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2001 Environmental Excellence Award Winners

The Washtenaw County Environmental Issues Group is pleased to announce the Winners of the 2000 Environmental Excellence Awards! The Awards were presented at the Sustainable Washtenaw Full Group Meeting on Tuesday, May 15, 2001.

Overall Environmental Excellence Award:

Arbor Springs Water Company

Environmental Excellence in Water Quality Protection:

Village Townhomes

Honorable Mention in Water Quality Protection:

Great Lakes Plastics

Environmental Excellence in Pollution Prevention:

Thetford Corporation

Honorable Mention in Pollution Prevention:

Roberts Paint & Body

Environmental Excellence in Waste Reduction and Recycling:

Leopold Brothers of Ann Arbor Brewery

Honorable Mention in Waste Reduction and Recycling:

J.C. Beal Construction Inc.



2001 Overall Environmental Excellence Award

Arbor Springs Water Company

1440 Plymouth Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI  48105
Contact: William Davis: (734) 668-8270

Arbor Springs Water Company was established in 1926 and provides quality bottled water and cooler service to Southeastern Michigan. A family owned and operated business located on Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor, Arbor Springs obtains water from a natural artesian well. Given the nature of their business, protecting the environment is a priority for Arbor Springs. They are currently members of the Michigan Water Quality Association, the International Bottled Water Association and participate in Washtenaw Countys own Waste Knot Program and the Community Partners for Clean Streams Program.

Arbor Springs Water Company has created an excellent waste reduction and recycling program. Their water is bottled in multi-use and recyclable 5-gallon bottles that are ultimately remanufactured into plastic furniture and lumber. The company developed a special bottle cutter to facilitate the recycling of its unusable water bottles; water bottles are reused up to 100 times before they are cut in half and shipped to the recycler to become plastic furniture and building components. Cutting the bottles in half allows Arbor Springs Water to stack the bottles more efficiently, sending the same amount of bottles to the recycler in fewer truckloads. Along with its comprehensive bottle recycling, the company does its accounting on-line, reducing paperwork by 50 percent. Arbor Springs Water Company also closes the recycling loop by purchasing office furniture that has been remanufactured by a local rebuilder.

As water quality stewards, Arbor Springs has been a member of Community Partners for Clean Streams since September 1999 and their operations reflect commitment to environmental protection. They have installed oil/water separators in truck bays, use neither fertilizers nor pesticides on their property, spill prone areas are protected with containment pallets and they stencil the "Dump No Waste - Drains to River" message on site storm drains and have committed through their Water Quality Action Plan to provide even more water quality protection practices to their customers and employees. Arbor Springs is also committed to using the least toxic cleaners in their many processes and are always looking for safer alternatives to the chemicals they use.

Arbor Springs Water Company goes above and beyond what is required by law and continually succeeds in the production of a high quality product - water - without harming the environment.

Environmental Excellence In Water Quality Protection:

Village Townhomes

2220 Pittsfield Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Contact: Colin Breed: (734) 971-0233

Village Townhomes is located at 220 Pittsfield Boulevard in the City of Ann Arbor. The cooperative multicomplex community comprises 422 dwelling units constructed in l948. Renowned architect Charles Noble, who became chief designer for Alfred Kahn, designed Village Townhomes.

The functional site design is readily evident today, and the Village Townhome Cooperative Association pays close attention to site activities to assure that stormwater quality protection measures are observed. Employee training is regularly conducted to apprise them of spill procedures. Drip irrigation is only used in landscaping beds and a vehicle maintenance program has been established that provides for plain water washing in dedicated truck bays. The staff continually investigates more environmentally friendly products and procedures and requires contractors and vendors to follow the Cooperative's policies regarding the provision of products and services.

A Village Townhomes Master Gardener specifies low maintenance, disease and pest resistant plantings. Native plantings are specified whenever possible. Integrated Pest Management is the designated method to treat site plant pests but is used only in "threatened plantings" circumstances. The Village Townhomes Landscape Committee also reviews all soil amendment products and requires a "mow high" turf grass care program. Landscaping wastes are composted, all metal products are recycled and the Ann Arbor Drop-Off Station is regularly utilized.

Honorable Mention In Water Quality Protection:

Great Lakes Plastics

7641 Salem Rd.
Salem, MI 48175
Contact: Jim Richardson: (248) 349-1180

Great Lakes Plastics is a custom manufacturer of compression molded electrical components that are supplied to the automotive industry. Located in Salem Hamlet, Great Lakes employs 60 people who are all committed to environmental protection. Being a Rouge Watershed Community Partner for Clean Streams, they received special recognition from the Drain Commissioner in May 2000 for their participation as a Rouge Community Partner. In fulfilling the requirements of the Community Partners for Clean Streams Program, Great Lakes overcame challenges in a short period of time to qualify for Partnership. They hired a safety director, adopted an environmental policy statement and a spill prevention plan, and committed to monthly environmental meetings and plant tours to discuss pollution prevention opportunities and remedies.

Great Lakes uses only plain water for pressure washing and uses no fertilizers, pesticides or irrigation on the site. They have also committed to a purchasing forecast plan in order to reduce the amount of hazardous materials stored on site. Great Lakes Plastics has demonstrated interest and commitment to improve their site water quality programs that resulted in significant improvements with Washtenaw County pollution prevention compliance.

Environmental Excellence In Pollution Prevention:

Thetford Corporation

7101 Jackson Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Contact: James Walters: (734) 769-6000

Thetford Corporation provides quality services and sanitation products for manufacturers and users of recreational vehicles throughout the world. This company is in complete compliance with the Washtenaw County Pollution Prevention Regulation and associated State regulations.

Thetford Corporation has made a number of strides in the field of pollution prevention including a reduction in their quantities of stored hazardous chemicals and the recycling of used solvents. Plus, they have a new formaldehyde mixing tank system at their facility. In order to decrease the waste they produce, Thetford Corporation works to minimize the amount of wastewater created. Solid waste reduction efforts have concentrated on cardboard and paper recycling.

In addition to all of the pollution prevention efforts that Thetford Corporation is making on their own, they are also in compliance with Federal reporting in the areas of Tier II Reports, Form R Reports, MSDS Records, HAZCOM Training, State Air Permit Regulatory Requirements and Hazardous Waste Manifest record keeping requirements. Their Baker Road facility also has an NPDES Permit.

By setting the highest of standards in environmental protection, it is companies like our winners today, that make Washtenaw County a desirable location to do business and maintain a sustainable quality of life for all the residents in our community.

Honorable Mention in Pollution Prevention:

Roberts Paint & Body, Inc.

610 E. Industrial Dr.
Chelsea, MI 48118
Contact: Maggie Roberts: (734) 475-1149

Roberts Paint & Body, located in Chelsea, has been in business since 1976. Brothers Jerry and John Roberts have expanded a family business that began in a home garage to their current facility, which is more than 14,000 square feet. Their services include auto body repair, collision and frame repair, classic car restoration and complete detailing services and refinishing.

Roberts Paint & Body is in complete compliance with the Washtenaw County Pollution Prevention Regulation and associated State regulations. They have dramatically reduced their hazardous materials waste stream by recycling paint-related wastes and antifreeze on-site. They have eliminated auto body painting exhaust into the environment by installing a three-filtered paint booth system in the shop. They also have an on-going recycling program for office paper, cardboard, scrap metal, plastics, glass and printer cartridges.

Additionally, the Roberts brothers have shown concern for the environment as it relates to their employees by installing air quality monitors for their painters and dust collection devices for their grinders.

Environmental Excellence In Waste Reduction And Recycling:

Leopold Brothers of Ann Arbor Brewery

529 South Main St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Contact: Scott Leopold (734) 747-9806

Leopold Brothers Brewery in Ann Arbor isn't just your ordinary neighborhood brewery, it's also striving to be the world's first zero waste brewery and doing a spectacular job of reaching that goal!

Reusing and recycling common items such as paper, glass, metal, and plastic is just the beginning for Leopold Brothers. The waste heat and carbon dioxide produced in the brewing process is recovered and reused in other brewery processes. The brewery currently has one of the most efficient kegging lines in the world; whereas a traditional kegging line produces 6-10 kegs of wastewater for every keg of beer produced, Leopold Brother's produces only 1.5 kegs of wastewater per keg of beer produced. This wastewater is then reclaimed and reused in other processes of the brewery. The brewery's beer is all certified organic and their equipment is CFC and chlorine free.

Reused materials were utilized in the brewery's bar and furniture. They reuse so many items that current health codes do not allow them to reuse any further materials in the bar area. In fact, the brewery has reduced, reused, and recycled so much of their waste that garbage is only collected from their facility once every 120 days!

Honorable Mention in Waste Reduction And Recycling:

J.C. Beal Construction, Inc.

221 Felch St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Contact: Fred Beal: (734) 662-6133

J.C. Beal Construction, Inc. is a general contracting and construction management firm performing new construction, renovation and restoration work for the commercial and institutional market.

The company prides itself on the its waste reduction efforts, the most significant of which is recycling substantial amounts of demolition and job site debris that would normally be landfilled. Metals and concrete are put in separate containers and sent directly to recycling firms, while all other debris is sent to a material recovery facility for recycling. In addition, J.C. Beal uses pre-engineered lumber, systems shoring, and scaffolding to avoid excessive lumber waste. Many recycled content products are used in their construction sites, such as concrete, asphalt, carpets, and plastic lumber.

Although the company focuses on reducing the waste stream from its demolition and construction projects, its office also participates in a comprehensive recycling program. All of the waste reduction, reuse, and recycling programs at J.C. Beal not only help preserve the environment, they also lead to a measurable cost savings and increase in job profits and their profit sharing plan.

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