Each year the S.C. Smart Business Recycling Program and Green Hospitality Program recognize Outstanding Waste Reduction and Recycling efforts throughout the state. South Carolina 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. Congratulations to the 2017 winners! Their data represents activities that took place in fiscal year (FY) 2016 (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016). Not only do these companies represent a portion of the great work being done in the state – every winner also earned revenue from the sale of recyclables and saved money in avoided disposal costs!
Boeing South Carolina, North Charleston
Boeing South Carolina (BSC) made significant improvements to its overall recycling and waste reduction efforts in FY16. The company added a composting program that recovered nearly 200 tons of food waste. In addition, BSC – working with a supplier – established a local satellite manufacturing facility that resulted in the investment of reusable shipping carts that eliminated nearly 200 tons of wood, foam and cardboard packaging. Finally, BSC replaced 3,000 deskside recycling containers with 220 standardized containers and new signage to promote the company’s recycling initiatives.
Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Columbia
The Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (CMCC) is being recognized for the second consecutive year. In FY16, CMCC improved its sustainability efforts by adding food waste composting (recovering four tons in three months) and sourcing food locally. This green purchasing practice – which has resulted in the convention center buying 80 percent of its food within 150 miles of Columbia – has reduced CMCC’s environmental footprint by not only decreasing the amount of miles traveled but also the amount of food waste generated because local products stay fresh longer. CMCC’s Sustainability Committee – which includes staff from each department – improved its recycling program by "twinning the bin" and reduced waste by investing in reusable products such as china, glassware and linens. The committee promoted the program by providing tours of daily operations.
Crown Cork and Seal, Spartanburg
Crown Cork and Seal recycled a variety of material in FY16 including 483 tons of scrap metal, plastic banding, paper, cardboard, universal waste, machine lubricant, pallets, top frames and chipboard.
Opportunities to recycle extends to a collection trailer outside of the plant where employees can bring cans from home redeemed for cash with the funds being donated to charity. An in-house team focused on energy savings has decreased energy use by 24 percent through lighting improvements and reducing gas usage when the curing process is not in progress.
Kroger Anderson Bakery, Anderson
Kroger Anderson Bakery has developed a successful program to reduce food waste. Edible products without enough shelf life are donated to local food banks while inedible food scraps go to local farms for animal feed. In FY16, the bakery diverted 1,840 tons of recyclable material and inedible food scraps. Meetings are held throughout the year to review waste reduction and recycling programs and look for improvement areas. The bakery offers the community an annual Earth Day event that allows residents to drop off recyclables and use a shredding service as well as attend classes on what can be recycled and how to conserve energy at home.
Robert Bosch LLC, Charleston
Robert Bosch LLC recovered about 4,600 tons of material through its recycling and food waste composting programs in FY16. The composting program not only addresses food waste but utensils, paper towels, plates and bags. Bosch’s waste reduction initiatives include reusable packaging, converting waste to energy and reuse of pallets. A fair-share program allows employees to purchase items such as old chairs and desks before they are recycled. Bosch hosts annual Earth Day activities and contests – the most recent challenging different departments to print the least amount of paper and conserve the most amount of energy.
Teknor Apex Carolina Company, Fountain Inn
At Teknor, more than 1,000 tons of scrap PVC from the company’s plastics production was kept out of the landfill by reusing the material in their garden hose production. Teknor also works with local companies to identify other sources of scrap plastic and purchased 11,000 tons to recycle for their manufacturing process last year. Employees are trained on recycling, reuse and reduction on a regular basis and are upgrading their facility to more energy-efficient lighting and equipment.