When you say the word “conservation” at Central Arizona Project (CAP), most people might assume it relates to water. However, water isn’t the only resource CAP stewards.
It takes a lot of materials to keep an organization like CAP running and the organization’s Environmental Team ensures those materials are either reduced, reused or recycled.
The results have been impressive. More than 835 tons – that’s 1.67 million pounds! – were diverted from the landfill in 2018.
CAP has garnered national recognition, as it was recently named as an Environmental Leaders Project of the Year award winner. This accolade is part of the Environment and Energy Leader 100 (E + E 100) program, which recognizes “leaders, innovators, shaker-uppers and doers in the environmental and energy management space.” Honorees are nominated by peers and selected based on their impact on their industry. Cority nominated CAP for a multi-year partnership to log, barcode, track and ship all wastes.
So, what led to that remarkable 835-ton diversion?
- Green waste (any organic waste that can be composted, such as untreated wood from pallets or tree branches) was a completely new item collected in 2018 and to everyone’s surprise, it amounted to almost 600 tons!
- Metal recovery doubled with five tons of copper coming from a fire system upgrade. Larger bins allowed for more stainless steel and brass collection. The metal went to Southwest Metals, which pays CAP based on the daily scrap metal index.
- As it is in many organizations, single stream recyclables was the most consistent source with 38 tons collected in 2018. Compliance got a boost thanks to new signs posted in employee offices, leading to an even greater understanding about what materials can be recycled.
- CAP has reuse bins where employees deposit items to be sorted and sent to Treasures for Teachers, local food banks, AZ StRUT (accepting old computers), Lions Sight and Hearing and Cell Phones for Soldiers.
Not only are these efforts beneficial to the environment, they also lower disposal costs, result in rebates and conserve resources when reuse is possible.
The CAP Environmental Team continues to seek out new and innovative methods of reducing, reusing and recycling to maintain CAP’s reputation as a “leader, innovator, shaker-upper and doer” – and most importantly to help CAP do its best to protect the environment.