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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Charter ZWZ Participant Tours

The Zero Waste Zones Team is visiting the Charter ZWZ Participants to learn about their zero waste successes and challenges.  In addition to zero waste initiatives, the participants share their overall sustainability commitment with common and unique projects.

Bananas in Sheraton
pool area
How fun to take a tour of the Sheraton - Downtown Atlanta and see the bananas (yes, real bananas that may be destined for luscious Bananas Foster or another decadent treat!) growing in their indoor|outdoor saline pool area. The Sheraton's saline pool keeps 450 gallons per month (5,400 gal per year) of harsh chlorine chemicals from eventually ending up in Atlanta's sewer system.

Part of the $70 million recent renovations included replacing the courtyard windows with double pane high efficient SolarBan windows that reduce guest room energy costs by 40%.  The laundry water recycling system is amazing and results in the following reductions in environmental and economic impact:

1. Annual reduction of 198 MT (metric tons) of CO2
2. Annual reduction of waste water discharge of 4,917,648 gals
3. Annual reduction on Gas energy therms of 33,108
4. Annual reduction of discharged  Toxins 2,460 lbs TOCs

In mid|late fall the Sheraton intends to replace their trash compactor with a recycling compactor.  The ZWZ Team is encouraging a formal ribbon cutting ceremony - stay tuned for the blog post of the celebration.

Sheraton's Motor Lobby
As the elder of the major downtown hotel conference centers, the Sheraton boasts a tree-filled property in the midst of the bustling Atlanta convention district.  A visit to the Sheraton is worth the time to take in the front-of-the-house sustainability and aesthetic commitment.  Know the behind the scenes operations retain the integrity, complete with reusable dishes and food residual collection for composting in their employee cafeteria.

Visit the IMPACT Blog post, Sheraton Atlanta POWERS New Energy & Identity, for more details on GM Niles Harris leadership role in greening the hotel industry.

Tim with compactor pad lock
WOW is an accurate explanation when touring the Georgia World Congress Center's recycling and sustainable programs.  Tim Trefzer, GWCC Sustainability Manager, joined the GWCC Team in December, 2010 (see the December, 2010 ZWZ Blog post, GWCCA Walks Their Talk, announcing Tim joining the team) and is one BUSY, effective young man.  In the August, 2010 ZWZ Blog post, GWCC Hits Recycling Stride, the impressive recycling stats and other accomplishments under Tim's reign are detailed.

To ensure contamination is kept at a minimum the GWCC keeps a padlock on the recycling compactor, which is located in a secure area.  Tim understands the importance of clear signage to effective recycling programs and the loading dock area is abundant with easy to understand recycling signage.

Food residual ready for
composting collection
The employee cafeteria uses compostable, disposable products that are collected by Closed Loop Organics, along with food residuals,  for composting at Greenco Environmental's Barnesville facility.  Lighting is kept at 50% during event move-out to save on energy use and cost.  It was nice to see Freeman use older corrugated boxes held together with duck tape for event material transport - reuse is important!

For a pictorial recap of the Sheraton & GWCC tours, visit the Elemental Impact FB Album, Fall, 2011 ZWZ Participant Tours.

ZWZ Participant tours are in the early stages - stay tuned to learn about the Pioneers' sustainable ingenuity and explore how it may be adapted to your operations.  These are thrilling times!

1 comment:

  1. It is important to treat waste wisely. Human waste have been the cause of environmental destruction.