by Cindy Pantea
Keep Akron Beautiful (KAB)/Greenprint for Akron shares more on the efforts of the other Summit of Sustainability Applicants (SOSA) that received a certificate as an “Emerging Company” in the area of sustainability:
Akron Children’s Hospital (Nonprofit) Nutrition Dept.: Did you know that all food is recyclable—including meat and bones? This is what Akron Children’s Hospital learned when they partnered with SASWA/Rosby’s to begin a serious food recycling program, and serious it was! The Hospital’s 2012 food scrap recycling program diverted 17,356 pounds of food scraps from the landfill to become compost instead. This new food recycling program best practice will go along the Hospital’s other best practices: Using more energy efficient light bulbs, reduced water usage due to repairs, installation of more efficient equipment, and recycling cardboard and batteries used throughout the hospital.
Hazel Tree Interiors (small business): This design business, owned by a husband and wife team, Karen Starr and John Haidet, uses repurposing, redesign and buying local as their first approach to design. They upcycle or recycle almost all of our waste: All packaging material goes to the local business, The Bomb Shelter, for the Ebay portion of their business, and all discontinued design materials go to arts projects and ZeroLandfill. Their historic building (built in 1875) is often used for many organizations’ fundraising and causes. Meanwhile, Karen is involved with the organization, Greater Akron Innovation Network for Sustainability (GAINS) and has been working on a curbside recycling education video.
Jaco Fridge Recycling – a branch of Jaco Environmental (small business): This partnership between Jaco Environmental and SEG Umwelt Service GmbH has a goal to “make the world a better place by the art of safe, responsible appliance recycling,” which includes refrigerators with dangerous refrigerants that can harm the environment. Jaco offers customers an incentive by giving them a rebate for their old but working energy-hog-of-a-fridge and even picks up the item at no charge. (If the refrigerator does not work, a customer can drop it off at Jaco and have it recycled for a small fee.) The Stow facility has the first and only mobile refrigerator shredder in the US, and in a year and a half they have shred over 66,000 fridges. In addition, they’ve recycled over 79,000 appliances totaling over 8,000,000 lbs. of scrap and refrigerant. That means they have stopped 790,000 tons of CO2 or CO2 equivalent from entering the atmosphere. That’s just like taking 1.58 million cars off the road for an entire year. JACO’s process is so thorough and safe that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored the business with an International Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award in 2004 and a Best of the Best award in 2007. Their facility has also been awarded the Green technology award by the city of Stow and has been featured on the show, “Designing Spaces” Think Green Series as well as has been featured in many newspapers and blogs. What a big endeavor for a company that has only 12 full-time employees.
By Helen Dauka, KAB Intern from The University of Akron
While Jacqui is out taking pictures this morning at the Akron schools who participated in the Recycle-Bowl competition, let me tell you how it went. During the competition, 47,600 pounds of paper was recycled. What a great way to celebrate America Recycles Day!
Thank you to all the students, teachers and community members who participated in the Recycle-Bowl Competition!
Here are Tips to Help You Celebrate America Recycles Day
- Send an email: Remind friends, family, coworkers, employees or customers about America Recycles Day with an email! Encourage them to recycle more or recycle things they don’t usually.
- Kick off a season of recycling: According to the Clean Air Council, an extra million tons of waste is generated each year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. This holiday season, don’t just give, recycle too! Spread this message using tools like social media. Just like giving, the spirit of recycling shouldn’t just happen on America Recycles Day, but all year! And, speaking of the holiday season…
- Buy eco-friendly wrapping paper!: Black Friday is right around the corner! Another way to go green for the holidays is to wrap your gifts in eco-friendly recycled paper with soy based inks, biodegradable twine, masking tape made of rice paper, cotton gift bags etc. So many ways to go green for the holidays (and super cute too)! Check out some of these products found at Oprah.com.
Image courtesy of watcharakun / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If you have been reading our most recent posts, you’ve watched and heard about the three winners of the 2012 Summit of Sustainability Awards (SOSA). In the coming days, Keep Akron Beautiful (KAB) would like to share the sustainability efforts of the other SOSA applicants that received a certificate as an “Emerging Company” in the area of sustainability:
GOJO Industries, Inc., (large business) – With the development of summit meetings, action plans, and internal sustainability teams, GOJO has made steady progress in their sustainability efforts. These include:
- Saving 3.8 million gallons of water (a reduction of 30%).
- Reusing and recycling waste and sending unrecyclable materials to waste-to-energy programs (a reduction of 25%).
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 5%.
- Launching green-certified hand soap products.
- Making sustainability improvements in the production of newer products, reducing smog emissions by 79%, reducing greenhouse gases by 15% and a saving 20% in energy consumption.
- Educating the public on health risks and the benefits of hygiene, helping to reduce healthcare-acquired infections and improve the health of people in developing nations.
- Encouraging employees to be more sustainable in their daily work, saving 4.2 million sheets of paper between 2009 and 2011, an equivalent of 500 trees.
- Installing a water filtration system and handing out refillable water bottle to help employees reduce plastic waste, cutting individual consumption by about 8,000 water bottles and saving over 20,000 gallons of bottled water for water coolers.
Boy Scouts of America, Camp Manatoc (nonprofit) – It just took a tiny look at how they were doing things – or not doing things…like recycling – and this organization saved themselves $400 a month in dumpster fees during the summer. That’s 8 yards of waste a week. All by:
- Recycling food waste through Summit County.
- Recycling cardboard through The River Valley Paper Company.
- Recycling cans and bottles through Kimble Recycline.
Barrington Carpet & Flooring Design (small business) – Did you know that 4-6% of all landfill space is old carpeting? Want to know what else?…Carpet is full of renewable resources that are not only wasted when they are sent to the landfill, but also will remain in the landfill forever because they will never fully decompose. So, this company has, since 2011, been a participant in an Ohio grass roots effort to recycle old carpet and pad, as well as other recycling efforts. Here is a scenario:
- Barrington’s recycling of carpet and pad has kept 2.315 billion pounds of carpet out of America’s landfills — nearly 86% has been recycled back into carpet or some other product and the remaining 14% used as an energy source, like in cement kilns for example — this is because carpet is petroleum based, making it an excellent resource to generate power without using new oil supplies.
- This company also took the step to recycle plastic and cardboard generated by the company has saved the environment.
- By scanning all documents into their office computer system, Barrington has reduced paper usage, saving trees.
- Using fluorescent bulbs for Barrington’s in-store lighting, wherever possible, has saved on energy consumption.
These are just three of the other SOSA applicants, check us out later to read about more emerging leaders in sustainability.
The Summit of Sustainability Awards is a part of Greenprint for Akron which is facilitated by Keep Akron Beautiful.