First on the agenda was jump-starting the plastic film recycling program after almost a year of discussions and planning. The June, 2011 ZWA Blog post, Simon Property Group Embarks on Zero Waste Initiatives, details the SPG Atlanta meeting marathon where the sky rocketing plastic film dilemma at malls was a major discussion point. At the June 16, 2011 meetings, Matt Hupp, then SPG director waste & recycling, met the two main partners in the plastic film recycling program, Louis Herrera of Hilex Poly and Susan Stanton of Orwak.
|Ray with Orwak baler
During the afternoon educational session, a bale weighing approximately 150 -175 pounds was made of typical tenant-generated plastic. A visual inspection noted the plastic was 80-85% LDPE (low-density polyethylene) and contained approximately 5% contamination. Ray estimates Concord Mills' tenants generate approximately 150 tons of plastic film per year.
|Ei Team with plastic film bale
|Kevin Robertson, SPG corporate,
with Susan & Ron in discussion
A central focus for the SFCI is food waste collection beginning with back-of-the-house and seguing into front-of-the-house. On May 21, Earth Farms Organics began BOH food waste collection from the HMSHost-operated Concord Mills food court along with one other mall restaurant. With approximately 3,000 pounds per week collected, the program to date collection is just over 8 tons of food waste previously destined for the landfill.
|Brian Shetron, HMSHost
Concord Mills GM
At the Atlanta Airport SFCI Pilot, the concessionaires are required to use compostable foodservice packaging and front-of-the-house food waste collection systems will be implemented when the entire airport operates under the new contract provisions (about 18 months). In Charlotte, current plans are to retain existing food court packaging, much of which is not compostable or recyclable.
|CleanRiver signage on SPG
|former landfill destined, BOH
food waste now goes to composting
For a pictorial recap of the Ei Charlotte visit, see the Ei FB album, 08-12 Charlotte SFCI Trip. Be sure to like the Ei FB page while there!
|Eric Dyer of Grease Lock
explaining the filter system
Plastic film, food waste and kitchen grease are the three main initial action areas for the SFCI shopping mall pilot. Although the SFCI Team in formation will retain a food court focus, the overall Ei Team is excited to work on zero waste initiatives, including resource reduction, throughout the entire mall operations and grounds. Stay tuned for future blog posts on the exciting Charlotte projects.