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by Tracy Will
Mon, Feb 23rd 2009 11:05 am

I'm very excited to announce that CIR is kicking off our new job site recycling program this month.  Our plan is to ensure that as much as possible of the waste materials from our job sites is recycled rather than ending up in landfills.  According to the EPA, construction and demolition waste accounts for nearly 40 percent of the waste in landfills, up to 95 percent of which can be recycled.  Reusing or recycling materials also conserves natural resources, saves production energy, and reduces pollution and other negative effects associated with resource harvesting and the production of materials.

There are already some types of construction waste that CIR typically recycles, such as scrap metals, copper wire, and many lamps and ballasts, but there are still many items we can recycle.  We adding cardboard, Styrofoam packing material, glass, plastics and wood to that list, and making it company policy.  This will ensure that these items will be recycled on a consistent basis, which is what we want, but it will be a lot of work to get the program going, especially for our warehouse staff.

With the exception of large jobs, the majority of our construction waste is returned to our warehouse for disposal, and it's not usually sorted.  With the addition of five new items to our recycling list, it will be a lot more work for them to sort on this end.  We are asking all of our electricians to please sort the recyclables on their jobs as much as possible before returning them to the shop, but it's going to take a while for everyone to get used to this new policy.  In addition to making sure everything is properly sorted, warehouse personnel will be responsible for taking items to their respective recyclers, and they will be building the containers needed to sort and store these items beforehand. 

On large jobs or jobs where construction waste disposal is available on-site, we will be bringing containers to the job site as needed for sorting recyclables.  The quantity and type of recyclable waste collected will likely vary from job to job and through the progress of a job, so we're leaving things open at this point.  Right now we're notifying employees of the new program, asking them to be sure to send items on the recycling list back to the shop and to sort them first, and warehouse personnel are beginning to construct containers based on what they think they'll need and what large jobs will be starting up soon.  Once things get going and we get a feel for what's coming back from the field and how much, we can make adjustments to make the program more efficient.  We'll have more for you in the coming months!

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Ed wrote: At Saint-Gobain Structural Ceramics, we built three clearly marked boxes out of 1/2" plywood with handles that are marked for battery recycling.


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