Shaw Industries Group, the industry’s largest manufacturer of commercial and residential carpeting and floor coverings, has recently announced that it will expand its waste recycling and reclamation efforts with a new Evergreen constructed facility in Ringgold, Georgia. It is expected that the new recycling processing facility will create seventy new full-time employment opportunities. Currently, Shaw employs over fifteen thousand people throughout its offices and production plants within the state of Georgia and the southeastern region of the United States.
Shaw has successfully reclaimed and recycled in excess of seven hundred million pounds of carpet, hardwood, laminate, tile and stone flooring products, and synthetic turf since the company started its popular take-back reclamation program in 2006. The new Evergreen Ringgold recycling plant will give the company increased flexibility for developing recycling solutions for its nylon and polyester carpet and flooring products.
In addition, the Evergreen Ringgold facility will be responsible for producing high quality post-consumer recycled materials that can be re-sold for use in a wide range of products and applications. The company’s ultimate goal is to reclaim the highest percentage of their carpeting and floor as possible, thus keeping unwanted materials out of landfills and generating and additional revenue stream. The facility is on schedule to be fully operational by 2015.
Georgia Quick Start, the state’s workforce training program, will collaborate with Shaw’s employees to ensure that proper training is available to support the new recycling initiatives.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business or place of employment generates a significant amount of waste materials that can be recycled or re-sold, it may be in your best interest to develop your own recycling processing facility. You’ll create jobs, reduce waste, and develop new revenue streams!
Tractor Supply Company, also known as Del’s Feed and Farm Supply Stores, in the state of Washington, recently reached a settlement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the company’s violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. The violations cited involved the company’s failure to document and report the storage of propane. As a result of the citations, Tractor Supply is now required to pay a $134,400 fine and improve their storage, training, and reporting procedures.
Propane is often referred to as liquefied petroleum gas or LPG. While propane is typically non-toxic, it is colorless, odorless until the signifying odor is added, and highly flammable – it is because of this, that it is a monitored and regulated substance from the EPA’s Pesticides and Toxic Substances division. Any business selling, using, or storing propane in commercial quantities is required to maintain accurate storage and inventory records to protect employees and communities from explosion risks, fires, and accidental chemical releases.
The Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act requires businesses to provide an inventory of regulated chemicals to the State Emergency Response Commission and their local fire department. Local emergency service responders need this information in the even of a fire, earthquake, or other emergency involving the business or the surrounding area. Tractor Supply Company did not report that several of its facilities were used for storing an excess of 10,000 lbs. of propane which could cause a significant danger to employees, nearby residents, and emergency personnel.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business uses, sells, or stores any chemicals, it’s well worth your time to make sure you are following your state and federal laws for reporting and storage. Information about which chemicals are regulated can be obtained from you regional EPA office. If you’re uncertain about the hazardous nature of a chemical, be sure to do some investigating first – it can save you from fines and expensive legal fees!
The Michigan-based company, 3S International, recently announced that they have opened a new electronics waste processing facility in Tinley Park, Illinois.
The sixty thousand square foot recycling processing facility contains 3S’s BLUBOX recycling equipment. BLUBOX contains the technology needed to reduce unwanted e-waste into recyclable pieces and safely extract elements, including mercury – at a rate of fifteen million pounds of electronics each year. 3S is currently the only company in the U.S. with the rights to use BLUBOX technology.
In the United States every year, millions of tons of computers and personal electronics are thrown away. While close to eighty percent of all e-waste materials are given over to specialized recyclers, the pieces often shipped overseas, re-sold, or sent to specialized landfills. Based on the results of BLUBOX recyclable processing, 3S will not have a need or reason to re-sell or landfill any of the electronics sent to them for processing.
3S currently collects and receives unwanted and unusable electronics throughout the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan and has the ability to handle the e-waste recycling needs of six million people each year. The company’s goal is to open close to ten new electronics processing recycling facilities throughout the United States within the next few years.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If old cell phones, computers, gaming systems, and personal electronics are clogging up your home or office, it’s time to clean-up and start recycling! Even if you aren’t in an area that 3S services, chances are there’s a convenient e-waste drop off location at a local store, transfer station, non-profit group or house of worship, or municipal building. Many e-recycling events are publicized in local newspapers, or on radio and television stations, so get those dates on your calendar and get ready to recycle those unwanted items!
In Los Angeles, California, Global Green USA, a not-for-profit in the environmental sector, and Athens Services, a waste and recycling services company, have formed a partnership to launch a food scrap recovery pilot program to multi-family apartment buildings.
The City of Los Angeles currently has a municipal goal of seventy percent waste reduction by the year 2020. Diverting unwanted and spoiled food scraps from landfills and using them for composting and energy will save the city’s water and energy. Property managers are embracing the food waste to compost plan as a way to control waste costs and involve tenants in a positive action that can improve the overall quality of life for all living in the City.
Athens Services, which has its own composting facility, will transport all organic waste such as vegetables, meat, dairy, and compostable food-soiled paper from participating apartment buildings. Global Green USA has supplied food composting bins and bags to the apartment buildings as well as educational materials. Both organizations will analyze performance data from the pilot program to improve participation and collection efficiency and maximum cost savings.
Based on data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ninety five percent of waste food scraps are disposed of in landfills annually. This amount of waste results in greenhouse gas emissions equal to the output of seven power plants as well as generating hundreds of thousands of dollars of waste disposal and dumping fees.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If food scraps and organic waste make up a substantial part of your daily, weekly, or monthly waste disposal, it’s time to investigate food composting or food to energy options. Whether it’s collaborating with a non-profit, a private waste hauler, or a city government, developing a solution to reduce your waste may help you to increase your profits!
Every time your employees generate a piece of waste, they are faced with a decision: Do they throw it into the trash or into a recycling container? The choices your employees make will have a considerable impact on your business’ waste disposal and waste recycling rates.
Getting employees to make the right choices about what should be recycled and what should be disposed of in the trash is essential to keeping disposal costs downs and recycling rates up. Because of this, education is a key factor in the recycling process. Employees must know what should be recycled and the proper way in which to do it.
Why is employee education so important?
1) Recycling innovations and program are always improving and changing and employees should be periodically informed about what materials should be placed in recycling bin and what is considered garbage.
2) Employees are busy doing their jobs and might not always remember the recycling program rules. Clear signage around bins can help.
3) Employee participation will be more consistent is the importance of recycling is routinely stressed and the outcomes communicated.
4) Education helps to ensure a higher quality of recyclable materials being collected and less mistakes being made.
Make employee recycling education a part of every workweek. With social media, websites, flyers and break room announcements, and email, it’s easy to communicate waste reduction and waste recycling goals across all levels of your business. The investment of time, money, and effort required for having a business recycling plan will be returned in the money saved on disposal fees.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Whether your business is a small shop with a handful of people or a larger enterprise with dozens of employees, recycling rates can be improved if you think creatively and stay consistent in your effort. For ever new recycling program, be sure to track your results to gauge effectiveness and cost savings. In no time you’ll be saving green and going green!
Known as the “City of Brotherly Love,” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is hoping its residential and business residents will “show some love” for recycling as the City implements an incentive-based recycling rewards system in order to reach its goal of a twenty five percent waste recycling diversion rate by 2015. Currently, the curbside recycling rate in Philadelphia is a little more than twenty one percent.
The city is growing its partnership with Recyclebank Rewards, a New York City-based company that it has worked with since 2010 to develop the Philadelphia Recycling Rewards incentive program. Participants in the recycling rewards program can receive both financial and educational awards. Participants in the Philadelphia Recycling Rewards program have received almost three million worth of rewards points since 2011.
Starting in 2009, Philadelphia has improved its recycling rate each year from slightly below seventy five thousand to one hundred and twenty five thousand in 2014. Over the five year period, the city avoided over nine million dollars in waste disposal costs and generated additional revenue through recycling.
In addition, Philadelphia public and private schools are members of Recyclebank’s program “Green Schools,” which provides grant money to implement student-focused projects that benefit the environment in both the community and at school.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business or municipality is finding itself “stuck” trying to boost waste recycling rates, try offering an incentive or another form of friendly competition to see who can have the best results with waste reduction. Whether it’s a financial incentive to a department that saves the most money on waste disposal costs, discounts at the company dining hall or a premium parking spot to individuals who develop effective cost-saving ideas, or a special “thank-you” lunch when company-wide environmental goals are met, you may find that that even small rewards to participants can have lasting effects!
Aspen Skiing Company in Aspen, Colorado decided to take an environmentally friendly approach during a construction and renovation project of two buildings in their skiing and recreation resort. Instead of throwing the wood and building materials into a dumpster for hauling to a landfill, it decided to use deconstruction methods to reuse salvageable materials and then create compost out of the organic waste materials.
The deconstruction program—which involved reversing the construction process by removing reusable items instead of sending the waste to the landfill – along with grinding up unusable scrap lumber for composting, allowed Aspen Skiing to keep eighty four percent of the waste materials out of landfills and allowed for the usable materials to defray the costs of landscaping compost and constructing the new buildings.
While deconstruction may cost more initially than demolition, the savings can be returned with less new materials that need to be purchased as well as reduced disposal fees and the ability to sell or donate unwanted construction materials. When Aspen Skiing deconstructed its on-site restaurant, the total savings was over forty two thousand dollars in part due to the selling of the lumber material for compost.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business is in construction and demolition, or if your business is preparing for a large construction or remodeling project, it may be worth your time to investigate the cost saving associated with deconstruction. The more materials you can recycle, re-sell, or re-use the less you’ll need to pay expensive C&D tipping rates for. While deconstruction was once an expensive or hard-to-come-by option, it is now a more widely accepted practice as it has been shown to reduce costs while also being environmentally friendly.
Unifi has recently announced that its REPREVE® Recycling Center is undertaking an expansion of services and adding new jobs. The facility, which operates in Yadkinville, North Carolina and opened in May 2010, is expecting to increase its waste materials processing from forty two million pounds annually, to nearly seventy two million pounds. This growth is being fueled by increased customer participating in recycling and new customer acquisition. The Center’s current customer roster includes Ford Motor Corporation, Nike,The North Face, Patagonia, Volcom, and others.
Due to the growth in the Recycling Center, it is anticipated that ten new jobs will be created this year including filling hiring needs for managers, machine operators and recycled material handlers. The company recently spent five million dollars for capital expenditures and new machinery in preparation for the expansion and growth opportunities.
The fastest and largest growing segments for the Recycling Center are in the apparel, textile, and automotive sectors. The new improvements and expansion at the facility now allow for the recycling of lighter-weight fabrics and clothes, yarns and textiles that are Flame Retardant, and those textile materials that use WaterWise™ color technology in their manufacturing.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Not only is the recycling of your business’ waste materials a smart way to cut down on waste disposal costs, but it also helps to create jobs and economic growth at recycling facilities. In addition, the materials you recycle go on to be sold and re-manufactured into other goods and products instead of ending up in a landfill where they don’t do anyone any good at all! When your business recycles you not only help the environment but you help your local and national economy as well. It’s a win win situation for everyone.
As a result of using Farmers Brothers specially designed GreenDrop Recycling Stations, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) professional team the Portland Trail Blazers and the Moda Center arena where they play were able to increase the facility’s waste diversion rate to slightly over ninety percent during the 2013 season. This rate is a significant jump when compared to the thirty eight percent waste diversion rate the sports franchise had during the 2007 basketball season. The recycling containers are used to collected all waste generated at the stadium including plastic, paper, and food waste.
The GreenDrop Stations are just of Farmer Brothers custom recycling solutions designed to assist organizations and businesses increase their recyclable and compostable waste and decrease the amount of waste needing to be sent to landfills. The company, which is based in Torrance, California, is committed to developing waste management solutions that can result in one hundred percent diversion rates and zero waste facilities.
Farmer Brothers has currently developed a new waste recycling program to remove an estimated one and a half million pounds of packaging waste that would otherwise be sent to landfills. They have also launched a successful recycling and re-use program for turning over five hundred thousand pounds of coffee bags and containers into landscaping materials for weed control in empty lot reclamation projects throughout California.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: When it comes to saving money on waste disposal, it pays to think creatively! How can materials that might otherwise end up in the landfill be used again or sold and re-purposed into something else? Whether it’s using better recycling bins to motive your employees to recycle more or finding ways to compost food waste, thinking outside the box can help you to go green and save green at the same time.
International food producer Hormel Foods Corporation recently announced that in calendar year 2013 the company successfully reduced its overall generated solid waste that needed to be disposed of in regional landfills by more than one thousand tons. Additionally, the company was also able to reduce its total weight of required product packaging – including cardboard, glass, plastic, and aluminum – by over four and a half million pounds.
Hormel, which has its corporate headquarters in Austin, Minnesota, stated that the company has now attained close to eighty one percent of its corporate sustainability strategic goals. Those goals, which have a timeline leading to completion in 2020, include reducing the total amount of waste sent to landfills by three thousand three hundred tons. This amount would represent an overall waste reduction of ten percent. Company representatives say the current waste diversion and recycling figures indicate that the goal may be attained earlier than anticipated.
The company’s pounds per ton of total solid waste was slightly over twenty four pounds in 2013 which was a slight improvement over the prior year. In addition, the reduction in product packaging comprises close to thirty five percent of the total waste reduction goal.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Waste reduction can be more than simply re-using, recycling, donating and composting. If your business is responsible for product packaging, or provides packaging to customers who visit your location, the less materials you use to securely pack your items, the less waste you’ll produce and the more money you’ll save. Take a look at the bags, containers, boxes, and other materials you currently use and see if greener, more environmentally friendly alternatives are available. New packaging solutions are being developed every year and you might be surprised by what you can find!