While developing the program, Rick performed an informal waste audit on the back-of-the-house waste containers. To his amazement, over 90% of the "trash" generated were milk jugs and syrup containers. The Ei FB album, 12-05-12 SFCI ATL Airport Milk Jug Recycling, gives a pictorial play by play of the collection, compacting and baling process.
|Baled milk jugs ready for sale|
|GA Tech - GWCC ATL Airport tour|
While in Atlanta for the 2012 Plastics Recycling Conference, Susan Long, Starbucks environmental impact manager, toured the Concourse A milk jug recycling operations. With Rick and Susan (Stanton) present, Susan (Long) received a thorough overview of the program.
|Susan Stanton, Susan Long &|
The tides are turned as companies understand the value of material generated in their operations. Beyond diversion from landfill, astute recycling managers know to source-separate material for sale, rather than pay for it to leave in single-stream recycling programs. ZWZ Participant Piazza Produce, turned their waste | recycling cost center into a recycling profit center when they implemented zero waste practices. To date, their source-separated recycling program has improved the bottom line by approximately $30,000.
Several pilots dedicated to baling source-separated material are close to implementation. Stay tuned for future ZWA Blog posts with pilot details and other success tales from the zero waste journey.