Our sustainability coordinator, Tim Trefzer, recently spoke at the Georgia Recycling Coalition Annual Conference about Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) recycling efforts, how these efforts have grown, how we have improved and challenges we are addressing.
Tim wrote the following about his talk at the event:
I recently had the pleasure of speaking in the “Access, Educate, Evaluate” plenary session of the Georgia Recycling Coalition’s annual conference. The intent was to highlight the progress we’ve made in the relatively young waste diversion program on our campus and share the innovative ways we are able to divert and measure many materials that are often challenging to control.
One of the challenges we face is time. When a tradeshow ends, contractors are brought into the exhibit halls of the GWCC to tear down what is often essentially a small city. To make it easier and faster to collect materials like corrugated cardboard, visqueen or plastic film, we place rolling crates in these areas with signage for collection. We hope to add new materials to our collection process in the very near future and we regularly remind contractors of this practice.
We know visitors to our campus may not be thinking about recycling when they attend a large sporting event. We look at this as an opportunity for recycling education and have worked to provide messaging to fans both inside and outside the Georgia Dome identifying what materials are recyclable and reminding them to recycle. We also try to make recycling as visible and easy to do as possible. Nearly every trash container on our campus has a recycling container next to it.
Although we haven’t been able to measure all of our waste streams until the last couple of years, we do have enough data to show that the past year ending in June showed an increase in waste diverted from landfills by 8.9% to 32.4%! While there is still plenty of room for improvement, we know that we are headed in the right direction by focusing on our work with clients, visitors, partners and internal employees.
Pictured: A few members of the GWCCA Green Team with City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed during the 2012 Downtown Atlanta Earth Day Clean Up Challenge earlier this year.