1998 Environmental Excellence Award Winners

The Washtenaw County Environmental Issues Group is pleased to announce the Winners of the 1998 Environmental Excellence Awards!  The Awards were presented at the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioner's meeting on Wednesday, April 15, 1998.

Overall Environmental Excellence Award:

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital

Excellence in Pollution Prevention:

Sarns/3M Health Care

Excellence in Waste Reduction and Recycling:

People's Food Cooperative

Excellence in Water Quality Protection:

Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research

Honorable Mention in Pollution Prevention:

Ann Arbor Machine

City Body Shop

Fox Hills Country Club

McNaughton & Gunn, Inc.

Honorable Mention in Water Quality Protection:

Ann Arbor Transit Authority

Greenstreet Tree Care

Industrial Tectonics, Inc.

UBE Machinery, Inc.

Honorable Mention in Waste Reduction and Recycling:

Cava Java

Federal Correctional Institution

McNaughton & Gunn, Inc.

National Wildlife Federation- Great Lakes Natural Resource Center





Overall Environmental Excellence Award:

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital

5301 E. Huron River Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI
Contact: Pierre Gonyon: 712-3315

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital is the recipient of the overall Environmental Excellence Award for excellence in all three criteria areas: water quality protection, waste reduction and recycling, and pollution prevention.

Recycling:

St. Joe's has a comprehensive recycling program that collects items ranging from paper to motor oil to fluorescent bulbs. Packing materials and pallets are reused, landscaping waste is chipped for reuse or returned to the soil, and grass clippings are left on the lawn as fertilizer. All construction wastes and old furniture and equipment are sorted for recoverable materials. The hospital has diverted 35-40% of solid waste from landfill disposal. Staff is currently redesigning food service processes to better collect large quantities of recyclable materials.

Water Quality Protection:

St. Joe's developed a comprehensive Water Quality Action Plan as a member of the Community Partners for Clean Streams program. Current practices include a native prairie planting along the Huron River to control erosion, maintenance of a Michigan wildflower garden, use of a master stormwater detention pond to control runoff, leaving some wooded areas undisturbed, and washing vehicles in areas served only by sanitary sewers.

Pollution Prevention:

St. Joe's has launched a mercury reduction initiative to reduce and eliminate the use of mercury. Energy conservation upgrades saved the hospital $245,000 in one year and reduced the use of natural gas and electricity as well. Most underground storage tanks have been upgraded to control spills and leaks. The use of pesticides is limited through utilization of an Integrated Pest Management system. Employees are trained to respond to spills and on emergency procedures.

Excellence in Waste Reduction and Recycling:

People's Food Cooperative (PFC)

216 N. Fourth Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI
Contact: Carol Collins: 769-0095

Visitors to downtown Ann Arbor have surely seen the impressive stack of recyclables in front of the People's Food Coop every week. PFC specializes in whole and organic foods, and one of its missions is to promote environmental responsibility. PFC fulfills this mission by recycling paper, cardboard, cans, glass, plastic, and other materials; reusing paper, folders, envelopes, toner cartridges, and other items; and even taking back egg cartons, berry baskets and glass milk jars for reuse by vendors. PFC donates leftover supplies locally, for example giving packing peanuts to a local artist, donating food to Food Gatherers, and donating food waste to local organic growers to be used as compost. PFC purchases recycled products, and preferentially chooses unbleached products with the highest content of post-consumer waste available. PFC was able to close the Packard store without a trip to the landfill by finding new homes and uses for all old equipment and supplies. PFC promotes an environmental ethic among customers by encouraging reusable cloth bags, promoting locally grown and organic food, and offering environmental workshops and information.

Excellence in Water Quality Protection:

Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research

2800 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, MI
Contact: Mark Eichkorn: 734-6700

Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research developed a comprehensive Safety and Environmental Guide which employees and contractors use to prohibit outdoor storage of materials or discharge into storm drains. The company has planted pest resistant native plants "prairie gardens" and has calibrated turf watering, both of which have decreased chemical use, polluted runoff and water use. Parke-Davis' detention ponds have been enhanced with natural vegetation to slow runoff and promote water quality. Employee incentives to protect water quality are part of annual performance reviews and recognition awards are given to outstanding employee performers.

Excellence in Pollution Prevention:

Sarns/ 3M Health Care

6200 Jackson Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI
Contact: Melanie Isabell: 663-4145

Sarns/3M Health Care is a manufacturer of health care devices and components. Sarns/3M has demonstrated a commitment to protecting the environment in many ways. The company involves employees in identifying pollution prevention opportunities through its "Pollution Prevention Pays" program, and keeps track of the cost savings realized from implementing these pollution prevention initiatives. An example of a pollution prevention initiative was the replacement of operations that used hazardous chlorinated solvents with processes that use water based compounds. Sarns has always been a leader in environmental protection as evidenced by keeping current emergency and spill plans, and ensuring adequate staffing levels to address environmental issues. Sarns installed proper secondary containment for hazardous materials over ten years ago, before most other local businesses. (Secondary containment is a method to prevent hazardous materials from entering the air, land, or water if their primary container leaks or is punctured).

Honorable Mention in Pollution Prevention:

McNaughton and Gunn, Inc.

960 Woodland
Saline, MI
Contact: Jack Briegel: 663-1413

Recycling: McNaughton & Gunn is a book manufacturer located in Saline. The company has implemented a variety of waste reduction practices such as reusing oil, wood, boxes, film, and packaging materials. Paper products, aluminum plates, sheet iron, film, some wood, irreparable pallets, and plastic are recycled. These initiatives reduced the amount of solid waste landfilled by nearly 83% between 1990 and 1997. As a result, McNaught on & Gunn has also saved $15,675 in disposal fees while generating $194,134 in revenues from the sale of recyclable materials. The company offers a course called "Trash Talk" where employees can share recycling and waste reduction ideas.

Pollution Prevention: McNaughton and Gunn has demonstrated its commitment to environmental protection in several ways, including through leadership in the Great Printers Project, a project that aims to make pollution prevention a standard practice in the lithographic printing industry. Internally, the company has benefited from employee involvement in its recycling and waste reduction goals. All film processors utilize a chemical recycling system, cutting developer use by almost 80% and saving $75,000/year. Silver is recovered from the fixer and the fixer is then reused, saving $25,000/year. Washwater is also reused, saving $5400. Silver recovered from these systems earns the company an income of $1600/year. Ink and other supplies are purchased in bulk, and an electronic pre-press system reduced film waste by 60%. Energy efficient lighting systems and a  programmable HVAC system have reduced energy costs significantly. All sheet fed presses now use vegetable inks, and isopropyl alcohol use has been eliminated.

Honorable Mention in Waste Reduction and Recycling:

Cava Java

1101 S. University
Ann Arbor, MI
Contact: Roshanak Ameli: 996-5567

Cava Java employs 20 people in its two Ann Arbor coffeehouses. Cava Java has been dedicated to reducing waste and recycling since the company's inception. Paper, cardboard, cans, glass, plastic, and other items are recycled, and leftover food goods are donated to Food Gatherers and local shelters. Staff reuse such items as folders, toner cartridges, boxes, dishes, and unbleached coffee cup wraps. In order to reduce the amount of waste created from the purchase of supplies, Cava Java buys many items in bulk and has worked with one of their suppliers to package all deliveries in recyclable bags while using as few cardboard boxes as necessary. All paper products purchased contain recycled content, and one-sided paper is used for printing draft documents. Whipped cream is made in-house, in order to reduce the use of canisters, and creamer is not offered in single serving portions. Regular employee raises and bonuses are tied to following the company's recycling policy.

Federal Correctional Institution

E. Arkona Rd.
Milan, MI
Contact: Robert Williams: 439-1511

The Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Milan operates under the U.S. Department of Justice and houses between 500 and 1500 inmates. Despite the many difficulties that arise due to security issues, the FCI has a very comprehensive recycling and waste reduction program. FCI recycles materials such as oil, paper, cardboard, aluminum, tires, batteries, pallets, grease, glass, and plastic, to name a few. The institution also cut landfilled waste by reusing such items as folders, toner cartridges, boxes, envelopes, and dishware-- coffee mugs replaced disposable cups, for example. Inmates receive preferred eating times in meal rotation for collecting the most recyclable materials, and staff receive monetary awards for providing ideas that become recycling policy. The policy currently includes guidelines for purchasing recycled content products. In 1997, FCI's recycling and waste reduction activities saved almost 2,000 trees, 35,000 gallons of oil, 390,000 kilowatts of energy, and 704,000 gallons of water while providing a total of cash savings and earnings over $115,000.

National Wildlife Federation- Great Lakes Natural Resource Center

506 E. Liberty
Ann Arbor, MI
Contact: Kathleen Eales: 769-3351

The Great Lakes Natural Resource Center, located in Ann Arbor, is a branch of the National Wildlife Federation that seeks to educate, inspire, and assist those who wish to end toxic pollution and habitat destruction in the Great Lakes region. The Center also "acts locally" by recycling such items as paper products, cardboard, cans, glass, plastic, magazines, toner cartridges and batteries. The Center reduces its waste by reusing such items as folders, envelopes, toner cartridges, packing material, office paper, and dishware. Double-sided copies are the norm, and one-sided paper is reused before it is recycled. All paper products are unbleached if possible and made with 100% recycled content. Office equipment is donated to other non-profits when not needed. The Great Lakes Natural Resource Center encourages employees to reuse first, recycle second, and use disposal as a last resort option.

Honorable Mention in Pollution Prevention:

City Body Shop

20 E. Cross Street
Ypsilanti, MI
Contact: Mr. Bruce Sobbry: 482-4737

City Body Shop is an automobile repair shop that specializes in repairing damaged bodies and frames. City Body Shop sets an example in environmental stewardship for other autobody repair shops to follow. The company recycles solvents to reduce the amount of new product needed and reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated. The company demonstrates "housekeeping" practices that allow it to maintain strong compliance with environmental laws. Further, City Body Shop has been a leader in occupational health and safety by ensuring that equipment and procedures are in place that protect employees. Employee protection and safety policies and procedures are a model for others in the field.

Fox Hills County Club

8768 N. Territorial Rd.
Plymouth, MI
Contact: Kathy Aznavorian: 451-0003

Fox Hills Country Club is a golf course and country club located in Salem Township. Fox Hills is a local leader in pollution prevention because it has minimized the amount of fertilizers and pesticides used within its operation. The golf course has been recognized and certified by the Audubon Society for environmental stewardship, based on supporting bird habitats and managing for the environment. Fox Hills has provided secondary containment for all hazardous materials stored on site and has implemented an Integrated Pest Management program to reduce pesticide use.

Ann Arbor Machine

5800 Sibley
Chelsea, MI
Contact: Al Oesterle: 475-0505

Ann Arbor Machine manufactures industrial machinery. Over the past ten years, the company has made tremendous improvements in environmental protection. When Ann Arbor Machine moved from Ann Arbor to Chelsea, the company ensured that the new building had environmental controls such as secondary containment for hazardous materials. Ann Arbor Machine is recognized because of the commitment they have made to improving and putting in place plans and controls to protect the environment. Ann Arbor Machine has demonstrated leadership quality by taking proactive stances on environmental issues through self-auditing and requesting advice and help from regulatory agencies.

Honorable Mention in Water Quality Protection:

Greenstreet Tree Care

221 Felch
Ann Arbor, MI
Contact: Guerin Wilkinson: 996-9020

Greenstreet Tree Care specializes in residential tree care including trimming, removal, fertilizing, spraying, injections and monitoring. Greenstreet Tree Care utilizes the least toxic control measures for tree maintenance and promotes the use of soil humates to amend poor soils as an alternative to specifying landscape chemicals. Greenstreet Tree Care does not encourage pesticide use and is committed to chemical-free pest control methods whenever possible. When pesticides must be used, they are applied at the most beneficial time to be effective. Greenstreet is proactive in client education regarding soil amendments, and pesticide and fertilizer use, which reduce the possibility of polluted storm water runoff.

UBE Machinery, Inc.

5700 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Contact: Pat Berry: 741-7000

UBE Machinery, Inc. is an international corporation that builds injection molding and die casting machinery for the Original Equipment Manufacture market. UBE Machinery has adopted a "Clean as you go" employee policy regarding daily cleaning practices that protect water quality; including indoor maintenance of vehicles and equipment to direct waste water to sanitary systems. UBE Machinery has formulated a managerial policy regarding water quality protection that includes monthly storm drain inspections.

Industrial Tectonics, Inc.

7222 W. Huron River Drive
Dexter, MI
Contact: Jeff Comstock: 426-4681 ext. 120

Industrial Tectonics is a manufacturer of ball bearings located in Dexter. The company has developed and implemented a stormwater system management plan to ensure semi-annual inspection of the system, fostering pollution prevention and water quality protection. Industrial Tectonics utilizes the Just-In-Time purchase and delivery system to limit the amount and handling of potentially polluting materials such as chemicals, deicers, and fertilizers. Industrial Tectonics recycles cardboard, fluorescent bulbs, isopropyl alcohol, oil and cleaning solvents. Their contractors are encouraged to use pollution prevention practices with regard to snow removal and turf maintenance, further promoting stream protection.

Ann Arbor Transit Authority

2700 South Industrial
Ann Arbor, MI
Contact: Dan Hodges: 677-3933

AATA has committed effort and resources to dramatically improve the environmental status of its facility relative to local, state and federal requirements. AATA has undertaken a multitude of water quality protection strategies that include used oil filter reclamation, a parts washer solvent management program, low flow water fixtures installed at wash bays, implementation of paintgun technology to reduce hazardous waste generation, and other site improvements. The efforts of the Ann Arbor Transit Authority go beyond ordinary commitment toward the achievement of water quality goals.

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