an Elemental Impact on-line magazine
Tackling the Challenges | Barriers to Sustainable Packaging
In December Ei orchestrates the Annual Sustainable Food & Beverage Packaging Value Chain Meeting where the challenges | obstacles to sustainable packaging are addressed. Global Green hosts the important meeting at their D.C. offices. Meeting invites are extended to the trade associations and non-profits who operate within the F&B packaging value chain.
2013 Partial Group Picture
(Ei FB album lists names)
Each year the meeting discussions exemplify the shifts and growth in an evolving industry. The ZWA Blog article, Second Annual F&B Packaging Meeting, is an overview of the 2012 meeting. For a recap of the inaugural 2011 meeting, visit the ZWA Blog article, Sustainable Foodservice Packaging Meeting.
Anchoring the value chain organizations are the following participating trade associations:
Numerous non-profits who work in arenas impacting food & beverage packaging attended the meeting:
- Foodservice Packaging Institute & Glass Packaging Institute - represent packaging manufacturers.
- National Restaurant Association - represents the food & beverage packaging purchaser who holds the power of consumer demand to effect change; foodservice operators bear the increased costs often inherent within shifting to sustainable packaging.
- U.S.Composting Council - represents the final destination in this life cycle for compostable packaging.
- DC Environmental Network
- Elemental Impact | Sustainable Food Court Initiative
- GreenBlue Institute | Sustainable Packaging Coalition
- Green Seal
- Global Green | Coalition for Resource Recovery
- Institute for Local Self-Reliance
- Sustainable Biomaterial Collaborative
(Ei FB album lists names)Many meeting participants joined Ei Chair Scott Seydel for a pre-meeting dinner at Logan Tavern. Great food and lively, fun dinner conversation set the stage for the powerful meeting the following day.In the morning, each organization presented on their mission, stakeholders, 2013 activities and finished with planned 2014 projects. The meeting agenda, PPT presentations and attendee list are available for download on the Ei Meetings & Events page.Lack of consistency and confusion within the value chain was a consistent challenge interwoven within presentations. To create common ground several organizations are in various development stages for packaging standards, tool kits and other educational mediums. These documents are designed to assist the entire value chain - from manufacturers to foodservice operators to recycling and composting facilities - with decision making that aligns with emerging best sustainable packaging practices.
Linda Chipperfield presenting
Green SealCompleted documents include Green Seal Standard #35, Foodservice Packaging, NRA Recycling Tool Kit, and ILSR | Ei Compostable Foodservice Ware Packet prepared for the SFCI - Atlanta Airport. The USCC received a grant for a Compostable Plastics Tool Kit and the request for proposals is issued for 2104 work. Noting a frequent disconnect between packaging designers and effective end results, the SPC lists a Design Guide for Foodservice Packaging as 2014 projected work.Industry working groups are another common thread among the participating organizations. In 2012 FPI formed the Paper Recovery Alliance and Plastic Recovery Group, which work on parallel yet complementary paths.The NRA formed the ConServe Sustainability Advisory Council comprised of environmental leaders from 14 restaurant and food service businesses spanning the value chain. Several Ei Partners and Advisers serve on the NRA Council. In 2013, the SPC created the Foodservice Packaging Leadership Committee focused on recovery.Understanding the flow of packaging during the recovery process was a focus area for CoRR and FPI in 2013 and continuing into 2014. Working with the American Chemistry Council, the Association of Post-Consumer Plastics Recyclers, the Carton Council and the National Association for PET Container Resources, FPI is interviewing 50+ MRFs - material recovery facilities - to benchmark current foodservice packaging recovery including final destinations. Within the boundaries of proprietary agreements, FPI intends to share the results with industry counterparts.
Green Seal is in the midst of the GS Pilot Standard for Sustainable Chicago Restaurants development with the final revised Standard due for publication in February 2014. As of December 11, six restaurants are certified under the new Standard. The NRA is relaunching the NEW Zero Waste Zones in Atlanta following the program purchase from Ei in late 2012.
Bryan Vickers of the GPI
during his presentationDuring her presentation, Brenda Platt with ILSR | SBC made an astute observation: End of USE is the appropriate term versus the common End of LIFE used in the industry. The ZWA Blog article, Perpetual Life Cycle Systems - Simplicity is Key, further discusses Brenda's comment.With updates and presentations complete, the meeting segued into a powerful industry strategy session focused on the challenges | barriers to sustainable packaging. As participants are well-acquainted from prior meetings and industry events, the group discussion was candid, honest, respectful and geared towards common goals.
Lynn Dyer of FPI presentingStrategy session topics flowed into several subject matters: Recyclable vs. Compostable vs Reusable, Policies & Regulations, Contamination, Best Practices, End Markets, Outreach | Education and Working Together | Collaboration.Food contamination is a major obstacle for recyclable food & beverage packaging and gives strong support for compostable options. In recent curbside research, FPI found food waste contamination at acceptable levels for most recycling operations. The group will continue research, observation and dialogue throughout the year on the topic. A 2014 goal is a common industry voice for the recyclable vs. compostable choice. Most participants agree reusable food & beverage serviceware are preferable when practical.Overall the group supports public policy and regulations mandating recycling and food waste diversion from the landfill. A sufficient grace period is important for infrastructure development. In addition to public laws, the group is in favor of contractual provisions between landlords | facility managers and service contractors | tenants that require action necessary for successful zero waste programs. Janitorial contract provisions specifying collection services that minimize contamination and maximize material value is a high priority.
Independent third party certification is important for developing programs; the group supports BPI Compostable Packaging Certification as the industry standard for compostable packaging. Packaging labels to assist the consumer with desired disposition was a strong discussion point. The SPC takes a leading role in labeling with their How2Recycle label initiative, which is up to 21 participants.
Anne Bedarf with the
SPC during strategy sessionA group goal is industry best practices development. Diverse end markets and infrastructure in various locals is a challenge to standard packaging templates and best practices creation. The general consensus is program development must be at the local level yet based on an existing broad sustainable packaging foundation. The SPC Essentials of Sustainable Packaging educational workshop offers a comprehensive introduction to sustainability considerations that apply to the entire packaging life cycle: material sourcing, packaging design, manufacturing, transport, and final disposal.
Ei Administrator Melissa Selem
documenting the discussionsStrong end markets, whether recycling or composting, are the driving force for successful packaging programs. Though there were few specific discussion points on end markets, Lynn Dyer with FPI pointed out the entire session was dedicated to creating a valuable packaging End of Use, whether recycling or composting destined. The other topics are the building blocks for strong end market development.In many circumstances sustainable packaging is more expensive than existing packaging and increases costs for food & beverage departments within a large facility or tenants in an event venue, office building, mall or other facility. Yet the switch to sustainable packaging shifts the disposition from waste to a material, saving on compactor pull charges and landfill tipping fees. In general, reduced materials management fees are realized by the facilities department or venue landlord | management company.
Lily Kelly of Global Green
during strategy sessionThere was discussion on the disparity between those incurring the increased packaging cost and those benefiting from the disposition cost-savings. Unless required by contract or lease provisions, most food & beverage departments or outlets do not incur the additional expense without sharing in the disposition savings. An equalizing of the costs | benefits within the value chain is required for sustainable packaging to emerge as standard packaging.Throughout the discussions, synergies among various programs and initiatives were apparent and the respective organizations made a point to further discuss working together, if not doing so already. In addition to the Annual Meeting, the group decided a midsummer conference call is important to enhance communication and strengthen work-in-progress.
Great food and fun are integral to Ei's successful meeting model. Thanks to Whole Foods catering, the group was treated to delicious, healthy food for a light breakfast, substantial lunch, dessert afternoon break, and importantly an ending wine reception. Compostable packaging was used and Melissa Selem, Ei Program Administrator, delivered the meeting food waste and packaging to Whole Foods for composting prior to the finale dinner.
DC Eco-Warriors @ reception
(names in FB album)For the meeting pictorial recap, visit the Ei FB album, 2013 F&B Packaging Value Chain Meeting.An emerging industry in the evolution process, sustainable packaging is ready for best practices, tool kits, educational material and templates for the food and beverage industry to adopt and follow. The Annual Sustainable Food & Beverage Packaging Value Chain Meeting brings together the industry leaders who address the challenges | barriers to sustainable packaging becoming standard packaging. Stay tuned for exciting announcements as the industry continues to evolve!
Scaling up composting in Charlotte, NC
It is official: The Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a project of GreenBlue, is the recipient of an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IV grant to scale up composting in the Charlotte, NC area. The grant is an excellent opportunity for public | private partnership with government (federal, state, & local), non-profits, educational institutions and private enterprise to work in unison on common ground.
The following is an abbreviated grant outline:GOAL: Promote co-composting of food and packaging wasteOBJECTIVES:1) Demonstrate the functional feasibility and community benefits of co-compostingFood &Paper Waste (waste diversion, methane generation avoidance, and material reuse: waste generator education; identification of some important co-composting process variables; and creation of a marketable compost product;2) Benchmark typical F&PW feedstock characteristics;3) Collect economic and environmental data about F&PW composting; and4) Disseminate findings to stimulate new programs nationwide.TASKSTask 1. Route OptimizationTask 2. Enlistment and Training of ParticipantsTask 3. Waste Collection and TransportTask 4. Composting, Monitoring, and EvaluationTask 5. Characterization DataTask 6. Final Report and Dissemination
SPC senior manager Anne Bedarf spearheads execution of the grant goals, objectives and tasks. As an industry veteran, Anne recruited a superb team to support the SPC in Charlotte. University of North Carolina Charlotte, IDEAS Center, Earth Farms Organics and Elemental Impact are sub-grantees under the SPC umbrella. In addition, the NC Division of Environmental Assistance, Mecklenburg County and Waste Reduction (a private company that works closely with the Mecklenburg County food waste group) are active team members.
Anne Bedarf &
Ei founder Holly Elmore
In anticipation of grant funding, the team met for a strategy session during the 2012 Carolina Recycling Association’s Food Waste Conference in Charlotte. Discussion centered around how to most effectively utilize the grant for permanent, long-term action. Route density was emphasized as critical to create systems grounded in solid business sense.
With Mecklenburg County support, UNC Charlotte utilized student availability to produce a draft Route Optimization Report. As pilot participants are determined the report will evolve into its final format. Per the introduction, below is the report scope:
This particular task of the project aims to utilize Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology to (i) identify and map facilities known to employ compostable food containers or have a corporate strategy that would support it, (ii) identify and map an initial set of facilities in the area of North Charlotte which are potential participators during the first phase of the program, (iii) suggest optimal pickup routes and schedules for this initial set of pickup locations in order to maximize capacity and minimize cost, and (iv) address considerations for future program extension in terms of site.On October 01, the team convened for their first official conference call to develop action points within grant goals, objectives and tasks. Unfortunately, the call aligned with the federal government "shutdown" and the EPA folks could not participate. Each participant educated the group on their Charlotte connections along with their planned contributions to the grant pilot. Most of the general discussion centered around the prime pilot participants to recruit.
The core group will meet via a call every three weeks to develop and accomplish a solid action plan. Google Docs provides an excellent document sharing platform for effective, timely communication. In March, the team intends to meet in-person coinciding with the 2013 Carolina Recycling Association Food Waste Conference in Asheville followed by a Charlotte visit.
Steam releasing while the windrows
are turned @ Earth Farms
Ei is honored and thrilled to join the SPC grant team. With the Sustainable Food Court Initiative Shopping Mall Pilot located in the Charlotte area, Ei has strong Charlotte working relationships. Along with the local SFCI team, Ei worked closely with Jim Lanier of Earth Farms on back-of-the house food waste collection for composting at the pilot mall, Concord Mills. The ZWA Blog post, ACTION: Theme for SFCI Shopping Mall Pilot, recaps the food waste collection journey as well as other zero waste initiatives.
In March 2013 Ei Partners HMSHost and Simon Property Group hosted the Charlotte Ei Partner Tours for two action-packed days of tours, presentations and camaraderie. The IMPACT Blog post, Charlotte Ei Partner Tours, recaps the Charlotte visit and is supported by the Ei FB album. 03-04-13 Charlotte Ei Partner Tours - Day One.
On the second day, the Ei Partners toured SouthPark Mall, Earth Farms' composting site and the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport where HMSHost operates the foodservice operations. The ZWA Blog post, Bring the Possible out Impossible, details the presentations and tours, including the Earth Farm tour. For a pictorial recap of the tours, visit the Ei FB album, 03-05-13 Ei Charlotte Partner Tours - Day Two.
Laurette Hall w/ Linda Dunn
of HMSHost @ Ei Ptr Tours
Ei works closely with Mecklenburg County. For the Charlotte Ei Partner Tours, Laurette Hall - Mecklenburg County director of sustainability - joined the tours on the first day and Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful executive director Jake Wilson was with the group for both days.
Scaling composting up in Charlotte is staged for success. The EPA grant is an excellent opportunity to showcase the magic inherent within public | private partnerships. Stay tuned as The ZWA Blog will chronicle the road to success!
Recycling Refinement: moving beyond landfill diversion
Elemental Impact is committed to creating operating practices where integrity is maintained throughout the entire value chain, including material producers, users and destinations at disposal time. Diverting valuable material from landfills and back into the production process is the core of Ei’s foundation and expertise.
As the Zero Waste Zones steward, Ei served as a “zero waste cheerleader” educating the commercial consumer on the important role recycling plays in best business practices. Beyond environmental concerns, recycling programs often are profit centers, especially for larger generators, improve employee morale and are expected by customers.
With the late 2012 National Restaurant Association ZWZ purchase, Ei evolved from a cheerleader to working with zero waste veterans on refining recycling practices. The ZWA Blog post, National Restaurant Association Acquires the Zero Waste Zones, announces the program purchase.
In the early years, zero waste measurement was in diversion rates from the landfill without consideration of the final destination. Single-stream recycling, common as the only recycling service available, results in material contamination and a high percentage of the stream landfill destined. Note effective single-stream MRF – material recovery facilities – separation is limited by the contamination within the delivered material.Ei Strategic Ally Container Recycling Institute's 2009 Understanding Economic and Environmental Impacts of Single-Stream Collection Systems white paper documents how single-stream systems achieve their goal of increasing "diversion rates" yet result in decreased actual recycling due to contamination. The ZWA Blog post, Single-Stream Recycling: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, summarizes a 2011 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency webinar on single-stream recycling challenges and fallacies.In the ZWA Blog post, Beyond Landfill Diversion, material destinations are further explored to ensure long-term integrity is maintained as new recycling systems are developed. As documented in the ZWA Blog post, The Perpetual Spiral, extending a material's end of life is not recycling and is only one step away from landfill destination. An example of extending life, versus recycling, is sending waxed cardboard - not recyclable nor compostable - to "fire log" manufacturing. Without diving into the possible toxins involved in manufacturing and burning the logs, the use gives a false sense of environmental stewardship.At the core of Ei's Recycling Refinement platform is moving beyond a landfill diversion focus to maximizing material value. The entire supply chain must work in unison to create systems grounded in solid business sense and bottom line improvement. The ZWA Blog post, Supply Chains Critical Role to Zero Waste Success, discusses how zero waste pioneers work closely with their suppliers to ensure packaging and other product components are returnable, reusable and | or recyclable.
Intertwined within Recycling Refinement is Recycling Integrity - maintaining maximum material value with minimum energy expended. With an emphasis on source-separation at the material generation site, Recycling Integrity demands organizations understand the final destination, including the journey along the way, of by-products inherent within their operations. A common industry by-product is transport packaging.
simple, on-site mini MRF
The ZWA Blog post, Source-Separation Key for Maximum Recycling PROFITS, highlights several industry leaders who created impressive recycling profit centers via their on-site mini MRFs.
Working with industry pioneers, the Ei Team is refining existing recycling programs to source-separate material at the generation point and sell it as a raw material to manufacturing operations. Plastic film is an easy win in Recycling Refinement; the valuable material is considered a contaminant in single-stream recycling programs and is in general landfill-destined. Decreased tipping fees coupled with rebate revenue from clean, baled plastic film show promise to cover the additional equipment and labor cost to bale plastic film on-site.
An Atlanta Ei Team is developing a city-wide plastic film recycling template designed for duplication across the nation. In addition to assisting the industry pioneers with on-site plastic film baling, the Ei Team is creating local infrastructure and markets. Once the plastic film recycling template is built, the infrastructure is destined to expand to other materials with minimal time and resource investment. The ZWA Blog post, If it was easy, it would already be done!, announces the Atlanta city-wide plastic film recycling template pilot.
plastic film in mini baler @
SFCI - Shopping Mall Pilot
Recycling Refinement is an exciting frontier with promise to create systems where the entire value chain benefits along with the community and the environment. Stay tuned for more tales along the RR journey ...
Creating Value through Zero Waste
In August the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council announced Atlanta is the host city for their annual conference May 7 & 8, 2014. The ZWA Blog post, Atlanta: Host City for the 2014 U.S. Zero Waste Business Council Conference, introduces Atlanta as an ideal host city with a summary of zero waste achievements and gives an USZWBC overview.Learn best practices from Zero Waste Businesses andequip your business for Zero Waste Success!May 7 & 8th, 2014 - Atlanta, GA
As a conference partner | media sponsor, Elemental Impact works closely with USZWBC executive director Stephanie Barger and the Conference Planning Committee. In mid-September, Stephanie visited Atlanta for a whirlwind of introductory meetings orchestrated by Ei founder Holly Elmore. It was a fun, powerful two plus days jam packed with back-to-back meetings, many at Atlanta's amazing dining destinations.
Ei Program Administrator with
Stephanie @ Watershed
Ei Supporter Republic Services welcomed Stephanie to Atlanta in grand style with a lovely, informative dinner at Watershed. Lively conversation was filled with strategies on how to maximize the 2014 conference impact for the USZWBC, the City of Atlanta and most importantly the zero waste industry. With Stephanie in sponsorship dialogue with Republic at a national level, it was synergistic to meet the local team.
The first full meeting day started at the Weston Buckhead, the conference host hotel. With strong sustainability and zero waste practices in-place, the hotel staff was eager to work with Ei on refining current recycling practices prior to the conference.
Lunch at The Optimist with Suzanne Burnes, Sustainable Atlanta executive director, was inspiring! Discussions are in-process for Sustainable Atlanta's formal role co-hosting the conference. In addition to introductions for potential speakers and panel members, Sustainable Atlanta would serve as the focal Atlanta organization driving conference support by local non-profits, government, civic organizations and the powerful global companies with Atlanta corporate headquarters.
Stephanie & Suzanne @
Next on the schedule was meeting Cindy Jackson - Georgia Institute of Technology waste & recycling director - along with campus recycling coordinator Maria Linderoth. After introductions, Cindy took the group on a tour of their award-winning recycling program - impressive! The 2012 Ei FB album, Ga Tech hosts GWCCA, is a pictorial recap of GA Tech's recycling practices from a tour Cindy hosted for Georgia World Congress Center Authority director of sustainability Tim Trefzer.
With Atlanta's eco warrior Laura Turner Seydel opening the conference as the keynote speaker, the next introduction meeting was with Laura's publicist Ron Slotin of Trio Media Group. Zero waste intertwine within Laura's powerful environmental platforms. After all, Laura is Ei's environmental adviser and was the Zero Waste Zones chair when the program launched in 2009.
Cindy, Stephanie & Maria with
Ei Partner CleanRiver recycling center
Atlanta zero waste icon Steve Simon of Fifth Group Restaurants was the ultimate host for a phenomenal dinner at Lure. In October 2009 Steve was featured in the New York Times front-page article Nudging Recycling from Less Waste to None for his monumental achievement at Ecco, Atlanta's first dumpster-free restaurant! The dinner was a reunion as Steve spoke at a 2009 workshop Stephanie coordinated in Maryland.
On the second day Tim welcomed Stephanie to the GWCCA campus for a back-of-the-house tour of the established recycling practices at the nation's third largest convention center, the Atlanta Falcons home and 20-acre Centennial Olympic Park.
A seasoned speaker, Tim is committed to a conference presentation, yet choosing among Tim's many accomplishments may prove difficult. In April 2012 the Georgia Dome hosted the 2013 NCAA® Men’s Final Four®, the second most popular sporting event across the globe. One of the Atlanta Local Organizing Committee stated goals was to make the 2013 Final Four the "greenest games ever." The ZWA Blog post, Final Four: green footprints continue after the games ..., recaps the ALOC green success under Tim's sustainability leadership.
Stephanie & Tim @
The GWCCA Recycling Center
As the Sustainable Food Court Initiative Event Venue Pilot, the GA Dome is committed to refining recycling practices initiated as a ZWZ Founding Participant. The ZWA Blog post, Winning Recycling Seasons: Team Work Required!, chronicles game day recycling practices in-place during the first 2013 season Falcons home game. Hmmm.... maybe one presentation is too limiting for Tim!
Next on the introduction meeting agenda was lunch with Beth Bond of Southeast Green, the voice for the Southeast's sustainability successes. Outdoor dining at Fontaine's Oyster House served as the perfect spot to discuss the potential SE Green USZWBC media sponsorship.
Formal business ended over coffee at the eclectic San Francisco Coffee House with Bob Peoples, Carpet America Recovery Effort executive director. Ei Chair Scott Seydel agreed to moderate a conference panel on carpet recycling. Challenges abound with carpet recycling and industry conferences are excellent vehicles for exploring creative solutions.
Bob & Stephanie @
The San Francisco Coffee House
Keeping a low carbon footprint, Holly and Stephanie enjoyed a long walk through Atlanta's urban neighborhoods to discuss next action steps. The evening ended with dinner at locally owned Basil's, a short walk to Stephanie's hotel and Holly's condo.
The Ei FB album, 09-13 USZWBC ATL Visit, chronicles the busy two days in a pictorial recap.
Creating Value through Zero Waste is the perfect conference theme. As astute business leaders know, zero waste practices improve the bottom line; shifting from a waste management to material management perspective makes solid business sense. With early planning, the 2014 USZWBC Conference is staged for tremendous success with the conference participants, Atlanta and the zero waste industry benefiting.
Prisons: Valuable Resource for Recycling Refinement Systems?!
Federal and state prison systems are a strong potential labor and facility resource for Recycling Refinement systems in the development phase. Within RR systems, existing recycling practices are evolved to maintain maximum material value with minimal energy expended.
Closed TN State Prison
(filming site for The Green Mile)
Often prison grounds, both inside and outside the fence, contain underutilized buildings that may serve as recycling centers. With a captive pool of inmates eager to work, prisons are staged for promising public | private partnerships grounded in the WE Consciousness, where all parties benefit. Note the WE Consciousness was introduced in the ZWA Blog post, Zero Waste is a Team Sport.
When The Ohio State University achieved their incredible 98.2% recycling rate in the 2012 football season game, the state prison sorted, baled and sold the stadium-generated material.The OSU Zero Waste video, produced by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, is a recycling program overview including the prison partnership.
As documented in the ZWA Blog post, Source-Separation is Key to Maximum Recycling PROFITS, Elemental Impact is a strong proponent of on-site source-separation at the material generation point. Several years ago astute industry leaders launched a trend where in-house waste & recycling centers evolved into recycling profit centers; thus, the impetus of new industry standards.
Small balers aid in source-
separating @ the material generator
Adopting industry operating practices that improve the bottom line is necessary to maintain a competitive market edge and in alignment with management's fiduciary responsibility to corporate stockholders. The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council, along with many industry trade associations, share recycling success stories and support those embarking on the zero waste journey.
Ei is embarking on a city-wide recycling network template that makes solid business sense for the entire value chain. Cost-effective labor and warehouse space are key to the network development. The ZWA Blog If it was easy, it would already be done!, introduces the city-wide plastic film recycling template pilot, a first step in an overall recycling network.
With a federal penitentiary located near downtown Atlanta, Ei hopes synergies are abundant with UNICOR - a division of the Federal Prison Industries that seeks to employ and provide job skills training to the greatest practicable number of inmates confined within the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Ei | UNICOR strong relationship began with Ei founder Holly Elmore met Bob Tonetti - UNICOR's Recycling Business Group general manager - at the 2010 Georgia Recycling Coalition Conference.
UNICOR | Ei 2011 lunch
In August 2011 the Ei Team, including Ei Chair Scott Seydel, met with the UNICOR folks in Washington D.C. and laid the foundation for future projects. Ei strategizes with UNICOR on expanding penitentiary recycling programs beyond the current electronic recycling offered.
UNICOR program manager Frank Hurst and Holly keep in close contact, both excited to discover a way to work directly together. In July 2013 Frank referred his long-time UNICOR co-worker and friend Fred Roach to Holly. Retired from UNICOR after 26 years of service, Fred joined TRICOR - Tennessee's prison employment agency. Here is a quick TRICOR overview:
Mission: To prepare offenders for success after release.
TRICOR tractor @ dairy farm
Vision: We are a preferred source of skilled labor for the workforce in Tennessee.
- Customer-focused culture
- People first
- Lead by example
- Right today, better tomorrow
After several months of conference calls and strategy sessions, a group of Ei Partners, Supporters and pals converged on TN in late September to meet Fred, tour TRICOR prison operations and explore synergies | opportunities.
First on the agenda was an introductory meeting in Chattanooga with TRICOR & Ei Supporter Republic Services to plant seeds for future discussions. Boyd Leake of Community Environmental joined Holly and Fred for dinner to prepare for the following two tour days.
The next morning the entourage visited the TRICOR Dairy Farm on the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex in Pikesville. With 180 cattle, the hardworking dairy farm supplies milk for the approximately 20,000 inmates in the statewide system. After the farm tour, the group toured the recycling practices in place at the prison along with the food waste composting site.
The dairy farm cattle were
healthy and happy
Following the BCCC tour, Ei Partner Amy Moreland of Heritage Interactive Services joined the group for dinner in Nashville to discuss the dairy farm tour along with an overview of the next day's multiple tours. Nathan Jones of American Textile Recycling Services attended the dinner to learn how textile recycling may play a role in future programs.
In the morning the group toured the impressive Cook Chill plant that prepares the food for the entire prison system. Executive chef | production manager Nigel Cox runs an efficient operation and ensures maximum quality food is prepared within the limited budget. Although cardboard recycling is in-place, there are abundant opportunities to create a recycling profit center at the Cook Chill plant.
Next was a visit to TRICOR’s TN Logistics Center where the state auto license tags are produced by female prisoners. The energy in the facility was amazing - it was evident the woman were appreciative of their employment status.
The final official tour was the TRICOR scanning center within the TN Prison for Women where the group observed the ladies dismantling and scanning a vast inventory of documents for electronic storage. In addition, a call center is set-up and awaiting a contract with private enterprise to begin operations. In-prison culinary and cosmetology programs help provide the female inmates with valuable skills for employment upon their release.
Boyd, Amy & Fred
@ tours end
With the tours complete, the group dined at the Nashville Farmers Market where they discussed next action steps. Fertile seeds are planted for endeavors on many fronts within and in partnership with the TN prison system.
For the a pictorial recap of the impressive tours, visit the Ei FB album, 09-13 TRICOR TN Tours.
Prison systems are an opportunity to create powerful private | public partnerships where ALL benefit, especially the inmates. Prison employment programs prepare released inmates with the skills necessary to live a fruitful, law-abiding life. The third leg of the sustainability stool - social consciousness - provides the program stability required for success.
Winning Recycling Seasons: Team Work Required!
As the Sustainable Food Court Initiative Event Venue Pilot, the Georgia Dome is committed to the teamwork necessary for Atlanta Falcons' winning recycling seasons. Fact finding tours to witness current practices in action are an excellent first step to refining recycling practices closer to the coveted zero waste threshold.
Georgia World Congress Center Authority sustainability director Tim Trefzer hosted a front and back-of-the-house GA Dome game day recycling tour for Elemental Impact founder Holly Elmore during the September 15 Falcons | Rams game. New Falcons Stadium designers, Carlie Bullock-Jones of EcoWorks Studio & Chris DeVolder of ThreeSixty Architecture joined the fun and informative tour. Beginning with Falcons Landing, the group visited pre-game festivities.
Falcons Tailgate recycling dumpsters
Next on the tour was tailgating in one of the three GWCCA-owned parking lots. While giving away koozies, the Rise Up & Recycle Team circulated throughout the parking lot encouraging fans to recycle. In the 2012 season, Novelis - Falcons recycling partner - provided two brightly colored recycling dumpsters for each parking lot. The colorful dumpsters continue to broadcast a bright recycling message in their second season.
New Novelis-provided recycling bins made their debut inside and outside of the stadium at the 2013 season first home game. With fans prohibited from bringing beverages into the Dome, the bins are a haven for valuable aluminum and PET - polyethylene terephthalate, a common plastic used for carbonated beverages and bottled water containers.
Tim next to the new indoor
A strong zero waste foundation is in place at the Dome, a founding Zero Waste Zones participant. Pump stations are used for condiments with only mayonnaise provided in individual disposable packets, a common containment in food waste for composting streams. Levy Restaurants, the Dome's concessionaire, serves food & beverage in compostable packaging for most items.
The SFCI Team is exploring solutions for remaining food & beverage "trash" items including the roasted peanut bags. At first glance, either existing products or creative solutions are available for the items.
Event best practices are strong in the GA Dome suites. Levy Restaurants serves food in reusable platters, bowls and chafing dishes along with china plates, stainless flatware, cloth napkins and beverage glassware service. Recycling bins are installed in the back countertop of each suite.
Pre-packaged game day beverages are served in recyclable material - aluminum & PET. Post game the bowl is cleaned with the beverage containers collected in blue bags for placement in the recycling compactor. Each game approximately 35,000 game programs (pre-game every other seat beverage container is stuffed with a program) and 140,000 promotional flyers (every seat container receives two flyers) are destined for the landfill.
Pre-packaged beverages are
sold in recyclable containers
Although it appears a simple task to collect the program and flyers post-game for recycling, challenges abound. Post-game bowl cleaning is performed via a contracted janitorial service. The janitorial company is only required to separately collect paper products if the task was included as a contract provision during the RFP - request for proposal - process. Another challenge is the constantly changing hourly staff employed to clean the stadium.
Although arduous in the first years, the Portland Trailblazers developed an effective stadium cleaning program. SFCI Team Members Asean | StalkMarket and NatureWorks worked closely with the Trailblazers on untangling the challenges into success and are eager to share their expertise with the GA Dome.
Falcons programs &
The tour included a visit to the loading dock area for recycling in action with the cardboard baler, food waste bins for compost collection and the recycling compactor.
For a tour pictorial recap, visit the Ei FB album, 09-15-13 Falcons Recycling Tour.
Subsequent to the GA Dome tour, Tim and Holly traveled to the Greensboro, GA Novelis aluminum recycling plant. It was impressive to witness first-hand how a can travels through the chipping, baking to remove inks & other contaminants and melting process necessary to make an aluminum ingot. Each batch is tested to ensure specific recipes for the ingot's product destination are followed.
Greensboro plant ingots are shipped to a Novelis facility in Kentucky for rolled aluminum production, a raw material in beverage can manufacturing. Once an ingot leaves the Greensboro plant, aluminum cans return to the recycling plant in an average sixty days for yet a another material reuse.
Novelis tour group
The SFCI - GA Dome Team is staged for ACTION! At an upcoming home game, team members will "pick" several sections of the Dome for food and beverage waste along with the associated compostable packaging. In addition, food and beverage-related items not compostable will be collected in a separate bag for later analysis. The local composter will place the Dome compostable bags filled with post-consumer food waste in a designated area to monitor it during the decomposition process.
With the new Falcons Stadium scheduled to open in the 2017 Season, the SFCI - GA Dome Team intends to work closely with the new stadium design team. Lessons learned during the Dome's recycling refinement may be incorporated into the new stadium design. With all parties playing well together, the first Falcons Stadium season is staged for recycling wins before, during and after games and other events.
SFCI-GA Dome Executive Team
... and by the way, the Falcons won the September 15 game against the Rams!
If it was easy, it would already be done!
In pursuit of Recycling Integrity - maintaining maximum material value with minimal energy expended - Elemental Impact is exploring new recycling frontiers. Industry pioneers from the early Zero Waste Zones days are eager to forge new territory while creating industry best operating practices.
A ripened fruit in the proverbial "low hanging fruit tree" is plastic film recycling. Considered a contaminant in single-stream recycling systems, plastic film is landfill destined in most commercial operations, especially at small to moderate generators. Most large generators source-separate their operating by-products, including plastic film, for sale within the commodity markets.
For Piazza Produce - the only zero waste foodservice distributor in the nation - baled plastic film rebates rival cardboard as the top revenue producer. To learn more about Piazza Produce's impressive zero waste practices visit the ZWA Blog posts, Zero Waste is a Team Sport and Source Separation Key to Maximum Recycling Profits.
Scott Lutocka of Piazza Produce
sitting on a bale of plastic film
Ei's plastic film journey began in 2011 when Simon Property Group joined the Ei Partner Program. Synchronistic with Ei and Simon joining forces, the garment manufacturing industry shifted from bulk retail packaging to individual item packaging. RESULT: a tremendous increase in valuable, clean, virgin plastic film going into retailer waste streams. The ZWA Blog post, Simon Property Group Embarks on Zero Waste Initiatives, chronicles the first Simon plastic film recycling meeting during Matt Hupp's - then Simon director of waste & recycling - second Atlanta visit.
In the same time frame Hilex Poly, a global leader in plastic bag manufacturing, and Orwak, a small baler manufacturer, joined the Ei Program. In the next months, Concord Mills - a Simon mall - accepted the invitation to serve as the Sustainable Food Court Initiative Event Venue Pilot. The necessary players were in-place to create a shopping mall plastic film recycling template!
Launched with success, the Concord Mills plastic film recycling program was announced in the ZWA Blog post, ACTION: Theme for SFCI Shopping Mall Pilot, post. With an arsenal of lessons learned, the Ei Team was ready to focus on a city-wide plastic film recycling template designed for duplication in metro areas across the nation.
Ray Soporowski. Concord Mills
GM, happy @ program launch
In simplistic terms, the city-wide game plan is to recruit 10 - 12 industry pioneers who generate a moderate amount of plastic film in their operations. Using a small baler, the pioneers collect and bale plastic film on-site for periodic collection. A local hauler collects and delivers the small bales to a warehouse. The small bales are re-baled into standard size larger bales and stored in an empty tractor trailer. Once full, the plastic film is sold by the tractor trailer load as a raw material to a plastic bag manufacturer. Atlanta serves as the pilot city for the plastic film recycling template.
Within the city-wide template, challenges abound:
plastic film ready for
the baling process
- Bottom line improvement - Ei commits to programs that make solid business sense for the entire value chain. For the generator, the baler and additional labor investment must be covered by reduced landfill tipping costs and material rebates. Route density is key to minimize transportation costs for the hauler.
- Commodity market volatility - Fluctuations in commodity market prices create instability and undue risk within a program.
- Small baler infrastructure - As with most markets, Atlanta is void of existing haulers capable of efficient small bale collection.
- Limited storage - Frequent collection is required as most generators have limited storage areas. Timing the collection routes to meet varying logistical requirements requires team effort among the template participants.
- Varying plastic film types - The template participants represent a variety of industries, each with a unique mix of plastic film types generated. It is necessary to determine the balance between bale value and energy required to create maximum value among the various film types.
- Maximizing plastic film tonnage - To justify transporting the tractor trailer to the manufacturer, a minimum of 37,000 pounds of plastic film must fill the trailer. As close as possible to the 44,000 pounds capacity is necessary to maximize value chain benefit.
- Small bale size - Small bales pose three challenges: 1> looser compaction yields lower pounds per bale, 2> inefficient stacking in the trailer results in lower pounds per trailer load, and 3> additional unloading labor at the manufacturer due to increased number of retrievals for fewer pounds.
The first plastic film recycling
meeting with FreshPointFor the Atlanta pilot, a stellar team of Ei Partners and Supporters are working together to unravel the challenges into a well-structured yet flexible template staged for duplication. The committed team includes:
Additional pilot participants are in the introductory stage with anticipated commitments in the near future.The city-wide plastic film recycling template is in the midst of the creative chaos necessary to bring forth the solid structure within a successful program. Ei founder Holly Elmore knows this energy state well as the creator of the Zero Waste Zones and the Sustainable Food Court Initiative. A common phrase Holly uses during this stage is "If it was easy, it would already be done!"
- M-Pass - a recycling and materials management consulting company- serves as the pilot foundation. Lorraine White, M-Pass founder & president, plans to use M-Pass assets to collect, re-bale and store the plastic film at her warehouse during the pilot.
- Orwak - manufacturer of small balers - agrees to provide a complimentary baler for 90 days at the pilot launch.
- FreshPoint - national produce distributor with an Atlanta distribution center - accepts the pilot baler with the agreement to welcome fellow template participants for baler demonstrations.
- Hilex Poly - a global leader in plastic bag manufacturing - contracts with M-Pass to purchase the baled plastic film by the tractor trailer load at a consistent price.
Atlanta: Host City for 2014 U.S. Zero Waste Business Council Conference
An early pioneer in the zero waste movement, Atlanta is an ideal host city for the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council third annual conference scheduled for May 7 & 8 at the Westin Buckhead. Atlanta's Eco Warrior Laura Turner Seydel opens the conference as the keynote plenary speaker.
Laura @ podium proclaiming:
"Recycling is Sexy!"
In 2009 Atlanta scored national media attention with the Zero Waste Zones launch. The City Aims for Zero Waste CNN story ran during prime viewing time along with homepage listing during Earth Week 2009. Later in the year, the New York Times front-page article, Nudging Recycling from Less Waste to None, featured ZWZ Champion Steve Simon, Fifth Group Restaurants partner. The Ei Media page includes a complete listing of ZWZ media.
Supported by the Sustainable Food Court Initiative Team, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport included a provision in the 2011 new concessionaire contracts requiring food vendors to use compostable foodservice packaging and separate food waste for off-site composting.
The ZWA Blog post, Atlanta Airport Makes a Bold Sustainable Statement, announces the contract provision. As the SFCI Airport Pilot, the Atlanta Airport received a 2011 Going Green Airport Award - the ZWZ Blog post, Atlanta Airport SFCI Pilot Wins National Award, gives the award details.
In 2012 the National Restaurant Association purchased the ZWZ. With the NRA serving as zero waste stewards, Elemental Impact's focus evolved to recycling refinement based in Recycling Integrity - maintaining maximum material value with minimal energy expended. Atlanta's pioneers are eager to participate in several new innovative platforms. The ZWA Blog posts, GREASE: Activating the Zero Waste Evolution and GREASE: A new frontier filled with economic & environmental promise, expand the definition of waste beyond material and diversion beyond landfill or incineration.
Atlanta serves as the pilot city for development of a metro-wide plastic film recycling template. Intrinsic in the template is collection, consolidation and market infrastructure creation for moderate plastic film generators. An aggressive, yet achievable, goal is to showcase the plastic film template at the 2014 USZWBC Conference.
As documented in the ZWA Blog: Powerful Industry Resource & Voice article, the 2011 USZWBC launch established zero waste as vital to business acumen and signaled the Ei "zero waste cheerleader role" was accomplished. The USZWBC mission and vision are grounded in the important role zero waste plays in best corporate operating practices:
The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council mission is to educate, inform and document the performance of Zero Waste Businesses using scientific methods to help businesses and communities become more healthy and sustainable.Vision:
The U. S. Zero Waste Business Council will create a solid foundation that advances the integrity and credibility of Zero Waste. Zero Waste Businesses save money, are more efficient, manage risk, reduce litter and pollution, cut greenhouse gases, reinvest resources locally, and create jobs and more value for their business and the community.
An Ei Strategic Ally, the USZWBC and Ei work closely together to maximize the tremendous synergies between their respective organizations. In June 2011 Ei founder Holly Elmore presented in the hospitality tract at the first annual USZWBC Conference in Costa Mesa, CA. Whether participating as speakers, sponsors and | or attendees, Ei Partners were well represented by BASF, CleanRiver Recycling Solutions, Heritage Interactive Services and Piazza Produce.
Ei Ptrs @ 2012 USZWBC Conference
The ZWA Blog post, U.S. Zero Waste Business Council hosts first rate conference, is an overview of the impressive inaugural conference.
At the second annual USZWBC Conference in May 2013, Ei orchestrated the Zero Waste is a Team Sport panel of Ei Partners - Scott Lutocka (Piazza Produce), Chris Bradlee (BASF) and Perry Kranias (HMSHost - Tampa Airport). As the conference media sponsor Ei documented the impressive program in three ZWA Blog posts:
Ei panel: Holly, Chris, Scott
photo courtesy of Amy Moreland
- Know Your Trash Up Close & Personal
- Zero Waste Success Requires WE Consciousness
- Zero Waste is a Team Sport, a powerful USZWBC conference panel
With ample planning time, the 2014 USZWBC Conference is staged for stardom. Atlanta is once again ready to shine in the nation's sustainability spotlight.
... stay tuned for conference updates.
GREASE: a new frontier filled with economic & environmental promise
Airborne grease and smoke generated as a by-product of kitchen operations are a fire hazard, an environmental concern and costly to clean. Local and national regulations require commercial foodservice operations to install a kitchen exhaust system to evacuate heat, grease effluent, moisture and smoke from the cooking area. Consisting of a hood, baffle filters, ducts and exhaust fan, the kitchen exhaust system must be monitored and maintained in accordance with the codes.
airborne grease generated in
stove top high heat saute
Most kitchen exhaust systems are inspected monthly or quarterly and require a system cleaning due to grease build-up. On average an exhaust system cleaning uses approximately 350 gallons of water along with toxic chemicals necessary to remove grease from the system. In addition the metal baffle filters are generally cleaned nightly, requiring labor, water and toxic cleaning chemicals.
The post-cleaning greasy, toxic water is released through the operator's grease trap or directly into the local sewer system. Either way the toxic chemicals flow into the local water treatment system or directly into waterways.
GLF collects grease particulates
before they enter the exhaust system
Elemental Impact Partner Ellis Fibre manufactures a patented, disposable grease filter that is placed in front of the baffle filters. EF's Grease Lock Filters collect 90% plus of the kitchen grease particulates before entering the kitchen exhaust system. By eliminating grease build-up in the system, the nightly baffle filter cleaning is generally reduced to weekly; the number of third party contracted kitchen exhaust system cleanings are significantly reduced.
To substantiate and quantify the water, labor and toxic chemical savings, Ei joined forces with Compliance Solutions International for a three-restaurant, eight-week GLF system pilot. The Water, Chemical, & Cost Savings in Commercial Kitchens By Using Grease Lock Filters, A Report on Restaurant Pilots prepared by Jay Parikh, CSI president is available for download on the Ei GREASE - Grease Recycling & Energy Alternative Solutions for the Environment, Water Use | Toxicity and Reference Materials website pages.
HMSHost-operated Pei Wei
@ ATL Airport participated in pilot
Each of the pilot restaurants realized a cost-savings by installing the GLF system and chose to continue using the filters post pilot. Cost-savings were derived from reduced labor hours, fewer third party contracted cleanings, and reduced water usage and sewage treatment charges. The big winner is the local community who benefits from lower commercial water demand and a reduction in toxic chemicals entering the sewer system and|or waterways.
In addition, the GLF proactive approach to airborne kitchen grease enhances fire safety, reduces roof repairs & maintenance caused by grease accumulation, increases HVAC energy efficiency with cleaner fan blades and other moving parts, and lowers the community's carbon footprint due to fewer cleanings by contracted third party kitchen exhaust system maintenance companies.
grease build-up on roofs causes
costly repairs & manitenance
As a Sustainable Food Court Initiative Atlanta Airport Pilot team member, Ei Partner HMSHost agreed for Pei Wei, located in the International Terminal, to participate in the pilot. Working closely with the HMSHost team, Kyle Mastin - airport concessionaire manager - was impressed with the GLF pilot results at Pei Wei.
At an Ei | Atlanta Airport meeting last week, Kyle showcased the pilot success with enthusiasm for broader use at the airport. The ZWA Blog post, GREASE: Activating the Zero Waste Evolution, introduces the GREASE task force and mentions the airport's interest in assessing the grease generated at the terminal concessionaires along with potential on-site energy options.
In the ZWA Blog post, Zero WATER Waste: more than a goal, a necessity, Ei set the foundation for launching the Water Usage | Toxicity focus area. Within the post, the GLF system is introduced along with a grease scenario and system overview.
GREASE Team @ ATL Airport
Ei intends to support the widespread use of the GLS in commercial kitchens with a three-tier approach:
GREASE is entering a new industry frontier with Ei leading the charge. Stay tuned as Ei determines the economic benefits, substantiates the environmental stewardship and develops an industry-wide action plan for kitchen exhaust system grease. EXCITING TIMES, indeed!
- Installation of GLF systems - goal is to establish a metrics tracking system to quantify the economic and environmental impact for the foodservice operator and the community at-large.
- Certification of filter compostability - filters are made of lambs wool with no metal; EF intends to pursue the ASTM Standards testing required by BPI in their compostable packaging certification program.
- Utilization of grease captured in filters - grease is valuable in waste to energy technologies; determine how to best use the grease captured in the filters, whether extracted or within the filters.
GREASE: Activating the Zero Waste Evolution
G.R.E.A.S.E.Grease Recycling & Energy Alternative Solutions for the EnvironmentWhen the Zero Waste Zones launched at the acclaimed February 2009 press conference, the collection of spent grease for the local production of biofuel was one of the program's participation criteria. Spent grease is used kitchen fryer oil, often referred to as yellow grease. At the time, meeting the criteria was easy.The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy had an established grease collection system complete with a retail fueling station for their locally produced biofuel. For an overview of the 2009 SACE biofuel operations, watch the popular CNN video: City Aims for Zero Waste.In 2010 the Energy Tax Credit renewal was delayed causing strife within a fragile, emerging industry. Most of the Atlanta market biofuel production facilities closed along with the SACE retail station. For Elemental Impact, the scenario revealed the ZWZ Criteria was not grounded in solid economics; the biofuels industry seemed dependent on the Energy Tax Credit for economic sustenance.Working closely with SACE, Ei launched GREASE - Grease Recycling & Energy Alternative Solutions for the Environment, a task force to address the biofuels criteria viability. First on the agenda was addressing the "local" requirement. With out-of-state options available, Ei expanded local to include facilities within a 500-mile radius.The spent grease ZWZ Criteria was grounded in highest good use versus landfill diversion. Spent grease is a valuable commodity with foodservice operators receiving rebates for grease collection. Next on the GREASE agenda was to address the final destination; the majority of the spent grease was destined for rendering plants as an ingredient in animal feed.
To learn first-hand about spent grease destinations, Roy Edwards, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Sustainability Division, and Ei founder Holly Elmore visited the Griffin Industries rendering plant in Ellenwood, GA. The ZWA Blog post, The By-Products of Mass Food Production, is a tour overview.
McKay Johnson of CEB &
Anne Blair of SACE @ openingWhen the National Restaurant Association purchased the ZWZ in 2012, any revisions to the spent grease program criteria landed in their court. Complete with addressing spent grease destinations, the GREASE task force went into a holding pattern. For details on the NRA ZWA purchase, read the ZWA Blog post, National Restaurant Association Acquires Zero Waste Zones.In 2012 SACE reopened their Atlanta biofuel retail station in partnership with Clean Energy Biofuels. The ZWA Blog post, Atlanta Retail Biofuel Station Opens, recaps the grand opening and the Ei FB album, 06-21-12 Biodiesel Fueling Station Grand Opening, is a pictorial overview.
grease accumulation in kitchen
exhaust system ductsOnce again working with SACE, GREASE returns to action mode with an expanded grease definition to include the following three types generated in foodservice operations:
With spent grease addressed, the GREASE Team will focus on FOG and kitchen hood grease. Current destinations are shifting for FOG. Until the recent past, the common FOG destination was direct land application or the landfill. Improved technologies and an expanding biofuels market support "cleaning" FOG with the grease going to biofuel production and food particulates sent for composting or to the landfill.
- Spent Grease - used grease from fryers, often referred to as yellow grease
- F.O.G - Fats, Oils & Grease - grease collected from grease traps, often referred to as brown grease
- Kitchen Hood Grease - airborne grease accumulated in the exhaust system from kitchen operations
installed GLSIn the ZWA Blog post, Zero WATER Waste: more than a goal, a necessity, the importance of addressing kitchen hood grease, along with its related water use and contamination, is introduced. Ei joined forces with Compliance Solutions International for a three-restaurant pilot substantiating the Grease Lock System airborne grease collection success. For pilot details, see the ZWA Blog post, GREASE: a new frontier filled with economic & environmental promise.Understanding the intrinsic kitchen grease value, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport took the first steps in assessing the types, quantities and current destinations of grease generated at the airport concessionaire operations. In August, SACE and Ei met with an airport team to begin the assessment process. GREASE Team @ ATL AirpotAs the Sustainable Food Court Initiative Airport Pilot, the Atlanta Airport is an industry leader in adopting sustainable practices for its food court and restaurant operations.
In 2011, the Atlanta Airport won a Going Green Airports Award for the groundbreaking compostable packaging provision in the new airport concessionaire contracts. The ZWA Blog post, Atlanta Airport Makes Bold Sustainable Statement, announces the new contract provision and the Atlanta Airport SFCI Pilot Wins National Award post is an overview of the prestigious award.With GREASE reactivated, the definition of "waste" in zero waste expands beyond traditional recyclable material to include grease generated in commercial foodservice operations. Water usage in commercial operations is another expanded zero waste component. Diversion rates will soon broaden from "diversion to landfill" to sewer systems and other waterways. The Zero Waste Evolution is activated!