It Works: Smart Business Recycling Success Stories
AbundaTrade.com has put into practice several efforts, including educating all employees about the importance of recycling not only for the company, but for the city and environment as well. It recycles all of its paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, aluminum cans, inkjet/toner cartridges, old computers, batteries and DVD cases. In addition, it also has several waste reduction practices in place including reusing cardboard boxes and paper as scratch/memo pads. Its employee kitchen is only stocked with reusable items including mugs, cups, plates and utensils. It uses has inkjet/toner refills on about 90 percent of its printers and copiers. It also completes the recycling loop by purchasing recycled-content copy paper and buying refurbished computers.
Bausch & Lomb
Bausch & Lomb recycles nearly 60 percent of the waste that is generated at its facility in Greenville County. The list of recycled items includes cardboard, mixed paper, plastic, scrap metal and pallets as well as fiber and plastic drums. Not only did they see a reduction in their disposal costs, but they also managed to yield a net profit of $75,000.Bausch & Lomb created a recycling team with representatives from all departments. The team continuously looks for new recycling opportunities and educates fellow employees by sending e-mails and placing posters throughout the facility. The team is also responsible for planning the America Recycles Day event.
Through a strong education program, from classes to newsletters, CDA Architects’ Green Team researches and educates employees on green events and new practices that can be implemented both at work and at home. It also educates the vendors on green building materials and gives clients tours of the office (which has many examples of recycled-content items including garage doors, awnings, carpet tile and furniture). CDA Architects recycles various materials including glass, plastic, aluminum, paper, telephone books, compact fluorescent bulbs, batteries, cardboard, magazines, newspapers, inkjet/toner cartridges and computers. In addition, it has implemented several waste reduction practices including: electronic communications with employees and clients; use of reusable glasses, coffee mugs, dishes and silverware instead of paper, plastic or Styrofoam; filtered water is provided through a piped-in water tower instead of individual water bottles; and double-sided copying and printing. Finally, the firm purchases items made from recycled materials including: paper, bathroom tissue, paper towels and facial tissue, manila and hanging file folders, desktop items (pen cups, desk organizers), sticky notes, legal pads and binders.
Cooper Standard Automotive
Cooper Standard Automotive in Spartanburg recently increased their recycling rate from 40 percent to more than 50 percent. With the help of Smart Business, Cooper Standard Automotive was able to find a vendor for most of their plastic waste that had previously been sent to a landfill. This diversion has resulted in a $15,600 per year cost savings and also has prevented 200,000 pounds of material from going to a landfill. Cooper Standard Automotive also recycles scrap metal, paper, cardboard and pallets.
Fort Jackson has a comprehensive recycling program and green procurement efforts as well as its construction and demolition debris recycling initiatives. The installation’s recycling program is one of the most inclusive and successful programs in South Carolina accepting aluminum, plastic bottles, glass bottles, steel, cardboard, newspaper, paper, magazines, telephone books, yard trimmings, tires, electronics, scrap wood, fluorescent bulbs, latex paint, cooking oil, motor oil and antifreeze. In fiscal year 2011, the program earned about $2 million in revenue from the sale of the recovered material (the vast majority of which came from the sale of the installation's brass) and helped the facility avoid $180,000 in landfill disposal fees. The recycling program is promoted through various outlets including training, outreach organizations, posters as well as articles and advertisements in the local newspaper, “The Leader.” Fort Jackson’s green procurement program, in coordination with Federal procurement requirements, aggressively pursues cost-effective, environmentally preferable products and services (e.g., recycled-content products, bio-based energy and water-efficient products and alternative fuel vehicles). The program’s top achievement during fiscal year 2011 was the securing of a National Stock Number (NSN) identification system for bio-based penetrating lubricants and absorbents that is now used throughout the entire Department of Defense installations. Fort Jackson also has implemented a successful program that requires installation personnel and contractors to recycle at least 50 percent of the renovation, construction and demolition debris. Two major projects during 2011 diverted about 95 percent of construction and demolition debris to reuse and recycle efforts.
Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation
Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) in Gaffney, South Carolina has made a strong commitment to reducing waste and recycling. In 2007, FCCC was selected as the pilot plant for Daimler Trucks North America’s Zero Waste to Landfill initiative, an effort that was to be met by 2010. In two years, FCCC achieved its goal, three months ahead of schedule. Several steps were taken to reach this significant achievement. First, FCCC established a “green team” and launched its internal environmental Web page to educate and motivate employees. Next, FCCC added recycling centers within its canteen and break areas. Staff visited Subaru of Indiana to review its waste reduction program and worked with contractors to finalize details for additional recycling options for the remaining waste stream. FCCC also initiated their plastic and rubber recycling program. Finally, FCCC provides guidance to other Daimler Trucks North America plants on waste reduction and recycling efforts. Within a year of launching the initiative, FCCC was 94.1 percent landfill free – recycling everything from plastic bottles and cardboard to plastic tie bands and nylon hoses. This effort kept more than 4 million pounds of material out of the landfill. In addition, these efforts produced a 37 percent decrease in waste disposal costs. Success was reached in October 2009 when FCCC achieved its goal of being landfill free. By replacing hundreds of large trash cans with smaller recycling containers, productivity and morale have improved.
International Automotive Components Group
International Automotive Components (IAC) Group, located in Greenville, has set up a waste reduction and recycling program that has generated substantial savings from the use of recycled materials in manufacturing, including savings of $125,000 in avoided disposal costs in FY11. Before the program was implemented, the facility, which has a zero production-generated waste goal, disposed of more than 450 tons of material per month. That amount of material disposed has been reduced to less than 20 tons per month and the facility has achieved zero landfill from manufacturing. The IAC Greenville recycling program started off with a Kaizen event in which employees worked with the Continuous Improvement Team to brainstorm ideas for waste reduction and recycling opportunities. In addition to internal initiatives, the Greenville plant partnered with a local community organization, the Greater Greenville Sanitation Commission (GGSC). A plant-wide roll out event was held in partnership with GGSC to kick off the recycling program in October 2010. IAC recycles material not only from their production line (e.g., cardboard, carpet trim, pallets, plastic wrap and banding), but also material generated from employees (e.g., cans, bottles and office paper). The facility regularly looks for additional ways to reduce waste including conducting periodic waste audits to identify missed recycling opportunities. They also hold annual environmental training to reinforce IAC’s commitment to zero waste in addition to quarterly newsletters and bi-monthly corporate conference calls to report their actions and results. The facility’s overall waste reduction and recycling efforts are even promoted to visitors – who receive a summary of the overall program on the back of their visitor badge.
Lexington Medical Center
Lexington Medical Center has been an environmental leader for many years. The hospital promotes waste reduction and recycling to staff through its internal Web site that provides updated information and new ideas. In addition, the hospital has an environmental purchasing policy in place to guide employees in their purchasing decisions. Currently, the hospital recycles office paper, cardboard, pallets, construction and demolition debris, plastic, shrink wrap, newspaper and magazines, aluminum cans, fluorescent bulbs, batteries, printer cartridges and medical equipment. Through its waste reduction and recycling efforts, Lexington Medical Center saves an average of $15,000 – $20,000 per year in solid waste services by diverting municipal, construction and medical waste.
Palmetto Primary Care Physicians
Palmetto Primary Care Physicians has 23 offices in Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester and Hampton counties through which recycling information is distributed to employees, encouraging everyone to participate in the recycling program. Currently, it recycles office paper, cardboard, paperboard, metal, glass, plastic, rechargeable batteries, magazines, fluorescent tubes and inkjet cartridges. In addition, it uses ceramic coffee mugs (instead of Styrofoam), reuses packing supplies, sends back vaccination coolers to the vendor for reuse and mixes coffee grounds into the plant beds as well as reused cabinetry and doors during a recent office expansion. Overall, these efforts have resulted in a drop in its disposal costs.
Rodeway Inn, located in Mt. Pleasant, decreased its environmental impact by implementing several waste reduction practices. Those practices include: instituting a linen/towel reuse program for guests; limiting laundry cycles to full loads; installing low-flow shower heads; and renovating landscaping to minimize water loss. The hotel also trades half-used toilet paper rolls in its guest rooms for use in the employee break rooms. Rodeway Inn provides its guests and employees multiple opportunities to recycle various items such as plastic bottles (including shampoo), paper and aluminum cans as well as printer cartridges, light bulbs, other office supplies and even leftover bars of soap (through the Global Soap Project – an organization that recovers used soap from hotels and reprocesses it for distribution to hygiene-deprived populations). Whenever possible, the Rodeway Inn attempts to purchase solely from vendors who provide sustainable product options or products that are Green Seal-certified, such as cleaning and laundry chemicals or recycled-content copy paper or plastics. Training on the hotel’s green initiatives is ongoing and extends beyond new hires to include ideas employees generate at monthly meetings. Last year, the hotel reported saving several hundred dollars on disposal costs by switching to a waste removal service that diverts material destined for the landfill to the recycling bin. Finally, they have been recognized by Choice Hotels (the parent company of Rodeway Inn) for supporting green practices through their “Room to be Green” initiative.
SAGE Automotive Interiors
The efforts to practice waste reduction and recycling are an integral part of operations at SAGE Automotive Interiors. Many materials are recycled including plastic drums and totes, yarn/fabric, metal, cardboard, paper, plastic bottles, film and tubes, wood pallets, fluorescent lamps and aluminum cans. In fact, in 2010, the company recycled more than 1,800 tons. In addition, associates are always looking for new ways to reduce waste including standardizing work procedures to reduce waste in the manufacturing process and reusing packaging. Even printing on both sides of the paper has made a difference. In an effort to close the loop on recycling, all paper office products are recycled-content. Associates are provided extensive recycling information through the facility’s Environmental Safety Team, training and celebrations such as Earth Day, America Recycles Day and World Water Day. Finally, these awareness activities also include ideas and ways for associates and their families to increase recycling at home. Because of these practices, the company has saved money through avoided disposal costs.
The Timken Company has incorporated many waste reduction and recycling practices into its operations. All of the employees are regularly trained on the recycling processes at the facility and encouraged to offer new ideas to improve the recycling effort. Among the items recycled are paper, grind wheels, used machine oil and coolant, scrap metal, batteries, plastic bottles, aluminum cans (which are collected for the Aluminum Cans for Burned Children program), pallets, scrap wood, cardboard, empty drums, computers, aerosol cans and fluorescent bulbs. In addition, it reuses bags, pallets and cardboard boxes to minimize waste. Costs for disposal have significantly been reduced as a result of its efforts. In fact, Timken recycled 1,011,267 pounds of material in 2010.
About the Recognition and Awards Program ...
More information about the S.C. Smart Business Recycling Program Recognition and Awards Program is available. Apply for an award.
The S.C. Smart Business Recycling Program is a partnership of DHEC and the S.C. Department of Commerce.
This Web page was last modified on May 29, 2013.