Real Estate Journal — ODM — Environmental/Green Buildings — February 23 - March 15, 2018 — 9B


M id A tlantic

E nvironmental /G reen B uildings By Lisa Cassidy, ecoImagine Best practices for managing, tracking and reducing waste in commercial buildings


ccording to the U.S. Environmental Pro- tection Agency (EPA),

1 ton) of food waste per day. Depending on the machine you select, they can process 25-100 pounds of food waste per hour and can divert 95-378 tons of food waste per year from landfills. Orca aerobic digesters work by mixing food, water and recycled plastic Bio Chips to- gether to quickly break down food waste into earth-friendly water that can be diverted into the municipal sewage system. #3 Set Clear and Measur- able Goals. Once you have evaluated your options, work with your team to set waste management goals. It is impor-

tant to give your team a clear understanding of what they are trying to accomplish. In most cases, it will be their re- sponsibility to gather the data and monitor progress towards the goal. Some of the most common waste management goals are: Increase recycling rate, in- crease diversion rate, decrease pick-up costs, decrease con- tamination of recyclables or implement a cost neutral solu- tion for your building(s). #4 Use Leading Bench- mark Technology to Track Your Program. One of the most exciting things to happen

in waste management in recent years, was the addition of waste management to the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager - a tool that you may already be using for managing energy and water usage. In 2016, the U.S. Environ- mental Protection Agency (EPA) added waste manage- ment to its ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager so that com- mercial sustainability teams could manage energy, water and waste from one, secure, online tool. “Unifying energy, water and waste under one virtual “roof” is a sustainability game-chang-

er for many companies.” This “tracking trifecta”, according to ENERGY STAR, “is a powerful way to streamline your sustain- ability management program and gain a bird’s eye view of your environmental footprint and resource costs.” Within the waste section of the Portfolio Manager, materi- als are managed in four groups 1) disposed 2) recycled, 3) com- posted and 4) donated/reused. Reports can show you progress over time as well as how differ- ent buildings compare to each other in each of the four areas. This is important for many continued on page 14B

manufactur- ing facilities and commer- cial buildings are responsi- ble for nearly half of the 167 million tons of waste that wind up

Lisa Cassidy

in incinerators or landfills each year. 1 There are many things that facility managers, building owners and property managers can do to improve or enhance their sustainability efforts. Listed below are five best practices for managing, tracking and reducing waste. #1Conduct aWasteAssess- ment. Tracking the amount of waste your organization gener- ates is the first step towards making meaningful change. By tracking the amount of re- cycling and waste hauled from your building you can monitor two important variables 1) data on the amount of waste produced and 2) your recycling rate. You may also be able to dive a bit deeper by working with your hauler to find out what your recycling contamina- tion rate is and whether some of what is thrown away can be donated or reused. #2 Identify Potential Waste Reduction Activities. After reviewing the results of your waste assessment, consid- er your options for preventing, recycling and reducing waste. Waste prevention eliminates waste at the source by reduc- ing, reusing or donating items that can be salvaged. For waste that cannot be prevented, the next step is to evaluate recy- cling and composting options. For example, balers are great for compacting large amounts of recycled material into man- ageable, easily transportable bales. Many balers are small enough to be placed on every floor of your building, but large enough to hold hundreds of boxes. Orwak Multi Chamber balers allow you to create a mini recycling station so you can recycle multiple types of materials including: cardboard, plastic, shredded paper or even aluminum. Balers can be stored in or outside your facility. Another option for commer- cial buildings is managing food waste using aerobic digesters. Orca aerobic machines can "di- gest" up to 2,400 pounds (over

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