylish rail systems for residential and commercial projects across America.

Since 1991 L.J. Smith has made many strategic acquisitions to stay on top of new stair system trends and bring people what they want. The company now has four manufacturing and distribution locations (in Bowerston, Ohio; Corona, Calif.; Ball Ground, Ga.; and Puyallup, Wash.). Three additional distribution facilities are located in Salem, N.H.; Houston, Texas and West Valley City, Utah. When NOVO Building Products purchased L.J. Smith in 2018, additional distribution locations --- in Zeeland, Mich.; Chesapeake, Va.; Allentown, Penn.; Lakeland, Fla.; and Dallas, Texas --- were added for the company’s products.

L.J. Smith products --- including wooden and ornamental iron balusters, stainless steel cable and tube infills, newel posts, hand rails and accessories --- are all defined by their unique designs, uncompromised durability and good looks. For more information, visit http://www.ljsmith.com or call 740-269-2221.

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Kathy Ziprik
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