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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

ATLANTA, A Shining Star in Sustainability

Atlanta ROCKS! With only a handful of major metropolitan areas across the nation composting their excess food and food residuals from commercial operations, Atlanta stepped up to the plate and blazed trails for other cities to follow.
Before we continue Atlanta’s accolades, it is important to understand Atlanta is a Pioneer City in organics management because a brave couple invested 18 months of their lives, not to mention personal capital, to obtaining the permits and zoning necessary to open a food composting facility in Barnesville, GA.
Please join me in honoring Tim & Melia Lesko of Greenco Environmental for their vision, dedication and perseverance to give Atlanta the opportunity to ignite the trails of sustainability. THANK YOU!
As of April 30, 2010, ZWZ~Atlanta participants diverted 2052 tons of food residuals to Greenco from landfills since the February 10, 2009 ZWZ launch. Here are some equivalents to understand the importance of Atlanta’s foodservice operators’ commitment to sustainability:
· 78 tons of methane gas NOT produced over ten years in a landfill
· 1,629 tons of carbon equivalent
· 310 cars off the road for one year
Let’s bring the numbers to a more personal level and focus on three of our ZWZ Champions’ commitment in action:
· Affairs to Remember Caterers ~ 33.8 tons (10 months)
· Fifth Group Restaurant Group ~ 151 tons (1 restaurant 13 months/3 restaurants & 1 catering company 6 months)
· Hyatt Regency Atlanta ~ 317 tons (13.5 months for 1260 room hotel)
Only those close to the ZWZ program understood organics collection began on February 09, the day before the press conference that launched over 60 million media impressions. There was not a city around the country to emulate; Atlanta paved the way to overcoming the many challenges inherent in creating new best operating practices ~ no easy feat for our pioneering heroes.
It is an honor live in a city enthusiastic to embark on the journey of sustainability. Then again, Atlanta knows how to rise like a phoenix from the ashes and is a shining star while her children travel unknown and challenging paths.

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