MUSCATINE, Iowa—Allsteel Inc. received a 2011 Iowa Recycling Association Award, winning in the Best Industry Recycling Program category. The company was among seven other honorees and was cited for its longstanding history of and commitment to recycling initiatives, including the past year’s overall reduction of its entire waste stream by lowering landfill waste to 6.5 percent, with a year-end goal of reducing it to 5.5 percent and to zero by 2016.
The awards were presented in July by the nonprofit association, whose 400 members across Iowa include individuals, businesses, industries, local governments, institutions and organizations dedicated to a healthy environment and economy.
“One of our recycling partners—City Carton Recycling—nominated us for this recognition,” says Tom Eberhard, Allsteel’s vice president of operations. “They had to provide full documentation, not only quantifying the amount of recycling we’ve done over the past year, but also substantiating our ongoing corporate sustainability practices and plans for future initiatives. So, we are particularly proud to be chosen for this award.”
Among some of Allsteel’s recycling achievements acknowledged in the nomination and by the award:
- A total of 7,271 tons of materials were recycled or redirected in 2010, up from 6,544 tons in 2009.
- The company is working with its suppliers to use returnable containers rather than one-time packaging, thereby reducing its carbon footprint.
- Allsteel has partnered with its EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) supplier, encouraging them to grind up unused and leftover EPS packaging materials for reuse in production of new material.
- At Allsteel’s urging, one of its local wood suppliers, OFC, now sends its wood waste to Allsteel where it is ground and sold for fuel. With this partnership, what previously was headed to landfills has been diverted, yielding a reduction of 325 tons of waste per year.
According to Eberhard, among its upcoming plans on the recycling front is a goal to reduce landfill waste by at least 1,000 tons over the next five years on both its own and parent company HNI’s corporate campus.
“We are continually and constantly exploring ways to internally, and with supplier partners, divert waste, reduce our carbon footprint and demonstrate leadership in environmental responsibility,” says Eberhard.