Each year the Smart Business Recycling Program recognizes Outstanding Waste Reduction & Recycling efforts throughout South Carolina. The state has a 40 percent recycling rate goal to reach by 2020, which can only be accomplished if businesses such as the award recipients reduce waste, recycle and report their progress. Read about the accomplishments of the 2018 award winners below.
ABB, a motor and generator manufacturer, developed an impressive recycling program over the past year. Recycling included more than 2,727 tons of scrap metal, wood, used oil, batteries, electronics, lamps, paper, cardboard and plastic. Other non-recyclable waste was turned into energy through their recent Zero Landfill Initiative. The facility worked with their largest supplier to establish a returnable packaging agreement. In 2017, ABB earned more than $265,000 from the sale of its recyclables. When meals were catered to the facility, excess food was donated to the local fire department. To encourage recycling and zero waste, every employee was trained and these initiatives were incorporated into new employee orientation. ABB also participated in the Upstate Lean Alliance, sharing ideas with and mentoring other businesses.
AFL, a telecommunications company, has made great strides in its recycling and waste reduction program. Pallets and shipping containers were reused and 2,373 tons of fluorescent bulbs, paper, batteries, scrap metal, aluminum, process oil, plastic and electronics were recycled. AFL trained every employee in recycling and sustainability practices, and reusable bottles and cups distributed to help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
AFL created Thrive Conservation, a program to support environmental conservation. Over the past 20 years, Globally, AFL has planted more than 20,000 trees, reduced electricity usage by 35 percent and lowered water use by 22 percent. Through their waste reduction efforts, AFL saw both a decrease in waste disposal costs and earned revenue from the sale of recyclables last year.
Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston
The Francis Marion Hotel promoted waste reduction and recycling to its employees and guests in a variety of ways. In addition to recycling plastic, paper, cooking oil, cardboard, aluminum, mattresses and paint, the Hotel composted food waste. Compost bins were located throughout the hotel, overall reducing what the hotel used to send to landfill by 80 percent.
Francis Marion reduced waste by investing in reusable products such as ceramic dinnerware and flatware. Other, administrative changes such as default double-sided printing, purchase of recycled-content paper products to use throughout hotel and refurbishing used furniture helped reduce waste.
In an effort to conserve water and energy, the hotel used towel rack hangers and sheet changing cards that allowed guests the option to decline daily linen change service. Francis Marion Hotel also participated in a Hospitality Partner Program that recycled guest room soaps to ship to the Clean the World Foundation.
Palmetto Pain Management, Columbia
Smaller businesses can make a difference, too! With only 24 employees, Palmetto Pain Management was still able to collect 3,000 pounds of recyclables including aluminum, plastic prescription bottles, plastic, paper, glass, toner cartridges and cardboard in 2017. Other sustainable measures taken included limiting running water unless in use and upgrading to energy-efficient appliances. Staff was kept up to date and educated on proper recycling through their vendor, Tomato Palms, and now most of their staff has adopted recycling practices into their own homes and communities. Palmetto Pain Management invested in the procurement of recycled-content paper products and office supplies. Thanks to their recycling program and ongoing training, the company saw an overall decrease in waste disposal costs last year.
Timken, Honea Path
In 2017, Timken Company, a bearings and alloy steel manufacturer, recycled more than 766 tons of plastic, aluminum cans, metal, wood, paper and swarf – waste metal shavings that result from the company’s manufacturing process. The plant successfully incorporated reused wooden pallets and packaging such as cardboard and bubble wrap into its daily activities, as well as incorporating reused material into its procurement process. As a result of its waste reduction and recycling programs, Timken earned $13,127 from the sale of recyclables and saved money in avoided disposal costs. Timken provided training every month to continually educate employees on recycling and sustainability. The newest initiative in 2017 was adding organics recovery to the waste reduction program. With the assistance of Atlas Organics, Timken received the finished compost to distribute to associates for use in their home landscaping. Timken associates also were active in the community, working with Anderson School District 2 for assistance in cafeteria composting.