Metal producer Wyman-Gordon Co. has worked hard over the past few years to cut down on its chemical waste, which had put the company at the top of the list of polluters in Worcester County, Mass., for years. As a result of its improved efficiency policies, it dropped to number four in 2012, according to local newspaper the Telegram & Gazette.

Data supplied to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that the company disposed of 17,600 pounds of chemical waste in 2012, down from over 24,000 in 2011. The reduction was mostly due to higher recycling rates and efficient treatment of remaining hazardous chemicals and was achieved despite a 42-percent increase in total waste during production over the same period.

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The company that was named the largest polluter in the area in 2012 was fiber optic components manufacturer Incom Inc., which increased its chemical waste production in 2012, generating nearly 50,000 pounds of waste compared to just 15,000 in the previous year. The steep rise in waste could be put down to the purchase of 43,000 pounds of chemical waste from another business, which Incom used in its processes, president and chief executive officer Michael Detarando explained in an e-mail to the Telegram.

However, all companies listed by the EPA as major polluters in the area were generating waste below the amounts allowed in their EPA permits, the newspaper noted.