Going Way Beyond Paper, Plastic & Cardboard, New York Utility ConEd Recycles 91% of Its Waste in 2009

coned manhole cover photo

photo: ConEd
ConEd's my local electric utility and I've long touted their green energy programs, but here's another reason to give them a pat on the back: In 2008 they recycled some 50,000 tons of industrial waste materials, some 90% of all waste they handled and 91% of its waste (67,000 tons) in 2009. Sounds pretty good to me, and the EPA agrees, awarding them a WasteWise Gold Achievement.We'll ignore whether or not that amount of waste is a good thing to start with and look at how it breaks down. It's pretty interesting just to ponder where all of it comes from:

33,000 tons of sand and dirt; 11,500 tons of metal; 3,400 tons of trash; 1,300 tons of construction and demolition debris; 100 tons of wood; 400 tons of office paper; 150 tons of corrugated cardboard; 140 tons of skids and chairs; 120 tons of plastic; 50 tons of electronics.

Not only does does it make sense to keep that much waste out of landfills and put it to new use, it also saves a good deal of money. ConEd estimates that in 2008 it saved $19 million through its recycling and other waste-reduction efforts.

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