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Success Stories – Miscellaneous

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The success stories provided on this website are for information purposes only and do not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by EPA or the United States Government of any specific commercial products, processes, or services mentioned therein.

Webcor Builders: Deconstructing Construction and Demolition Debris

Construction and demolition (C&D) debris consists of materials such as concrete, gypsum, wood, and metals that are generated during the construction, renovation, and demolition of buildings, roads, and bridges. Buildings alone account for 60 percent of total material flow in the United States (excluding food and fuel) and 33 percent of the solid waste stream. Reducing, reusing, and recycling C&D materials conserves landfill space, reduces the environmental impact of producing new materials, creates jobs, and saves money through avoided purchase and disposal costs.

Webcor Builders, a large construction company with offices throughout California, is consistently ranked among the Top 400 General Contractors by Engineering News-Record and earned a spot on the Forbes 500 list of largest privately owned companies. In November 2006, Webcor developed a Sustainability Department with a commitment to incorporate environmental awareness and efficiency into its business processes and practices. Webcor joined WasteWise in 2007 and has demonstrated innovation and commitment to waste reduction in the construction industry.

The company reports a construction waste diversion rate ranging from 75 to 95 percent by volume and reuses everything from jobsite trailer furniture to excess construction materials. By working closely with local charities, Webcor donates materials it no longer needs to be reused; if the products cannot be reused, they are recycled. For example, during the construction of the Letterman Digital Arts Center, a 23-acre campus with a 17-acre public garden, more than 80 percent of the building materials from the hospital that was demolished at the site were recycled or reused in the new construction project. This included more than 100,000 tons of concrete; 10,000 tons of steel, copper, and other metals; and asphalt from the hospital’s parking lot. By constructing an onsite batch plant, Webcor was able to manufacture more than 90,000 yards of concrete onsite, thus reducing truck traffic and transportation emissions and conserving natural resources. In addition, Webcor’s use of a high-percentage fly ash concrete mix reduced the use of raw materials and diverted fly ash from landfills.

Webcor is committed to educating the next generation of green builders. The company supports a broad spectrum of educational programs at local high schools and junior colleges, labor/trade organizations, and universities.

San Diego Padres – Gold Achievement for Public Venue Recycling

Through their “Padres Go Green” program, the San Diego Padres have been very successful in reducing waste. In 2008, waste diversion efforts included recycling more than 132 tons of yard waste, composting nearly 160 tons of food waste, and converting used employee uniforms into paper by shredding the uniforms. The Padres also introduced an Employee Recycle Center for cell phones, batteries, or other items from work or home. In total, approximately 519 tons of recyclables were diverted from area landfills, resulting in a savings of more than $54,000 in avoided waste hauling fees.

Seven-Star, Inc. – Gold Achievement Honorable Mention for Public Venue Recycling

Seven-Star, Inc. provides clients with a unique, comprehensive recycling program by transforming ordinary occasions into environmentally responsible events. In 2008, Seven-Star, Inc. diverted nearly 95 percent of waste from the landfill at 11 different public events. Seven-Star’s success can be attributed, in part, to the volunteers that the company recruits to help collect and sort event materials. Seven-Star, Inc. also uses informative signs to educate event attendees about recycling, waste prevention, and their carbon footprint.

Exel - Lockport

Exel - Lockport handles the supply chain management and worldwide shipping of solid surface products. Last year, Exel - Lockport promoted the WasteWise partnership program to the Exel Chemical and Industrial Sector of the company, which includes 62 sites in the United States. As a result of their efforts, six Exel sites became WasteWise partners and are now pursuing their own waste reduction efforts. Exel not only promotes the program as a WasteWise endorser, but also strives to continually improve its own waste reduction and sustainability initiatives. One of Exel’s core values is to accept social responsibility by preserving the environment and generating benefits for the communities in which it works.

Delta Air Lines, Inc.

Delta Air Lines’ operation in Atlanta, GA, employs nearly 25,000 people, and all of them have a hand in the success of the company’s recycling efforts. Delta recognizes the important role employees played in the success of its three recycling programs started in 2007. On June 1, 2007, Delta implemented an in-flight recycling program for all domestic flights into Atlanta. To ensure the program’s success, the company emphasized education of flight attendants and flight crews through signage in flight attendant lounges, electronic updates, shift briefings, monthly statistics, and senior management endorsement. Delta also targeted passengers through an in-flight video showing passengers how to help Delta sort recyclables for onboard collection. Other programs implemented in 2007 include a recycling center for Delta employees to drop off household recyclables and a partnership with carpet manufacturer Mohawk Aviation Carpet to implement a permanent aircraft carpet collection and recycling program. These efforts were accompanied by a strong educational component involving distributing information through emails, voicemails, story boards, and new operating procedures. Delta’s recycling programs diverted almost 175 tons from landfills, avoiding nearly $8,000 in landfill costs and generating almost $115,000 in recycling revenues, $80,000 of which was donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Xanterra South Rim, LLC

Xanterra South Rim, LLC has gone beyond the basics with its waste reduction program by purchasing numerous items with recycled content, as well as increasing the recycled content of many products. In 2005, Xanterra switched to chlorine-free, 100 percent postconsumer recycled-content copy paper. It also sells blankets, T-shirts, and sweatshirts that contain between 60 to 100 percent recycled-content materials. Xanterra recycles many of the items it uses, which helps create markets for these materials. In addition, Xanterra also closes the loop by buying back the equivalent of more than 10 percent of the paper and 25 percent of the plastic it recycles. In 2005, Xanterra avoided $55,000 in disposal costs through its recycling and waste prevention program.

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