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2002 Environmental Excellence Award Winners


The Washtenaw County Environmental Issues Group is pleased to announce the Winners of the 2002 Environmental Excellence Awards! The Awards were presented at the Sustainable Washtenaw Full Group Meeting on Tuesday, May 14, 2002.

Overall Environmental Excellence Award:

Pfizer Global Research and Development

Environmental Excellence in Water Quality Protection:

Goodman Automotive Group

Honorable Mention in Water Quality Protection:

Tilton & Associates
Native Plant Nursery

Environmental Excellence in Pollution Prevention:

Ann Arbor Machine

Honorable Mention in Pollution Prevention:

DAPCO Industries
Village Cooperative Homes

Environmental Excellence in Waste Reduction and Recycling:

Chelsea Milling Company

Honorable Mention in Waste Reduction and Recycling:

Coach's Catastrophe Cleaning Services
The Scrap Box

2002 Overall Environmental Excellence Award

Pfizer Global Research and Development

2800 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Contact: Michael Lemon

Pfizer Global Research and Development Ann Arbor Laboratories has proven to be one of Ann Arbor's most dedicated environmental leaders. As one of the area's largest employers, the impacts of Pfizer's efforts are far-reaching - both in terms of the tangible results that their environmental stewardship produces, but also in terms of how their progressive corporate philosophy influences the individual actions of their employees.

Washtenaw County government is proud to honor Pfizer Global Research and Development as the overall Environmental Excellence winner for 2002! In order to achieve this, the County's highest environmental award, an organization must excel in three major areas: Waste Reduction & Recycling, Water Quality Protection, and Pollution Prevention. Pfizer Global Research and Development has shown proven leadership in all three areas.

Pfizer Global Research and Development Ann Arbor Laboratories has been involved in the Waste Knot Awards program since the program's inception in 1998. Some of their extraordinary waste management practices include an electronic chemical inventory system that reduces the waste caused by over-ordering materials, and a monitoring system for materials reuse and recycling that involves using a handheld barcode reader to track glass bottles from purchase to disposal. Further, their waste minimization document states that reusable and recycled materials should be purchased whenever possible, thereby helping to close the recycling loop. Employees play a large part in Pfizer Global Research and Development's waste reduction and recycling program. A Waste Minimization Committee, consisting of volunteers from throughout the facility, meet to discuss the recycling program and make suggestions for how the program could grow and improve. Employees are strongly encouraged to develop new waste reduction ideas. In fact, colleague recognition awards, prizes, and gift certificates are given to those employees who are able to develop new waste reduction and recycling initiatives.

Pfizer Global Research and Development became a participant in the Washtenaw County Drain Commissioner's Community Partners for Clean Streams program in l998. They have adopted and implemented a comprehensive Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan that is reviewed annually and revised as necessary. Pfizer Global Research and Development chooses disease- and pest-resistant plant species for landscaping, thereby reducing the need for pesticides and herbicides that damage our local water supplies. Existing vegetation and other natural features are protected and incorporated into new facility designs, and zones of mixed vegetation are maintained around all water bodies. Pfizer Global Research and Development goes above and beyond even their extraordinary in-house commitment to water quality protection by requiring all contractors to receive environmental and safety training prior to working on the site. Each contractor also receives a safety and security guide to provide general guidance on environmental procedures.

Pfizer Global Research and Development is in excellent standing with the Washtenaw County Pollution Prevention program. They have maintained exemplary inventory control through the implementation of their "Jordan" chemical bar coding/scanning and tracking system. Benefits of this system include reduced chemical usage and "cradle to grave" hazardous waste record keeping. They have also implemented best management practices for fume hood emissions, resulting in a 10% decrease in laboratory emissions which improved overall air quality and increased the safety and efficiency of their laboratory methods and practices. Pfizer Global Research and Development has also responded to the community health threat of mercury by introducing a multi-phase mercury reduction program.

Our thanks and congratulations go to this remarkable company!

Environmental Excellence In Water Quality Protection:

Goodman Automotive Group

3120 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Contact: Larry Woodward

The Goodman Automotive Group is located at 3120 Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor and offers sales and service for the Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Saab, Kia and Isuzu automotive lines. Goodman Automotive fulfilled the requirements for Community Partner for Clean Streams participation in November of 2001 under the leadership of Goodman Automotive Group's Larry Woodward. Among the many commitments that the Goodman Automotive Group has made to protect water quality in the Malletts Creekshed include: the development of a comprehensive spill plan, a dedicated indoor bay where carwash water is recycled, the recycling of maintenance shop paint thinner and oil filters, and the installation of a gas and oil separator. Goodman Automotive is also on a reduced inspection schedule for Washtenaw County Pollution Prevention Inspection program due to their outstanding efforts in this area as well.

Honorable Mention In Water Quality Protection:

Tilton & Associates, Inc.

501 Avis Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Contact: Donald Tilton

Tilton & Associates is a private consulting firm that specializes in water recourse management, resource policy and ecological restoration of natural habitats. Its sole officer, Donald L. Tilton, PhD., established the firm in l996. Located at 501 Avis Drive in Ann Arbor, Tilton & Associates provides professional advice on wetland management, ecological restoration, and stormwater management to both the public and private sectors. The firm also consults with local units of government who administer wetlands regulations. Tilton & Associates joined the Community Partners for Clean Streams program in August of 2000. To qualify for a professional consultant's Community Partners for Clean Streams membership status, Tilton & Associates has committed to actively promote land use practices that protect Washtenaw County waterways by encouraging their clients to implement practices that protect and restore rivers and streams to the fullest extent possible.


Native Plant Nurseries

508 Spring Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Contact: Mike Appel and Greg Vaclavek

The Native Plant Nursery, in operation for four years, is owned and operated by Mike Appel and Greg Vaclavek on a seven-acre site in Ann Arbor. The Nursery became a participant in the Community Partners for Clean Streams program in August of 2001. The Nursery cultivates and sells native plants that are collected locally as an earth-friendly method of promoting the cultivation of enduring plants suited to the Michigan environment. Many environmentally friendly practices are used at Native Plant Nurseries for plant cultivation. The plant containers used in propagating flats are paper/cardboard to allow for deeper root growth, less packaging and efficient use of space. The Native Plant Nursery greenhouses were constructed with recycled materials to the highest degree possible. Other environmental concepts utilized on the site include the use of a rain barrel to capture rooftop runoff for plant-watering, and the establishment of vegetated strips to soak up site stormwater runoff. The latter measure has drastically reduced the amount of runoff from the site while also benefiting nearby trees.

Environmental Excellence In Pollution Prevention:

Ann Arbor Machine

5800 Sibley
Chelsea, MI 48118
Contact: Alan Oesterle and Jim Breining

The Ann Arbor Machine Company designs and builds precision machine tools including metal cutting and electrical discharge machines. Operating out of four manufacturing facilities totaling over 300,000 square feet located in Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor Machine Company has proven to be a leader in environmental protection by consistently exceeding Pollution Prevention Program requirements and going above and beyond mere compliance to demonstrate a superior commitment to environmental protection.

Founded in 1985, Ann Arbor Machine Company has achieved and maintained their ISO 9002 certification, and received their QS 9000 certification in 2001. Also in 2001, the company implemented a new universal waste recycling program. Additionally, Ann Arbor Machine has proactively planned to avoid hazardous material spills by developing a state pollution incident prevention plan (PIPP) and a federal spill prevention, control, and countermeasure (SPCC) plan. The company has exceeded the State of Michigan's documentation regulations by tracking wastes by individual job, which also helps them reduce their chemical storage inventories. They have also achieved a reduction in onsite solid waste storage by grinding scrap plastic into a recyclable product, and recovering scrap aluminum, used wooden pallets, office paper, and cardboard. Finally, Ann Arbor Machine has demonstrated their commitment to staying abreast of industry trends by attending the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) workshops and Washtenaw County Pollution Prevention educational programs.

Honorable Mention In Pollution Prevention:

DAPCO Industries

2500 Bishop Circle East
Dexter, MI 48130
Contact: Randy Layher

DAPCO has demonstrated a superior commitment to environmental protection by replacing three vapor-degreasing units with a single, more efficient unit. This replacement enables them to reduce chemical costs, increase operational efficiencies and improve space utilization. The measure simultaneously reduced their airborne emissions, which enabled the company to "opt out" of the renewable operating permit program. Finally, DAPCO is now able to tailor part-specific cleaning operations, resulting in reduced solvent losses to the atmosphere. DAPCO has demonstrated their environmental commitment by switching from the solvent Trichlorethylene (TCE), which is regulated as a smog contributor, to Methylene Chloride (MC), which is not regulated. This change has reduced off-site waste disposal by 70%, and increased their operational efficiency - the new vapor degreaser recovery rate is 99% efficient! As a result, chemical usage has decreased by 50% and DAPCO has enjoyed a cost savings of $2,280 per month.


Village Cooperative Homes

2220 Pittsfield
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Contact: Colin Breed

Village Cooperative Homes is a residential housing association. Village Cooperative Homes has shown a superior commitment to environmental protection, as partner in several environmental programs. The organization has been a Waste Knot Awards partner (which recognizes organizations for their waste reduction and recycling programs) since 1999. They are also working hard to protect the water quality of the Huron River as a Community Partner for Clean Streams. From 1995-1999, they were awarded the Golden Trowel Award for their residents community beautification program. Lastly, Village Cooperative Homes has exceeded pollution prevention program requirements, reducing onsite chemical storage and strictly limiting the application of pesticides.

Environmental Excellence In Waste Reduction And Recycling:

Chelsea Milling Company

858 McKinley Road
Chelsea, MI 48118
Contact: Dudley Holmes, Jr.

Chelsea Milling Company is home of the famous "Jiffy Mix" sold throughout the nation. In evaluating their waste stream, the company discovered that paper from empty bags used for dry ingredients such as flour and yeast contributed to a large portion of their waste. After speaking with a local recycler, the company found that the bags could not be recycled because they contained a plastic lining, which was necessary to protect the product inside. Instead of giving up, Chelsea Milling contacted their supplier for help. After putting their heads together, a solution was found to eliminate the need for the plastic liner altogether. Now almost every supply bag entering the facility can be recycled. These efforts have lead to an 87% decrease in waste - from 180 yards per week to 90 yards per month. But Chelsea Milling Company didn't stop there. They have eliminated the use of hazardous chemicals, reduced their wastewater discharge to the sewer, and send product spillage to a company that cleans and recycles the material into animal feed. A new initiative that involves the bulk storage of mix ingredients is being implemented to further reduce the facility's waste generation. Chelsea Milling Company continues to seek new waste reduction ideas. Knowing that waste reduction is even better than recycling when it comes to waste management, the company's main goal now is to eliminate the need to recycle altogether!

Honorable Mention in Waste Reduction And Recycling:

Coach's Catastrophe Cleaning Services

2643 E. Michigan Avenue
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
Contact: Tom Fagan

Coach's Catastrophe Cleaning Services specializes in carpet cleaning, water remediation, and fire restoration. On average, the company makes three to four trips per week to recycling drop off centers to recycle items such as paper, packaging material, wood debris, and scrap metal. Some of the largest quantity of materials generated at Coach's is paper and cardboard and they have been able to increase the recycling rate of these items by 25% through increased employee education and participation. Coach's commonly reuses cardboard boxes and paper when moving items in and out of fire-damaged or flooded homes.

Some furniture damaged in a fire or flood cannot always be restored to its original condition; when this occurs, often the customer and their insurance agency recommend the item be discarded. As an effort both to keep these items out of the landfill and to help the community, Coach's cleans and dries these items at their own expense and donates them to S.O.S. Crisis Center, Hope Clinic, and St. Vincent De Paul. The company also matches dollar for dollar the deposit amount collected by employees from returnable soda cans. All the money generated is then given to local charities - approximately $1,200 per year! Management at Coach's Catastrophe Cleaning Services is sure to let their employees know that these efforts not only help reduce their waste stream, but also provides funding for emergency services provided to the less fortunate.


The Scrap Box

581 State Circle
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Contact: Sally Warn

The Scrap Box is a non-profit community resource center whose mission is to educate the public about reusing and recycling all sorts of things. The store is filled with an ever-changing inventory of unique materials for creative re-use by crafters, artists, teachers, and children, and they naturally act as a conduit for other companies to reuse and redistribute their discards. Their Materials Procurement staff member goes to a variety of manufacturers and businesses and encourages them to separate their usable items from their trash. Another employee makes samples and idea pages that are on display around the store to help people think about how they can re-use what would otherwise be trash. When a customer purchases separately priced merchandise, it is packed in once-used paper and plastic bags. When you think of the phrase, "one person's trash is another man's treasure," think of The Scrap Box. They definitely excel at providing an inexpensive source of unusual and reusable materials.

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