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by Tracy Will
Thu, May 27th 2010 08:00 am


This May marks the one-year anniversary of our Job Site Recycling Program being in full-swing, including the addition of a cardboard dumpster and our monthly Job Site Recycling Incentive Program that kicked off June 1st of last year.  I'm excited to say that we've had a very successful first year.

Now let's give credit where credit is due.  This program could not have been successful without the hard work and dedication of all of our electricians out in the field, Mike and Bill in our Warehouse, and let's not forget our Project Managers who delivered all of those celebratory lunches (and encouraged their crews to recycle, of course!)

There is one person that deserves ‘extra-credit', if you will, and that's our truck driver, Matt Voelker.  Among his many other duties, Matt is responsible for collecting the waste materials from our job sites, dispersing things to their appropriate containers once back at the warehouse, and taking them to the appropriate recycler when the containers are full, but he doesn't stop there.  He's been my go-to person for how the program is going and who should get recognized each month; he's even given me special notes to include, such as record amounts of copper wire returned, and job sites that didn't win, but deserve an honorable mention that month.  Plus, Mike and Bill tell me that he's always going that extra mile to make sure everything that can be recycled is recycled.  Way to go, Matt!

When we started, we came up with a long list of things that we thought we could recycle, some of which we already were.  Lamps and ballasts are regulated, so they're sent to recyclers directly from the job site.  We had added glass and plastic to our list, but most of what we would have, i.e. glass or plastic lenses, etc., is included in with the lamps and ballasts.  We also added wood pallets and reels to the list, but found that most of them are either stored for reuse or go back to the supplier. 

Scrap metal and copper wire were already being collected and recycled, but we've seen a huge increase in what's coming back to the shop for recycling.  When I say we've had a huge increase, we've estimated that approximately 500 percent more copper wire and scrap metals have come back to the shop for recycling than in previous years.  Now that's HUGE!

The other two new items on our recycling list are cardboard and packing foam.  So far, we haven't really had much of anything packaged with the molded Styrofoam, it's been predominately cardboard.  After sorting through a year's worth of bills on our cardboard dumpster, I found that we've recycled approximately 22,400 pounds of cardboard this year, reducing our land-filled waste by 35 percent.  Not bad, not bad at all!

Don't forget, the Recycling Directory lists recyclers in the WNY region by material for just about anything you or your company may want to recycle, so check it out!

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