Interstate Resource's long history of operational excellence is a point of pride. We are just as proud of our record in the area of environmental stewardship. It is our belief that cost controls and environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive propositions. We live and work in the communities where our mills and plants are located, and where our families, friends and neighbors live.
Common sense, as well as good business practices, dictate a responsible approach to protecting and preserving our natural resources. So it is natural for us to hold ourselves to the highest standards of ethical conduct and environmental responsibility and to practice open communication with our employees as well as the public.
The company strategically manages its environmental performance to embody the values of a corporate citizen in touch with its community and the environment. We actively work to conserve resources, operate efficiently, manufacture quality products, and support the communities in which we live. We strive to always comply with legal and regulatory mandates, typically exceeding the minimum requirements to meet both our customer and community expectations.
We work to continuously improve our environmental performance wherever we do business. Employees at all levels are environmentally aware and are accountable for ensuring that we comply with applicable laws and regulations in all areas of our business. Our goals are to: 1) comply with all applicable environmental regulations; 2) conserve natural resources through recycling and waste reduction; and 3) practice sustainable forestry.
Our medium mill is 100% recycled. Many of the grades at our kraftliner paper mill are high in recycle content (every ton of recycled paper saves: 17 trees, enough electricity to power a home for 6 months, 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space). Trim, scrap, and reject materials from our box plants are recovered, baled, and sold as recycled. We have closed our systems to recover and reuse water, chemicals, and heat, reducing our demand for energy, water, chemicals, as well as reducing effluent discharge.
Our operations consistently return water to the rivers and estuaries surrounding them, cleaner than the water that is there. As confirmed by reporting to the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, our Georgia discharge has consistently been the lowest in North America on a pounds of BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) and suspended solids per ton of virgin, kraft linerboard production basis. It is common to find large concentrations of shrimp, fish, alligators, and indigenous birds in the wastewater lake and in the immediate vicinity of the mills' outfall due to the beneficial characteristics of the effluent. In a large part, this stems from our philosophy to use the forces of nature to meet the goal of not harming the environment around our operations.
Reduced water usage is another area where we have made huge improvements in our operations with some locations achieving greater than 30% reduction in groundwater consumption. As in other areas this is an ongoing effort. The more we are able to close our systems and reuse water, the less makeup water is required, resulting in effluent reduction.
We have made and continue to make huge investments to reduce particulate and total reduced sulfur (TRS) emissions. At our Georgia mill, we installed a non-condensable gas collection, stripping, and incineration system. The mill burns most of the odorous, sulfur-laden gases that are a byproduct of the pulping and recovery processes in the limekiln. TRS gases are burned 99.8% of the time. We actively monitor stack emissions to ensure compliance with our Air Quality Permit.
We depend on a healthy, productive system of renewable forest resources to supply the high quality wood and paper products we manufacture. By practicing sustainable forestry, we are ensuring abundant, healthy forests to provide the raw material for paper and wood products, clean air and water, and a diverse wildlife habitat. Sustainability means that we will continue to manage and conserve our resources to meet the needs of society today without compromising future generations. Our commitment extends to the entire forest environment - trees and other plants, wildlife, soils, air and water.
We protect water quality by closely adhering to state Best Management Practices and water quality regulations in all our forestry operations. Lands are managed to enhance wildlife habitats, assuring a natural setting that is both aesthetically appealing and suitable for recreational activities. Harvested areas are promptly replanted and chemicals/fertilizers are prudently applied in conformance with approved methods to help ensure forest health.