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NYS Governor's Awards for Pollution Prevention - Oneida Ltd.

Oneida Ltd., Oneida


Oneida Ltd., located about 25 miles east of Syracuse in Sherrill, NY is a leading producer and marketer of tableware. Oneida is the only major American manufacturer of stainless steel flatware, with a factory complex of well over 1 million square feet. For many years Oneida's manufacturing processes used trichloroethylene, a chlorinated solvent, for cleaning tableware during production. Trichloroethylene is a longtime standard in the industry for its cleaning properties, but is also a very toxic substance.

Methodologies and Procedures

With the health and safety of its workers the main consideration, Oneida began to phase out the use of trichloroethylene about 10 years ago. The company also recognized that eliminating trichloroethylene would benefit the environment, since the factory released the substance into the air during manufacturing.

Oneida gradually replaced its eight trichloroethylene cleaning units with machines that use soap and water under high pressure. The company committed approximately $1.2 million for equipment alone and Oneida's engineers handled the custom design of these new flatware cleaning machines.

The project proceeded as the company's budget and time allowed. Installation of the machines was completed in November 1997. In 1991, 286,000 pounds of trichloroethylene was released into the air; last year, emissions were reduced to 18,000 pounds and in 1998 there will be zero emissions of chlorinated solvent.


  • Between 1991 and 1997 the amount of trichloroethylene emissions was reduced by 268,000 pounds.
  • In 1998, trichloroethylene emissions will be zero.
  • While Oneida is not realizing any immediate economic advantages from this project, the company is promoting a safe and healthy workplace.
  • Beyond internal workplace benefits, eliminating the use of trichloroethylene has improved the quality of life in the overall neighborhood where Oneida does business.

Any comments or questions?
Contact us at: 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1750;
518-402-9469 (phone); 518-402-9168 (fax)

This page was last modified March 8, 1999

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