Beyond the usual - recycling leaders keep going, and going, and going

by Carolyn Chase
ocal residents and businesses continue to demonstrate their leadership and creativity in the reduction and reuse of materials. The City of Del Mar and Solana Recyclers have recognized one family and three businesses for their outstanding participation in the city's recycling programs; in the City of San Diego, the "Recyclers of the Year" were named for waste reduction and recycling efforts.
When everyone continues to improve their practices, the results add up for both the bottom line and the environment. California Assembly Bill 939 mandated that all cities in California divert 25 percent of their waste from the landfill by 1995, and 50 percent by the year 2000. While many initially whined about the goals and declared them unachievable or too expensive, others just got to work and many have now exceeded the 25 percent goal, saved money, created jobs, and conserved resources. Positive responses to this law have combined with other key incentives to "do the right thing." These other factors include consumer education and demand, and the high costs of siting and permitting new waste facilities locally.
You can't look though the list without seeing some practical ideas that could be applied in your own workplace or home. Just about every kind of business has responded on the lists - except for the notable exception of any law firms. So, counselors, if any of you are reading this out there... get with the program!

Del Mar stars

David, Arlene, and Michael Paa of Del Mar have been chosen as the Del Mar Residential Recyclers of the Year for 1995. Boomerang's Sports Cafe, the Del Mar Motel and Del Mar Realty were given awards because of their achievements in the commercial recycling program.
The Paas were chosen as Residential Recyclers of the Year because of their extra efforts to help preserve the earth that have gone beyond thorough sorting of curbside recyclables. They also compost their food and yard waste, donate to and shop at thrift stores, and help participate in local Earth Day events. "Residents like these make a substantial contribution toward Del Mar's achievement of more than 50 percent diversion of municipal waste from local landfills," said Joe Hoefgen, Assistant to the City Manager.
During its second year, the Del Mar Commercial Recycling Program has helped contribute to the diversion of more than 50 percent of the city's waste. According to Cynthia Mallett, Commercial Recycling Coordinator of Solana Recyclers, "During 1995, approximately 130 Del Mar businesses have recycled over 289,832 pounds of materials. This is an increase of 10 percent from the previous year, making the City's Commercial Recycling Program an ongoing success,"
Boomerang's Sports Cafe, as a result of the recycling program, has reduced their trash bill by $200 per month. The cafe educates its patrons about the recycling program to achieve full participation from all people who patronize the restaurant. Their waste reduction efforts also include the reuse and sanitizing of plastic and glass containers for storage of food and goods.
Through an extensive employee training program, The Del Mar Motel is able to divert large quantities of materials from each of the rooms. The employees separate recyclables from trash as each room is serviced. Also, using both sides of correspondence paper saves them the expense of purchasing more paper and reduces the amount of trees and resources used in paper production.
Del Mar Realty has made recycling easy and convenient for its employees by having recycling receptacles at all desks. The business also promotes source reduction by reusing printed paper for correspondence drafts and scratch paper. They also donate used office furniture to local thrift stores for reuse.

City of San Diego Waste Reduction & Recycling Awards

The following organizations have been named the Recyclers of the Year by the City of San Diego.
BankAmerica - Scripps Ranch. This financial headquarters for BankAmerica recycles approximately 60 percent of the material it generates. They also purchase products made from recycled materials. Educating its employees about the efficient use of company resources and how to recycle at work is an important part of their overall program.
Bazaar Del Mundo in Old Town recycles more than 200 tons of material each year from its restaurants and specialty shops. The Bazaar reuses packaging materials to cut costs and purchases a variety of products made from recycled materials. The Bazaar saved more than $8,000 in waste disposal costs last year.
Dixieline Lumber Company recycles a variety of materials, including its sawdust and scrap wood, which is used for composting. Last year they netted $42,000 from sawdust recycling. They also reduced paper consumption and labor costs through the purchase of new computer equipment
Last year, Fleet Industrial Supply Center (FlSC) undertook the deconstruction and subsequent reuse and recycling of many of its buildings. A total of 164 tons of metal were recycled and an additional 135 tons were reused. Some of the materials reused include windows, structural lumber and bricks. The bricks were used in the expansion of the Automotive Museum in Balboa Park
General Instrument, with 650 employees, earned more than $44,000 from the sale of recyclable materials and saved more than $16,000 in waste disposal costs. The company recovers computer chips, circuit boards, office paper, cardboard and metals.
Gold Mine Natural Food Company reduced the amount of material it throws away by 50 percent and cut costs by reusing packaging materials. A total of 98 percent of all copy paper purchased by the company consists of 100 percent recycled product.
Hewlett Packard recycles 80 percent of its total waste stream. In 1995, it recycled more than 1,700 tons of material, received $244,000 in revenue from the sale of materials and saved more than $260,000 in waste disposal costs. To help sustain markets for the materials it recycles, 30 percent of all copy paper the company purchases is recycled.
Recycling efforts at the Hyatt Regency San Diego, a 875-room downtown waterfront hotel, resulted in the recycling of 600 pounds of aluminum, 134,332 pounds of glass, 135,767 pounds of cardboard and 24,108 pounds of mixed paper. The 80 tons of paper recycled is equivalent to about 1,359 trees and saved enough power to run 40 homes for a year. The aluminum recycled save more than 1,000 gallons of gasoline while the glass saved an equivalent of 605 gallons of fuel oil. A water reuse system filters water for its laundry, saving 16,000 gallons of water per month, and a Capillary Irrigation system for interior landscaping delivers water directly to the roots of more than 1,000 plants and virtually eliminates water loss from evaporation.
The Naval Station San Diego continued to expand its ambitious recycling program. By focusing on all aspects of the waste stream, the Naval Station in 1995 saved more than $200,000 in waste transportation costs and earned more than $1.3 million from the sale of recyclable materials. The Naval Station also purchased a machine to crush used oil filters, saving them more than $85,000 in hazardous waste disposal fees.
By upgrading its computer system, NCR Corporation reduced the amount of paper it purchases by 85 percent, resulting in a $245,000 savings. By purchasing durable coffee mugs for its employees, NCR reduced its annual purchase of 360,000 disposable coffee cups by 90 percent. The change to durable cups saved an estimated $20,000.
Last year, The RREEF Funds, a property management company, started recycling programs at its five office complexes. RREEF Fund decided to start its program in an effort to meet tenant demand, keep its lease space competitively priced and to help the environment. Each month, they recycle more than 70 tons of paper and cardboard. The program is projected to save the company $43,000 a year, which they share with their tenants.
Sea World of California has found a variety of ways to reduce waste and save money. For example, in many of its dining facilities, Sea World substituted reusable baskets for paper plates. This change alone resulted in a 23 ton reduction in material going to the landfill while saving more than $3,000 in the purchase of paper products. This is a good start and we're sure they can do a lot more.
In 1995, the United States Postal Service added a recycling program for its undeliverable bulk business mail to its existing recycling efforts. The program diverts 10 tons of paper each day. Last year, the Postal Service saved more than $102,000 in waste disposal costs and more than $86,000 from the sale of material.
In 1995, the University of California San Diego recycled 42 percent of all waste material it generated. It recycled more than 4,200 tons of material while saving more than $376,000 in waste disposal costs. UCSD has developed its own Waste Reduction and Recycling Policy, which includes such items as directing outside vendors to use recycled paper and to print on both sides of proposals and reports.
The 26 Vons Companies Inc. stores located throughout the city recycle or compost 86 percent of all the material they generate. Last year, these stores recycled more than 12,000 tons of material, compared with only 1,800 tons of material taken to the landfill. One of its more impressive efforts is its organics recycling program, which recovers and composts produce trim and other food stuffs. This program alone diverts more than 2,000 tons of food waste each year.

Need help?

If you are looking for ways to improve your own recycling program, you can contact one of these businesses providing recycling services in San Diego: Advanced Recycling, Laidlaw Waste Systems, Accurate Laser Services, IMS Recycling, Tayman Industries, Paper Recovery, Building Materials Distributors, California Conservation Corps, Browning Ferris Industries (BFI), Fibre Resources, IPD Packaging, Cactus Recycling, California Metals, Brittany Metals, Toner Cartridge Recyclers (TCR), EDCO Disposal and Recycling, Smurfit Recycling, Community Recycling & Resources Recovery, Inc., AAYCO Pallet System, and Pacific Disposal.