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NYS Governor's Awards for Pollution Prevention - Hydro-Air Components

Hydro-Air Components, Inc., Hamburg


Hydro-Air Components, Inc. is located in Hamburg and employs 65 people in the manufacture of hydronic heating equipment. This includes cabinet connectors, cabinet unit heaters, custom enclosures, and radiant wall panels, which are used in schools, hospitals, prisons, housing projects and office buildings. Hydro-Air switched to a powder coating process which reduced volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions and solid and hazardous waste generation. By the end of 1997 the company expects throughput to increase by over 30 percent that equates to an additional $300,000 in profits.

Methodologies and Procedures

Hydro-Air Components' three divisions were confronted with a tremendous amount of growth opportunities in their respective industries. To properly take advantage of these opportunities, the company decided to expand into a new building which doubled the manufacturing space.

One of the biggest constraints was solvent use in the painting process. The painting operations consisted of two painting booths and a bake oven, each of which required NYSDEC permits. All of the dry paint residue and dry paint filters had to be disposed in a secure landfill. The waste solvents and waste paint had to be disposed of through off-site incineration. This process was very costly and required burdensome paper work.

The company decided to switch to a powder coating system which is safer, cleaner, more environmentally friendly and also improved the quality and durability of the finish. Without switching to this new process, the anticipated increase in production would have put the company well over the emission limits set forth by New York State.

By changing to powder coating, VOC emissions were decreased by 12 tons per year. The disposal of waste solvents, paints and dry paint residue were eliminated. Solid hazardous waste material was reduced from 4000 pounds per year to zero. Liquid hazardous waste was reduced from almost 1000 gallons per year to zero. The powder coat system recycles up to 85 percent of the over-spray powder. The powder that is not recycled is used to paint internal parts and brackets. Hydro-Air's pollution prevention project basically eliminated all of the previous NYSDEC compliance requirements.

In addition to the powder coat system, Hydro-Air has also initiated programs to recycle paper/corrugated materials and scrap metal including aluminum and copper. The company uses very few raw materials that are not used in the finished product or that are not recyclable.

Through the company's various health and safety programs, pollution prevention is highlighted and monitored. All the employees are trained in hazardous spill prevention and clean-up. Hydro-Air's policy is that the cost of hazardous waste disposal, workers compensation, liability and fire insurance, and the value of having a strong image in the community makes it wise to operate a safe pollution-free work environment.


Reduced adverse environmental impact on the community by eliminating 12 tons of VOC emissions per year. This resulted in the elimination of possible health risks to employees with long term exposure to solvents.

Solid hazardous waste was reduced by 4000 pounds per year which saved the company nearly $4,000 annually in disposal costs. Liquid hazardous waste was reduced by almost 1000 gallons per year saving the company nearly $3,000.00 annually in disposal costs. This resulted in the elimination of paperwork associated with handling and disposing of solvents and solvent-based materials.

The new powder coat system recycles up to 85 percent of the over-spray powder, which reduces the amount of raw material purchased.

Through the implementation of these pollution prevention projects, the company expects throughput to increase profitability.

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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