May 31, 2006
Charlotte, NC – Four businesses and four schools were recognized today for their efforts in recycling and waste reduction. The Business Recycling Awards luncheon is an annual event hosted by Mecklenburg County Solid Waste and Recycling, recognizing businesses and organizations for their innovative approaches to waste disposal, waste reduction and commitment to business recycling.
Recyclers of the Year:
- FWA Group, Architects (small business - 24 employees or less): Employees voluntarily recycle glass, plastic and metal and rotate the duty of carrying materials to the recycling center. Large architectural drawing sheets with errors on them are donated to schools for use in art and other classes. Employees are encouraged to track their personal home energy and water use on a provided spreadsheet.
- The Building Center, Inc. (medium business - 25 - 99 employees): Recycles wood, plastic, steel, paper and cardboard. The company has an incentive to give back to employees the proceeds from the sale of recyclable material, encouraging employees to separate materials. Last year, forty employees split $10,000 and the company saved money by not having to send the material to the landfill.
- UNC Charlotte (large business - 100+ employees) Last year, UNC Charlotte recycled 1,639,769 pounds household and office materials and 308,060 pounds of construction and demolition materials; composted 23,383 pounds of food waste and 1,815 pounds of sawdust; donated 6,210 pounds of food (from on-campus cafeteria) to Urban Ministries; and collected 18,000 pounds of non-perishable food, clothing, furniture and small appliances, then donated to local organizations. UNC Charlotte collects more than forty items that can be recycled on campus. The per capita recycling rate increased 15.65% over the last school year. The most successful project to date was a renovation of locker rooms into laboratories in Belk Gym - of more than 40,000 lbs. of metal, and 80,000 lbs. of concrete, only 10,000 lbs. of material were sent to landfill.
Zero Waste Award:
- Recreational Equipment, Inc.: Thirty-nine part-time employees work out of three large warehouses and set-up events throughout Mecklenburg County. The waste reduction and recycling program is so exceptional that the company does not use a dumpster. The company generates about the same amount of trash at work as a small family does in one week, so employees simply take it home and put it in their residential rollout container.
Outstanding CMS Recycling Programs:
- Davidson Elementary
- Beverly Woods Elementary
- Smith Academy of International Languages
- Myers Park High School
- Litter Prevention: The Board of Directors for Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful and the N.C. Department of Transportation
- Construction & Demolition Waste Reduction and Recycling Award: D.H. Griffin Wrecking Company, Inc. for its success in waste reduction and recycling during the demolition of the old Charlotte Convention Center.
- Green Building Awards: Habitat for Humanity Charlotte ReStore and U.S.Green Building Council - Charlotte Region Chapter for their work on the "Greening of the Habitat ReStore on Wendover project.
- Sustainable Development Award: Crescent Resources, LLC for its environmental efforts in the development of The Sanctuary on Lake Wylie.
There are more than 100 companies enrolled in the Business Recognition Program. Members must make a three-year commitment to practice waste reduction, carry on at least one recycling activity and purchase at least one recycled product. The group also has 14 mentor firms that commit to recruiting new companies and to helping other businesses start new programs. Information about the Business Recognition Program is available at
www.wipeoutwaste.com or by calling 704-336-3777.