Sustainable Solutions Post, November 2008
Vol. 1, Issue 2
In this issue...
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As Kentucky joins states across the country in recognizing "America Recycles Day," we have an opportunity to focus attention on and increase the level of recycling in the Commonwealth. This edition of the Sustainable Solutions Post focuses on current recycling-related events, programs and organizations in Kentucky. Now's the time for you to get connected and become part of the solution.
Governor Steve Beshear has declared Nov. 15 as "Kentucky Recycles Day" to coincide with the national "America Recycles Day." The Kentucky Recycling Interest Group (KRIG) initiated the "Kentucky Recycles Day" proclamation with the Governor's Office and KRIG encourages all individuals, businesses and organizations to participate.
What can you and your company do to support recycling in the Commonwealth?
- Take part in a planned community recycling event.
- Visit www.waste.ky.gov/recycling/ to explore recycling options in your area.
- Contact KPPC (the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center) at 502-852-0965 to learn about industrial recycling and materials exchange resources available to businesses and industries.
- Join KRIG and get the benefit of networking with peers, businesses and local governments across the state who are engaged in recycling-related activities.
KRIG is a public-private partnership organization whose primary goal is to reach 'net zero' waste output for the Commonwealth. KRIG promotes economically-viable, safe, energy-conserving and sustainable recycling and waste management practices. Its members include more than 100 individual citizens, city and county representatives, government agencies, universities and manufacturing companies who are actively promoting recycling in Kentucky.
Melissa Wiegand of Temple-Inland in Maysville serves on the KRIG Steering Committee and says that one of the group's most important aspects is that it brings together recyclers and producers from different industries. She says "Participating with KRIG has given me the opportunity to interact with various organizations and industries - providing some great ideas and cost saving projects to implement at the Maysville Mill."
Other KRIG members agree. Maria Eichelberger of North American Stainless (NAS) in Ghent also sits on the KRIG Steering Committee and says that the group gives her a chance to, "learn from other people's experiences in recycling and find ways to better use waste streams."
The next KRIG meeting will be March 10, 2009 in Georgetown. It is being sponsored by Green Metals, Inc. and Toyota. A tour of Green Metals will follow the meeting. For additional information related to KRIG, please contact Dara Carlisle with the Kentucky Division of Waste Management (firstname.lastname@example.org; 502-564-6716 ext. 4636).
Manufacturers, corporations and organizations across Kentucky are dedicated to protecting the health, safety and environment of their employees and neighbors. A number of these have taken strong leadership roles in forming KRIG - a grassroots effort organized through the Kentucky Division of Waste Management with support from KPPC.
Companies and individuals have donated their time, experience and, in some cases, financial support to get KRIG up and running. Without this involvement and support, KRIG would not exist. It has been a group effort, but two of the most active members have been North American Stainless, which has provided financial support to help with mailings, phone calls and marketing materials to attract new members, and Temple-Inland, which allows its Technical/Environmental Manager Melissa Wiegand to devote staff time to supporting KRIG activities.
Both companies have guiding environmental policies and participate in other state environmental programs such as KY EXCEL; Temple-Inland also participates in the US EPA's National Environmental Performance Track. They are engaged in KRIG because they believe it's the right thing to do - for their companies, for their communities and for the environment.
At its facility in northern Kentucky, North American Stainless (NAS) produces both long (e.g., rebar) and flat (e.g., sheet) stainless steel products which it sells primarily to service centers and warehouses. The steel can be used for the automotive industry, silverware, appliances, medical equipment, construction materials, etc. NAS relies heavily on recycled materials - the stainless steel they produce is comprised of at least 67% scrap.
With such a large portion of their raw materials coming from recycled sources, NAS understands the need for improving and expanding recycling-related initiatives in the area. The company recycles cardboard, paper, plastics, metal dust (which can be re-melted and used again), mixed metals and used oil. "With us using recycled materials, we know how important it is," says Maria Eichelberger, NAS' representative on the KRIG Steering Committee. She says, "we are committed to at least doing the best we can, and hope that others do the same."
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Temple-Inland Inc. is a manufacturing company focused on corrugated packaging and building products (such as lumber, particleboard, medium density fiberboard, gypsum wallboard and fiberboard products). The company is committed to environmental stewardship and protection, and has a strong focus on pollution prevention, waste minimization and conservation.
Because of its strong environmental performance and initiatives, "the Maysville, Kentucky facility has been highlighted in a number of the company publications," says Melissa Wiegand. The facility recycles more than 1,500 tons of old corrugated containers (cardboard boxes) per day and would like to increase its supply of raw material, (e.g. boxes discarded by restaurants and grocery stores). With improved recycling efforts these materials could be diverted from landfills, lowering disposal costs for businesses and supporting business and job growth in the Commonwealth.
Working with KRIG, Ms. Wiegand hopes to help expand recycling-related activities in the state. She says, "We all have waste streams, we all buy raw materials; we should be looking for synergies in what we can reuse." With the continued support of its members, KRIG will continue to pursue these goals.
Does your company process waste or use recycled materials? The Kentucky Recycling Interest Group (KRIG) is gathering information about recycling-related industries and facilities that offer tours for school children. Once compiled, the list of facilities will be distributed to school districts statewide. KRIG hopes to spotlight Kentucky's recycling industry and bring a greater understanding of what happens to our recovered materials after collection.
Companies interested in being a part of this initiative should contact Dara Carlisle, Kentucky Division of Waste Management, at email@example.com or call 502-564-6716 ext. 4636 with the following information:
- Hours/days the tours are available for school children.
- Are tours available year-around?
- How many kids can be accommodated on the same tour?
- Any age restrictions?
- Contact name with telephone number and email address.
- What type of recycling facility is it - collection, processing, broker, end-user, etc.
- Please describe what your facility does in 2-3 sentences.
- Why Recycling Is Important: As stewards of the environment, we are responsible for preserving and protecting our resources for ourselves and for future generations.
- Getting Back to Basics: Recycling is really just common sense, and until the "modern era," it was a common household activity. Before the 1920s, 70% of U.S. cities ran programs to recycle certain materials. During World War II, industry recycled and reused about 25% of the waste stream. Because of concern for the environment, recycling is again on the upswing. The nation's composting and recycling rate rose from 7.7% of the waste stream in 1960 to 17% in 1990. It's currently up to around 33%.
- The Garbage Crisis: From individually packaged food servings to disposable diapers, more garbage is generated now than ever before. This garbage, the solid waste stream, goes mostly to landfills, where it's compacted and buried. As the waste stream continues to grow, so will pressure on our landfills, our resources and our environment.
- Recycling-An Important Part of the Solution: Recycling is one of the easiest ways you can help slow climate change and global warming. By recycling, you help significantly lower carbon emissions associated with extracting virgin materials, manufacturing products and waste disposal.
How it Works
There are three parts to the recycling process; each essential to making the system work: collection, manufacturing and buying. These three components are so important that they are represented by the three "chasing arrows" of the recycling logo.
- Collection - Don't Send Recyclables to the Landfill: In this phase, materials are separated from the waste stream and prepared to become raw materials.
- Manufacturing - Using Recycled Materials Instead of Virgin Raw Materials: Recovering the materials is just the first step. There must also be a market for it-companies that want the materials and are able to remanufacture them into consumer products. Sometimes these companies have to invest a significant amount of money to adapt their manufacturing processes to accommodate the use of recycled materials in their products.
- Buying - Close the Loop by Buying Products with Recycled Content: In order to make recycling economically viable, there must be a market for recycled products. If people buy them, companies will be encouraged to make them, and the whole system works.
How will the world financial crises affect recycling markets? Get the overall 2008 recycling markets update; hear about the market crash and its ripple effect on the industry. Speaker Jerry Powell, Editor and Publisher of Resource Recycling, Inc., is just back from China where he investigated the plastic markets. Participants will get up-to-date insights from one of the original recycling market watchers.
Webinar topics will include: the state of recycling nationally; the current state of the plastics, paper and metal markets; and trends in curbside collection. Registration information is available online.
Speaker bio: Jerry Powell is the owner and publisher of two magazines and a newsletter (Resource Recycling, Plastics Recycling Update and E-Scrap News). Previously Mr. Powell founded and managed a recycling consulting firm for a decade and founded and managed a recycling business in Portland, Oregon for more than eight years. He is a past three-time chair of the board of the National Recycling Coalition and the three-time chair of the board of a state recycling association.
In this second year of Web Academy sessions, US EPA's Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC) webinars will be held on the third Thursday of each month. For a full list of upcoming sessions, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region1/RCCedu/calendar.html.
Take your computers, monitors, printers, copiers, scanners, fax machines, keyboards, mice, cables, rechargeable batteries, telephones, cell phones, pagers and chargers to a community recycling event in the Clifton Neighborhood. The event, to be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., EST on Nov. 15, is being organized by Commonwealth Computer Recycling of Louisville. There will be a $3 drop-off fee to cover the cost of the event. Details are available at courier-journal.com.
The Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet has awarded a contract that will result in recycling of more than 5 million pounds of electronic scrap generated by government agencies and educational institutions in Kentucky each year. The e-scrap contract [PDF] with Creative Recycling Inc. of Tampa, FL, will assure that this large volume of scrap will be recycled in an environmentally sound manner with 5 percent or less of the remaining scrap going to landfills. In addition, revenue will be generated through reimbursements for most e-scrap, which includes "end-of-life" telephones and cell phones, TVs, computers and associated equipment, audio/stereo gear, VCRs, DVDs, and video game consoles.
This contract was issued as an "all state agencies" contract that allows participation by the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches of government, school districts, postsecondary education institutions and any other public/not-for-profit entity. Creative Recycling plans to establish an e-scrap sorting and recycling processing facility in Kentucky. The company will be developing a Web site with details about the service.
US EPA Region 4 has released a new Municipal Government Toolkit (MGTK), which provides a centralized web-based resource for recycling-related information designed specifically to assist local government leaders and recycling program coordinators. The MGTK provides a key resource to help elected officials and decision-makers identify information to develop, evaluate, support and/or expand their reduction programs. This resource presents a collection of economic data, sample legislation, waste reduction efforts, guidance resources and case studies regarding the impacts of recycling in the Southeast.