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Blog Archives

Waste Management Analytics from Busch Systems

Facility Executive

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On April 26, 2017, Busch Systems will introduce its Resource Center, a collection analytics software program designed to track recycling and waste management efforts at the station level. Facility management leaders interested in gaining insight into their organizations’ waste management can sign up for free to use this tool.

Busch Systems International is a leading company in the design and retail of recycling, compost, and waste containers since the company’s inception in 1985. Comments Mike Baxter, marketing manager with the company, “Our passion is helping organizations reach their sustainability goals and this new software offers all of the tools to help make this happen.”

Two years in development, the primary function of Resource Center is to provide statistics on diversion rates and showcase the breakdown of the users recycling streams, the amount of money saved, and a range of other data on the positive impact their recycling efforts are making on the environment, all in real-time. States Baxter, “The Resource Center is effective for all levels of sustainability programs across all verticals. It is suitable for the beginner to advanced user as it provides analytic display options for both introductory and sophisticated tracking and analytics.”

Beyond providing analytics, the Resource Center provides additional resources such as how-to guides, marketing materials, educational resources, and an exclusive choropleth mapping tool which provides visuals of sustainability from the county, regional, and state/provincial level.

Comments Baxter, “Most of the algorithms were designed solely for this software and the fact that we’re offering this service complimentary is unprecedented as far as we know. We’re continuing to prepare additional upgrades and phases to the Resource Center so there will always be something new to discover for the user.”

Read more here.

Natur-tec Highlight: Charlotte, NC’s Spectrum Center

Natur-Blog

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As part of an ongoing effort to highlight dedicated and passionate organics recycling and diversion programs across the country, Natur-Blog spoke to the team heading up the recycling program at Charlotte, NC’s Spectrum Center, home of the Charlotte Hornets. This is a summary of how their program was founded and the success they’ve seen since its inception.

Introduction

With tens of millions of viewers tuning in each night to watch their favorite National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, it’s becoming increasingly vital for these teams and their homes to be cognizant of the power they yield when making a difference in the world, especially with so much emphasis being placed on the environment and sustainability in recent years.

The Charlotte Hornets were fully aware of this responsibility when in early 2015 they began talks with the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) and the city of Charlotte to develop and install a comprehensive recycling plan. As organics recycling and composting was nonexistent at Spectrum Center at the time, the only way was up.  This wasn’t going to be an overnight success and there were no such expectations, but Spectrum Center and CRVA staff aimed to be part of one of the most sustainable organizations in the NBA and it was clear that the time was right to launch such a program.

“With hundreds of thousands of patrons passing through our doors each year, it is important for us to understand the impact our waste has on the environment,” said Spectrum Center General Manager Donna Julian. “Through the addition of recycling and composting, we have been able to significantly cut down the amount of waste coming out of our building.”

Getting Started

Upon the program’s inception, the primary focus immediately turned to recycling as the platform to build on. First efforts were largely shaped thanks to a collaboration with Waste Management, who assisted Spectrum Center and CRVA staff in forming their program by providing them with a waste characterization study which analyzed Spectrum Center’s waste generation and collection efforts over a six-month period. Contamination is always a concern as it relates to recycling.

Not only does it affect the quality of the materials captured, it will add downstream process burdens that result in increased costs. In an effort to help address this concern, Waste Management provided Spectrum Center with a specialty single stream waste bin which was instrumental in reducing contamination while aiding collection efforts. Because of this bin and dedicated inspection of bins and bags, contamination has been contained to a minimum since the program began.

With the help of the waste characterization study, over the next six months Spectrum Center began to work with vendors and service providers such as Jani-King, SupplyWorks, Levy Restaurants, Earth Farms, and the aforementioned Waste Management to develop the steps needed to meet the NBA’s blossoming “green” movement. Regularly scheduled internal meetings which involved various stakeholders were vital, as was constant feedback from all of those involved. These meetings helped shape the future of the program on a real-time basis while identifying opportunities for growth. Out of these partnerships came a system where separate vendors pick up food scraps, corrugate, grease, shredded paper, and pallets, while Waste Management serves as the aluminum and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics hauler.

Though there are many challenges to work around and overcome, having strong partnerships is essential with the goal of achieving a robust recycling program with maximum buy-in from all involved.

“We would not be able to undertake this effort without the assistance of all of our vendors and service providers,” Julian said. “From our food and beverage partner, to our janitorial staff, to the companies that help us with recycling and combustion, having each group play its part has been critical to our early success.”

Read the full blog post here.

Waste Management, the Boston Red Sox and Aramark Celebrate Earth Day with Successful Post-Game Waste Sorting Event at Fenway Park

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Waste Management (NYSE: WM), in partnership with the Boston Red Sox and Aramark, celebrated Earth Day 2017 a bit early with a post-game waste sort event at Fenway Park in Boston on Monday afternoon. The event followed the Red Sox’ traditional Patriots Day – Marathon Monday morning game vs. the Tampa Bay Rays. Volunteers joined employees of the three organizations along with Major League Baseball’s facility operations senior coordinator, Jason Kobeda, and the City of Boston’s recycling policy director, Susan Casino in sorting trash inside Fenway Park immediately following the game.

A typical game day at Fenway generates more than seven tons of trash, and Monday’s game was no exception. Monday’s waste sorting effort resulted in the collection of 2,178 pounds of recyclables and 221 pounds of organics from trash –which might have otherwise wound up in a Massachusetts landfill.

“Sorting the volume of waste generated by 40,000+ fans requires teamwork, and our volunteer crew was exceptional,” said Michelle Lee Guiney of Waste Management. “With multiple post-game events going on around us, including a party for 10,000 marathon runners, they worked diligently to gather and sort materials under challenging circumstances. We sincerely appreciate their flexibility, good humor and generosity!”

In the spirit of the event, volunteers received upcycled tee-shirts from The Red Sox Team Store, which are new, but obsolete Red Sox tees turned inside-out and specially branded for the event.  Through upcycling, each repurposed cotton tee-shirt conserves 700 gallons of water, and prevents the emission of carbon dioxide and the application of pesticides needed to grow cotton for new shirts. Volunteers also brought their own reusable water bottles.

Fenway Park provides ample recycling and composting bins, but a lot of items that could be sorted are often thrown into regular trash bins. Waste-sorting events such as this showcase the positive environmental impact of taking a few extra seconds to self-sort cups, trays, wrappers, food, and other items. “Recovering discarded items makes a tremendous difference in diverting waste from our landfills, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Guiney.

“The waste sorting event is a great showcase of the commitment by the Red Sox to promoting sustainable practices throughout the season at Fenway Park,” said Paul Hanlon, senior director, ballpark operations & sustainability, Major League Baseball. “Pursuing a zero waste event is no easy task and we applaud the Red Sox ownership, the entire organization and their partners for their hard work and environmental leadership in this endeavor.”

The Boston Red Sox organization is a leader in sustainability initiatives, and was named the Bay State’s 2016 Recycler of the Year by MassRecycle. Waste Management’s “Total Recycling Program” and Aramark Corporation are integral partners in Fenway Park’s award-winning materials management (sorting, recycling, composting) programs.

PHOTO: Waste Management, the Boston Red Sox and Aramark, celebrated Earth Day 2017 a bit early with a post-game waste sort event at Fenway Park in Boston on Monday afternoon following the Red Sox’ traditional Patriots Day morning game. Volunteers sorted trash inside Fenway Park immediately following the game, and collected 2,178 pounds of recyclables and 221 pounds of organics from trash, which might have otherwise wound up in a Massachusetts landfill.  A typical game day at Fenway generates more than seven tons of trash. Shown in the photo – front row (L-R): Scott Peters, WM; Michael Long, volunteer; Michelle Lee Guiney, WM; Sherri Gonzalez, WM; Susan Casino, volunteer; Lee Casino, volunteer; Robyn Pacini, Boston Red Sox. Back row(L-R): Matthew Guiney, volunteer; James McFarlane, WM; Tim Morin, WM; Jason Kobeda, Major League Baseball; Jonathan Lister, Boston Red Sox.

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