Five local companies were honored for their outstanding environmental efforts with Green Awards during national Pollution Prevention Week (Sept. 15-21, 1997). Presented by a consortium comprised of the APCD, the Community Environmental Council, the Santa Barbara County Solid Waste and Utilities Division, and Traffic Solutions, the fourth annual Green Awards recognized voluntary private sector activities that resulted in cleaner air or water, less waste, less traffic, conservation of energy and natural resources, or reduced use of hazardous materials.
The following award recipients were honored at a special luncheon at the Cabrillo Arts Center on September 19.
Channel Paper Company is one of the County's largest suppliers of recycled content and unbleached papers, having sold more than 3,000 cases of environmentally-superior writing paper and 4,800 cases of tissue paper and towels in the past year. The company also recycles cardboard, paper, and other materials, as well as reuses biodegradable packaging peanuts.
Hendry Telephone Products, a family-owned manufacturer of telecommunication systems equipment, takes pollution prevention personally. The company voluntarily participates in the Traffic Solutions rideshare program and has a number of employees who regularly bike to work (shower facilities and bike racks are provided). Hendry packages its products in recyclable materials and is looking at new ways to change waste paper into packaging cushion. The company was also one of the first local businesses to use powder rather than liquid in its product coating operations, decreasing air emissions.
The Santa Barbara YMCAhas a comprehensive pollution prevention program. Rather than enlarging its parking lot, the Y developed an employee cash incentive program for staff to use alternate commute methods. The Y has also saved nearly $10,000 per year by implementing energy efficient measures. Low-flow shower heads have saved close to one million gallons of water. Additionally, the Y maintains a recycling program and purchases recycled-content products.
The Santa Barbara County Vintners' Association has established an innovative recycling program. The 23 member wineries recycle unbroken wine bottles by sending them to Evergreen Glass to be washed, sterilized, and reused. More than 185 tons of bottles have been reused in the past year. The Association sponsors workshops to promote sustainable vineyard development that cover such issues as oak tree preservation, erosion control, and minimizing wildlife habitat impacts.
Zip Kleen Dry Cleaners' employees are committed to environmental responsibility, whether they are walking or carpooling to work or recycling plastic, hangers, safety pins, and more. The company is meticulous about maintaining its equipment so it runs at peak efficiency, reducing waste. Zip Kleen recently purchased a new dry cleaning machine that produces fewer air emissions, reduces the amount of cleaning solvent needed, and creates less hazardous waste.
Outstanding Service Awards were presented to the following organizations as special recognition for outstanding, long-term contributions to the environment in Santa Barbara County.
The Food Bank of Santa Barbara County funded construction of a public drop-off recycling center next to its facility and also uses it for sorting plastics, cardboard, and glass. In 1996, the Food Bank recycled 92,980 pounds of cardboard.
Ontiveros Elementary School in Santa Maria practices what it teaches. The school has a comprehensive recycling program that includes glass, milk cartons, polystyrene and more. Students regularly participate in recycling fairs and last year developed brochures on recycling and composting which were distributed throughout northern Santa Barbara County to about 20,000 students.
For information on the Green Awards, contact Frances Gilliland at 961-8838.
Pollution prevention or P2 is any activity that reduces or eliminates waste before it's created. In the past, environmental protection consisted of trying to control or manage waste after it was created. Now, we know that preventing pollution at its source is an important strategy in maintaining healthy air, land, and water. Better yet, this approach can be exercised by anyone, and it can save money for individuals and businesses.
Here at the APCD, we make a special effort to participate in National Pollution Prevention Week each year to encourage community awareness of innovative waste reduction methods and to renew our own committment to preventing pollution. This year, we celebrated Pollution Prevention Week (Sept. 15-21) by passing a Board resolution affirming our support of P2 as a valuable way to help clean our air and by participating in the Green Award Consortium (see accompanying article). We also maintain an office P2 program that includes recycling, purchasing environmentally-friendly products, becoming more energy efficient and using alternate commute methods.
What are Santa Barbara County businesses doing to help protect the community from pollution? Here are some noteworthy P2 practices...
H2Ohhhhh! Dora McCarty of Pacific Scientific EKD in Santa Barbara reported that the company designed a water-based cleaning system to reduce hazardous waste, air emissions, and use of solvents.
Retreading your tires? Santa Maria Tire, Inc. recycles the rubber dust for use in asphalt and other products rather than sending it to the landfill. Jake Kuiken says the company also switched to a "cementless" curing process and reduced air emissions by about 98%.
What's junk to one person is another's treasure. Old Man Mountain Products of Santa Barbara uses scrap metals to build its manufacturing equipment used in making innovative mountain bike racks. And, to avoid customer waste going to a landfill, owner Jeff Horton says they designed a nylon accessory bag for the nuts and bolts needed to assemble their products. The castle? Old Man Mountain's main workshop is an old semitrailer, and the bicycle repair shop is an old sauna.
If you want to know more about implementing pollution prevention strategies at your business, call the APCD's Business Assistance Line at 961-8868.
Business Assistance 961-8868
Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District 26 Castilian Drive, B-23 Goleta, CA 93117 (805) 961-8800
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