Bigelow Tea's Louisville KY Green Team Accomplishments

Meet Our Green Teams
Meet Our Green Teams

Louisville Green Team Accomplishments

A Bigelow Recycling Story (A passion for green from Louisville, 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.

Louisville_waste Louisville_warehouse Louisville_shredding_machine


Bigelow "Trash Hippies"; It's All In the Name

We came up with that name because in the 60's and 70's hippies were going green and were concerned for the environment.


Our Goal

The primary goal for the Trash Hippies was to achieve a 30% reduction in the amount of trash going to landfill from the Boise Idaho facility.

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 through.

Current Recycling Program and Savings

  • Western Recycling is currently picking up our recyclable trash every Wednesday.
  • 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 year
  • 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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