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Sustainability

Recycling

Corporate sustainability was once considered just a new marketing gimmick. Companies now realize that incorporating sustainability strategies into their operations is a proven way to positively impact the people, planet, and profits a concept known widely now as the “triple bottom line”.

GBB has extensive experience assisting companies achieve the triple bottom line with sustainable waste management strategies at the corporate level, at manufacturing plants, and all along the entire supply/value chain. GBB helps companies optimize their waste management system by showing them how to generate less waste, increase recycling to turn their waste into a possible revenue source, and recover energy.

Qualifications

Recycling Planning and Waste Reduction Assistance – Johns Hopkins Health System

GBB prepared a Waste Reduction and Recycling Plan for the Johns Hopkins Health System, a 2.5 million square foot health care facility with over 10,500 employees. GBB assessed existing waste handling practices to determine quantities and composition of the waste stream. GBB developed preferred reduction and recycling programs; performed a cost-versus-benefit analysis; and located markets for recyclables. A promotional plan was developed which included strategies for identifying the informational/motivational needs of the target audiences, using existing promotional materials to spread the word about recycling, encouraging participation through appointing volunteer recycling coordinators, and assessing program effectiveness.

Institutional Recycling Plan – Kansas Department of Corrections, Topeka, Kansas

On-site observations at one of the state’s oldest and largest correctional facilities were made to conduct a waste stream audit and to assist in conceptualizing recyclables collection and processing options. A Model Recycling Plan was developed which included development of a waste stream profile; projections of cost savings and program costs; determination of the feasibility of on-site processing and manufacturing of materials; a recyclables market survey; and investigation of government financial assistance. The Plan has been implemented.

Program Planning Assistance for In-House Office Recycling Program – Marriott Corporation

GBB staff met with members of Marriott’s procurement department at their Rockville corporate headquarters to discuss how in-house recycling programs could affect overall solid waste management costs and enhance Marriott’s corporate image. Staff provided Marriott with sample employee outreach materials and provided program planning assistance, including suggestions on container selection, collection mechanisms, market arrangements, and employee education. To announce the kick-off of the program, GBB prepared a 15-minute slide presentation and participated in several employee training sessions.

Development of Strategies to Overcome Barriers to Plastics Recycling in Fairfax County, Virginia – Mobil Chemical Company

As part of an assignment to identify barriers to plastics recycling in Fairfax County and assist Mobil in developing strategies to overcome those barriers, GBB surveyed local environmental groups, the Chairman of the County Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Recycling, and selected County staff regarding their attitudes toward plastics recycling (as opposed to legislation designed to ban certain plastic products). Local retail grocery store managers were surveyed about customer preferences regarding plastic versus paper grocery bags. Factors influencing the use of plastic grocery sacks were also identified. The results of these data-gathering activities were compiled and analyzed. GBB recommended development of an in-house recycling program to support a local regional materials processing facility and that Mobil facilitate establishing plastic grocery bag recycling in Fairfax County.

Waste Stream Audit and Recycling Planning – St. Cloud Hospital, St. Cloud, Minnesota

GBB conducted a waste audit at the hospital to identify the existing waste composition in order to gather data about the types and quantities of materials available to include in comprehensive waste reduction and recycling programs. The current waste stream in terms of total quantity and estimated composition was identified. Materials that have the potential to be recycled or reduced in volume were specified. A limited recyclables market analysis was performed. Finally, projected quantities of materials that can be recycled or reduced, based on certain circumstances, such as availability in the waste stream, potential recovery rates, and market conditions.

Technical Assistance for Office Recycling and Public Education – U.S. Postal Service Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

In an effort to comply with mandatory recycling requirements, reduce disposal costs, and enhance public image, GBB planned and implemented a comprehensive recycling program for the U.S. Postal Service Headquarters, a 2,700 employee complex located in Washington, D.C. GBB developed a multi-material office recycling program to recover high-grade office paper, newspaper, aluminum, glass beverage containers, and corrugated cardboard. In addition to technical assistance in designing the collection and marketing systems, GBB designed and developed a series of promotional materials, including: logo and theme (GBB worked with ideas suggested by USPS staff for logo and created the SOAR theme, Saving of America’s Resources — A United States Postal Service Recycling Program); preliminary flyer announcing the program kick-off; four-color brochure distributed to all employees, providing details on the collection program; business cards for volunteer recycling coordinators; poster for common areas, entranceways, and elevators; signage to place above containers (in keeping with building aesthetics); auto-narrated slide presentation for employee training; tee shirts, hats, and other promotional give-aways; and artwork for silk-screened containers. The educational program won awards from the U.S. EPA and the National Recycling Coalition.

Recycling Program Feasibility and Implementation Assistance – U.S. Postal Service, Northeast Region

GBB conducted regional recyclables market and waste management alternative surveys; developed procurement documents for removal, processing, and sale of recyclables; conducted waste audits and facility walk-throughs on numerous major mail processing facilities to determine constraints of establishing recycling programs; and developed narrated slide presentation to educate Postal Service Division Managers on the development of sound waste management practices.

Development of Institutional Waste Reduction and Recovery Tools – Confidential client

GBB was hired by a company in the food and beverage industry to help improve waste reduction and recovery system to allow plants to exceed a 90% recovery rate. GBB developed a preliminary waste generation profile for the company’s facilities and developed symbols, signs and color-coding for each waste material.

Training material and procedures were developed to clarify the best practices for recovering the maximum amount of waste materials. Performance measures were put in place to identify objective measures of progress and levels of recovery. GBB also suggested incentive programs to encourage and motivate employees to maximize waste reduction and recycling efforts in plant and office areas.

A web-based tool was implemented by GBB to facilitate the program’s implementation and downloading of print tools throughout the company’s facilities.

Assessment of Business Opportunities in Developing Material Recycling Facilities – Confidential Client

For a private company, GBB assessed business opportunities in materials recovery facilities (MRFs). The types of materials and their proportional quantities expected currently and in the future were presented, based on GBB’s database of results from existing programs. End user market specifications were assessed to determine the sorting and other upgrading processes required.

Contractual agreements for providing MRF capacity to local government-sponsored recycling programs and marketing strategies were described. Institutional and economic issues to developing an all-private merchant MRF were outlined, with a recommended approach to overcoming them.

Waste and Recycling Facilities Reviews; Sports/Spectator Arenas and Atlanta Airport – US EPA, as a subcontractor to ICF International

For a contract with the US EPA, as a subcontractor to ICF International, GBB completed waste and recycling facility reviews of a major spectator arena in Denver, Colorado, and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (the country’s busiest passenger airport), providing information, assistance, and suggestions on improving existing waste reduction and recycling as well as implementation of increased waste diversion programs in the form of report memoranda. Additional work for EPA included recycling and waste handling assessment at an additional sports facility in Denver and increased public recycling at a national park performance venue. This work was performed as part of a multi-year contract, providing various programmatic support for US EPA’s Recycle on the Go initiative, encouraging recycling programs in public places.