Recycling and Stewardship


Published For The Corridor

Energy and The Environment

The recession has been a wake-up call to all of us. Manufacturers, distribution centers and commercial properties alike, facility managers and owners are more involved and aware of the importance of waste management and energy conservation than ever before. It is this vision, combined with proactive efforts that sets the stage for future initiatives.

Ongoing efforts in educating the consumer have resulted in a greater interest toward the implemention and management of environmental programs that will internally streamline operations and reduce costs. Recycling and energy cost reduction are key.

The Recycling industry is mature for most commodities--paper, metal, wood and plastics to name a few. Re-use and trading markets are active and open for business, both domestically and intenationally. The challenge, as with any commodity, is volatity in market value of these materials or available rebates . The solution will continue to be increased acceptance of recycled content products made entirely from recycled materials. As advancements in technology and the costs associated with processing these materials for market continue to improve, new markets and opportunities will too.

This is good news for both the economy and the environment. Products such as plastic lumber made from recycled plastic film and co-extruded with wood composite materials can now be manufactured using 95% recycled content. Clothing is currently being made from 100% recycled PET soda bottles.

Green Building and LEED, developed by the US Green Buildings Council have also helped create greater awareness and participation in recycling efforts. Builders are now required to meet recycling goals for construction and demolition debris, as well as implement in-house recycling programs to achieve LEED standards, criterea and credit goals.

When addressing the environmental impact of recycling of these materials it is just as important to discuss the universal waste streams such as light bulbs, old computers, electronics and other potentially hazardous items from winding up in our landfills. With computers, the sensitive, often personal information they hold must also be kept in mind when choosing the best approach to “recycle” them. Recycling of commodities like plastic stretch wrap, bottles or OCC(Old Corragated Cardboard) and electronics are simple, yet very different and important examples of excellent ways to conserve valuable natural resources, save landfill space, and reduce the amount of toxins entering the waste stream.

There are recycling programs tailored to meet the specific needs of the client, the type of material(s) generated and if and when necessary, a solution to the protection of sensitive information found in documents, computers and hand held devices, and the level of information protection required. With any e-waste disposal designated for a 100% destruction-first program it is recommended all data be removed before recycling. All media should be wiped clean. For extremely sensitive or confidential information that can not be removed before recycling, a qualified service provider can ensure the highest level of complete destruction and appropriate handling. This true end of life destruction program guarantees all electronic equipment is triaged and shredded before any recycling occurs. With a zero landfill policy and all shredded materials including plastic, glass, ferrous and non ferrous metals recycled into new products, this total destruction program provides the highest level of security, a certificate of destruction and an environmentally friendly disposal of all electronic equipment, media, and documents.

The lastest innovation in organic waste disposal is, an in-kitchen piece of equipment for clients in the culinary field as a solution to the disposal of “wet waste” (food waste). This technology, through a groundbreaking, decomposition process completely reduces organic food to water. This waste-to-water technology helps restaurants, catering services, supermarkets, bakeries, hospitals, schools, and other food- based operations significantly reduce costs, eliminate trash-related odors, and protect the environment. Facilities utilizing this equipment recognize a decreased amount of food waste by as much as 41% compared to the previous year.

Michael Gianchetta, Leed AP,
VP Gianco Diversified Environmental Services

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