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DHEC's Recycling and Green Hospitality Awards

Each year the S.C. Smart Business Recycling Program and Green Hospitality Program recognize Outstanding Waste Reduction and Recycling efforts throughout the state. The State has a 40 percent recycling rate goal to reach by 2020, which can only be achieved if businesses such as the ones recognized recycle and report their progress. The 2016 award winners are listed below along with a summary of their accomplishments.

Caterpillar Inc, Newberry Shane Dubarry, Brianna Trice, Sabrina Murdaugh, and Taborus Green

ARYZTA – Otis Spunkmeyer, Cayce

The ARYZTA Cayce Bakery reduced waste by donating baked goods to charities supporting schools, shelters and municipal agencies in the Midlands. ARYZTA educates its employees on proper waste disposal and recycling through an inclusive training program that rewards employees with a bakery lunch gift card when waste reduction goals are achieved. As a direct result, this baked goods company recycled 4,176 tons of cardboard, light bulbs, metal, paper and food by-products, saving the company money in avoided disposal costs.

Outside of the bakery, ARYZTA requires all vendors to use recyclable products and is involved in keeping their community beautiful by collecting litter on Overland Drive through the Adopt-A-Highway program.   

Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston

The Francis Marion Hotel has made significant efforts to incorporate waste reduction and recycling practices into its daily operations. In 2015, the hotel recycled plastic, paper, cooking oil, cardboard, aluminum, mattresses and paint. Compost bins are provided throughout the hotel to collect food scraps. Opportunities to recycle or compost on the property extend from guest rooms to conference rooms, offices and kitchens. 

Technical changes such as using self-adhesive notes instead of cover sheets for faxes and programming printers to print double-sided sheets help save paper. The hotel uses reusable cups, glasses, plates and napkins.  In an effort to conserve water and energy, the hotel uses towel rack hangers and sheet changing cards, allowing guests the option to decline daily linen change service. Francis Marion Hotel also participates in a Hospitality Partner Program to collect discarded soap and plastic bottles to ship to the Clean the World Foundation. To encourage being "green", incentive programs for employees include discounted parking for those that carpool.

Medical University of South CarolinaAmanda Edwards of DHEC presenting the award to Sarah Britt and the Green Team of CMCC

Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Columbia

The Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (CMCC) took its recycling program to a new level this past year. Each department participates through their Sustainability Committee including sales and events staff, engineering, operations and food service employees. They were able to significantly increase their recycling in 2015 and reduce their waste disposal in their 142,000 square foot facility. They made recycling easy for their employees and guests by "twinning the bin" at each of their waste containers by installing attached recycling bins. CMCC also purchases green cleaning supplies and as an organization went paperless this past year.

CMCC's Sustainability Committee is always looking for new ideas to bring to their facility as well. They visited other sustainable facilities this past year and toured recycling plants to help their team better understand the process and to learn how to better promote their own program to the community.  

Gravatt Camp and Conference Center, (Aiken) Although the Gravatt Camp and Conference Center had a small full-time staff, they made a big environmental impact by reducing their waste by 70 percent in FY14. The Conference Center earned $400 from the sale of recyclables including cardboard, metals, paper, plastic, grease and organics that staff collects from dining halls, lodging and meeting facilities.

Gravatt worked closely with its food supplier to purchase locally made products with little or recycled packaging material. Staff as well as more than 4,000 annual guests, are educated on the facility's recycling and composting processes during their stay.

Nature Adventures Outfitters, Awendaw

Nature Adventures Outfitters (NAO) is a kayak, canoe, paddleboard, and hiking outfitter in Charleston County.  NAO proves that even small businesses can make an impact!  The outfitter is able to reach out and educate the public about stewardship through their guided paddles and hikes. Recycling is encouraged by making bins available in multiple locations including their boat ramps and office.

NAO goes above and beyond their particular business's waste by collecting litter that has been found in South Carolina's waterways and trails during their guided tours. This includes bottles, cans, paper, plastics, batteries, household debris, and marine debris. The outfitter innovatively recycles boat parts and repurposes worn lifejackets into seat cushions while reusing the straps and buckles for repairs. In the past year, NAO has actively reduced waste by increasing email correspondence, decreasing mailed brochures, and buying post-consumer recycled products when available. 

Hilton Head Hospital, Hilton Head Island

To achieve waste reduction goals, Hilton Head Hospital designated a Sustainability Committee to review waste usage and identify areas of the hospital needing improvement. The Committee hosts two events a year around Earth Day and America Recycles Day to offer staff and the community shredding services, electronics recycling and expired medication disposal. The hospital's cafeteria initiated a bring-your-own-cup discount beverage program that reduced Styrofoam use.

Education is provided to employees during orientation as well as once a year focusing on proper separation of waste.  The hospital experienced a reduction of the amount of regulated medical waste and pharmaceutical waste, recycled more than 85 tons of material (including cardboard, paper, plastics, aluminum, batteries, light bulbs, electronics and wood pallets) and saw a decrease in disposal costs for 2015.

Hilton Head Hospital also partners with Programs for Exceptional People (PEP) to collect the facility's recycling, providing members of PEP with work experience the hospital with their services and smiles.