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Doing It Right at ESRI

If you know me at all, you know that I love doing customized training sessions for our Green Girl customers. Take last month, for example, when I got a call from Missy over at ESRI in Broomfield, inviting me to offer a session for them. Jumping at the chance, I took Rheanna, my amazing intern, set up a booth, and then spoke with their staff about the complete recycling service we do for them each Tuesday.

While most of them knew that their recycling magically disappeared every week or so, many didn’t quite know how it happened. I got the chance to do what I love to do best and explained the process that happens once their discarded materials leave their building on a truck.

And then came the questions. I love questions! Questions help everybody be better recyclers. Why? Because guidelines in the recycling world sometimes change. And when my customers recycle things correctly, then it helps me do my job better, as well. These were great questions, too. For example:

1) Can I recycle small, blueberry clamshells? Answer: No! They are so small and flimsy that they act like paper on the conveyor belt and don’t get recycled correctly.

2) Should shredded paper be mixed into regular, single-stream? Answer: No! The shredded paper sticks to the containers, blows around in the truck, and gets stuck around the conveyor wheels at the Material Recovery Facility (MRF). All shredded paper needs to be tied into a separate bag so that we can bring it back to our warehouse for processing.

3) Can I recycle lids on plastic water bottles? Answer: Yes! Enjoy your water bottle and then put the lid back on the empty bottle. It can make it through the sorting process and get baled with the plastics. Metal lids on glass? No, thank you!

What I love about ESRI are the people. As leading makers of GIS mapping software, they are incredibly smart and passionate about what they do. The highlight of my trip over there was when I stepped away from our recycling booth and met Joseph Rhodes. After speaking with him for a while, it was quite clear that he was highly educated and passionate about environmental policy. After a few great recycling questions, I followed him into his office where he showed me how he had been making his own diversion efforts by reusing every bit of packing material, reusable envelope and plastic bag he receives. WOW…the guy is amazing. Check out how organized this drawer is! I love meeting people with purpose and passion!

I loved my time with the fine folks of ESRI – and I’d love to come to your company, too! It doesn’t matter what your business is, or how many there are of you. We can work with you on a customized basis to help divert as much recycling as possible. One of my favorite things to do is to bring in my “green bag of goodies” and run through as a group which items are recyclable, and which are not. We can also walk your business through a recycling audit and even help by making suggestions on how to purchase greener products. Whatever your business needs, I’d love to help you move towards zero waste!


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