Bigelow's Team from Lousiville KY
The Bigelow Team at Louisville has been making huge strides over
recent years in reducing our waste stream to the landfill, however,
about a year ago we felt like we were nearing our 90% diversion
goal but progress was coming more slowly. Because of this, we
decided to photograph our waste to give further insight for more
solutions. From this we found teabags were a significant
portion of that waste. Further investigation by the local
team determined the teabags to be from general floor
sweepings. With this knowledge, David Mitchell, Louisville
Maintenance Manager, proposed developing a shredding process
similar to what he had seen in his past experiences. A
machine was purchased and modified to include materials separation.
Paul Osbourne, Plant Machinist, was instrumental in designing
an effective modification to do this. As of last June, the
process was up and running. The shredding/separation machine
now does a great job of separating this entire stream into
compostables or recyclables. We have seen the
recycle/composting diversion rate rise to 97.79% with the added
process. This has resulted in a 76.5% drop in landfill
materials! We have also seen cost savings over the past 4
years of $11,000 annually in transport/landfill fees. In
addition to this, we have seen recycled materials generate $7,878
in reclaim value over the past year. The most rewarding part
is the Louisville Team has worked together to create a better
environment for our community and planet.
We came up with that name because in the 60's and 70's hippies
were going green and were concerned for the environment.
The primary goal for the Trash Hippies was to achieve a 30%
reduction in the amount of trash going to landfill from the Boise
We're thrilled to report that we have exceeded our goal and will
continue to reduce on a daily basis! Overall trash containers going
to the dump have been cut by 40%, recycling 57,700 lbs of product
that use to go to the landfill. Go Trash Hippies!
How We Accomplished our Goal
One of the team's first projects was to save all our trash for
24 hours. The team separated all the trash into groups. After we
evaluated our trash we invited Rick from Western Recycling to
evaluate our trash and determine what is or is not recyclable. We
then went after the recyclable items and made sure we are following
Current Recycling Program and Savings
- Western Recycling is currently picking up our recyclable trash
- We have reduced the amount of trash we discard by 30% this year
vs. last year.
- Recycling White Paper
- We purchased a total of 35 seven gallon bins and 6 thirty-two
gallon cans and one larger bin for the lunch room.
- We are saving 50 lbs of paper per week, 23,000 lbs of paper per
- Recycling Material Cores
- We discovered a large part of our waste on the production floor
was material cores off the machines. It was determined that all
cores as well as wire were recyclable. We designated several trash
cans as recyclable only and placed them in several locations. It
has already become a habit to put the cores in these designated
cans. As the cans fill up the clean up crew empties them to a large
bin outside to be recycled.
- We are saving 121 wire and cardboard cores per shift or 45,500
cores per year, 18,000 lbs per year
- Recycling Brown paper bags from the tea room
- We are saving 12,000 lbs of bags per year
- Going green in the lunch room
- We wash all utensils and plates, rather than send all of that
paper to landfill!
- Recycling Plastic Wrap
- Wraps were reduced to 2 revolutions with a quicker ascent and
descent: just enough to not leave any holes.
- We're looking at plastic wrap elimination options but now
recycling 100 lbs per week, 4,700 lbs per year
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