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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2015

DHEC announces business and hospitality recycling award winners

COLUMBIA, S.C.- Five South Carolina businesses are being recognized for their exemplary recycling efforts by the S.C. Smart Business Recycling Program and Green Hospitality Program, the state's Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.

"The 2015 winners demonstrate how businesses and organizations can improve their bottom line while also conserving resources and protecting the environment," said DHEC Director of Environmental Affairs Elizabeth Dieck. "Their dedicated efforts help strengthen South Carolina's economy by creating recycling businesses and jobs."

Caterpillar Inc. of Newberry recycled 91 percent of its waste, earning $41,000 from the sale of recyclables as well as saving $38,000 in avoided disposal costs. The facility also worked with its suppliers to return packaging, including wood pallets and crates, and implemented an electronic procurement system to reduce paper usage. As a result of these waste reduction initiatives, Caterpillar saved $406,000.

Charleston Water System diverted more than 25,000 tons of material from disposal and reclaimed about 16,000 tons of biosolids from its wastewater treatment plant to produce electricity for residential use in Berkeley County. The company earned about $45,000 from the sale of recyclables and avoided more than $250,000 in disposal costs.

The Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston was recognized for collecting more than 1,235 tons of material from 130 buildings. Specifically, MUSC doctors, nurses, lab staff and others worked together to recycle more than five tons of radiology film and medical products. MUSC tracks its recycling efforts using bar-coded recycling bins and increased its recycling rate of plastic, glass and metal by 32 percent.

The Gravatt Camp and Conference Center in Aiken reduced its waste by 70 percent in 2014 and earned $400 from the sale of recyclables including cardboard, metals, paper, plastic, grease and organics. The Conference Centerworks closely with its food supplier to purchase locally made products with little or recycled packaging material and educates more than 4,000 guests on recycling and composting annually.

Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head recycled more than 400 tons of material in 2014, earning the resort $1,200. The resort reduced its energy and water consumption by using programmable thermostats and lights and recycled wastewater and HVAC condensate. It also saved money by turning food and landscaping waste into usable compost. These and other waste reduction efforts saved Sea Pines $84,000 compared to its pre-waste reduction and recycling years. 

The S.C. Smart Business Recycling Program and Green Hospitality Program offer free, confidential, non-regulatory services including site visits, technical assistance, market research and workshops. For more information, visit www.scdhec.gov/smartbusiness or www.scdhec.gov/greenhospitality or call (800) 768-7348.

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Jim Beasley
Public Information Director
beaslejc@dhec.sc.gov
803.898.7769