Leaf Burrito (Winner)
The Leaf Burrito® product is a revolutionary new product that has never been used before in any municipality, but has recently been approved for servicing by the City of Charlotte Waste Management Department. The Leaf Burrito® is a reusable, industrial-grade mesh lawn debris bag that is incredibly easy to use and will save millions of single-use plastic bags that are going directly into our landfills each year unnecessarily. Plus, the plastic bags make our city look like a trash dump for four or five months out of the year.
The Leaf Burrito® was designed, developed and patented right here in Charlotte by a long-time Charlotte resident! The product is physically made right here in Charlotte which will create jobs and revenue for our city, especially when the product becomes famous nationally.
The AGR Foundations is a 501 c 3 non profit, founded through All Green Recycling Inc., that is dedicated to training and hiring individuals with barriers to employment in the Electronic Recycling Industry. These talented people may be skilled in numerous areas if given the training and the opportunity to learn a new trade, in the growing electronic recycling industry and contribute to making our environment cleaner and safer. 2 very important goals are achieved, job training for the underserved and sustainable recycling. As a workforce development organization, AGR Foundation assists the disabled, veterans and those who are considered difficult to employ to develop marketable skills that lead to job acquisition and retention. In addition, AGR provides instructional curriculum and training courses for employees of e-waste management and disposal firms as well as organizations and agencies with workforce and life skill development needs. AGRFoundation.org
Taking individuals who have not contributed to the workforce because of barriers and see them blossom into productive and accomplished employees in the recycling industry
BlueSky Solutions (formerly Greenteknology Electronics Recycling Solutions) is an electronics recycling facility located in Charlotte NC. We accept all electronic items for recycling, and work with public consumers, businesses, and corporations. We recycle upwards of 600,000 lb of material a month, diverting this material from the waste stream. As an R2 certified facility, we operate by the highest standards for electronics recycling; we manage potentially hazardous material with added caution, tracking to its end-of-life destination and ensuring proper management and handling. In addition, we are ISO 14001 and OHSAS 180001 certified, meaning we abide by the highest standard of environmental sustainability and workers health and safety. We operate on a reuse-recycle-dispose hierarchy. Items that are not reusable we dismantle and recycled by commodity. BlueSky Solutions also has a facility in Raleigh, and between these two sites we are recycling over one million lb of material a month.
We are growing - we have a facility in Charlotte and also in Raleigh as of late 2016. We strive to serve all recycling needs, from public consumers to large corporations. All people deserve access to keeping electronics out of the waste stream and we want to be their solution.
COX Media Group Charlotte / WSOC-TV
We have made waste reduction a priority at CMG Charlotte which includes WSOC-TV, WAXN-TV and goCarolinas.com. We use single stream recycling. Anything that can be recycled can be put in one container for pickup. Containers are located in individual offices and common areas throughout the building and are collected once a day and picked up 3 times a week to be recycled. All of our sensitive documents are shredded on site and hauled away to be recycled. We also recycle light bulbs, batteries, electronics and metal products. We have also updated our broadcast technology to be tapeless. We implemented a program to use rechargeable batteries in our wireless studio broadcast equipment and communication devices. We also use rechargeable batteries in bathroom dispensers for soap and paper towels.
The leaders at COX Media Group Charlotte (WSOC-TV, WAXN-TV, goCarolinas.com) have made waste reduction and conserving resources a station mandate and it has been exciting to everyone embrace the changes and get excited about it. The impact is great considering we are a 24/7 business.
National Gypsum Company
In 2015 National Gypsum began a reclaimed gypsum initiative to increase recycling and beneficial use of waste gypsum. The program includes the installation of crushing, screening, and metering equipment for recycling, initiating agreements for reclaimed gypsum in agriculture markets, and incorporating reclaimed gypsum data in operating metrics. Gypsum board plants can use up to 10% recycled content while maintaining product quality. Beneficial use includes agriculture sources such as peanut and sugar cane farmers. National Gypsum has recycled over 211,000 tons into wallboard production, with an additional 143,000 tons as beneficial use. The Mount Holly, NC plant leads the company with over 47,000 tons recycled into production, while the Westwego, LA plant has provided over 100,000 tons in beneficial use gypsum. This project has a multi-faceted approach to maximizing the benefits of the processed gypsum and also provides local farming communities with a sustainable gypsum source.
The reclaim initiative at National Gypsum began by redefining unsaleable product waste as reclaim material; thus changing the perception of waste to a valuable resource. This shift in perception led to finding new methods to process reclaim material, increasing the amount that could be recycled into production, and new channels for beneficial use.
Plyler Paper Stock Co., Inc.
Plyler Paper Stock Co., Inc. was started in 1984 by Rita Plyler. In the beginning the industry was not called recycling. It was the waste paper business. The two main items of recycling were cardboard and aluminum cans. As time progressed, the markets for additional materials developed. This is when Plyler began to expand their recycling efforts to include all paper, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans.
Plyler specializes in single dumpster recycling. Customers can place recyclables and waste into the dumpster. The material is then sorted. This program removes more than just cardboard. At least 70% is recycled. Items include paper, wood, wire, cable, metals, plastic, and aluminum cans.
Queen City Metal Recycling
I nominated Queen City Metal recycling for a myriad of reasons. Michelle Coffino has put so many implementations to be a 100 % on all recycled materials that flow thru QCMR. Over the last 4 years Michelle has been awarded the RFP for Mecklenburg County, acquired IAA auto scrap buyer, and grown QCMR to over 100 industrial and small businesses accounts for recycling. QCMR is also exporting electric motors to Holland improving the environmental awareness. QC Auto Sales was formed to purchase vehicles to keep our landfills clean, and some vehicles Michelle has refurbished to provide a form to transportation for individuals who could not afford the normal costs. The one step we are all proud of is her Philanthropic endeavors that she is passionate for in improving the community. Michelle formed a 501C-3 with this she formed a second chance program to provide employment for men & women who have been incarcerated, also the mentally ill to learn a new trade.
Michelle has a passion to give as much as she receives to many individuals who are homeless, mentally ill, disabled who just want to make their own way and feel like they are doing the right thing. Her passion and true commitment to the city shows in all she gives back.
Wish We Had Acres
I would like to nominate Wish We Had Acres. They are an urban farmstead in the Steel Creek area that turn milk into soap and weeds into remedy's. They raise adorable goats to make the goat milk soap. Dr. Dave is also a Naturepathic doctor. He and his wife Laura do everything in an sustainable way from composting, recycling almost every bit of "waste" and practice organic farming. Whatever can't be recycled will be re-purposed on this farm. I feel like they need to be recognized for their sustainable business because it is one of the last working farms in Mecklenburg Co. and one day it too will be overtaken by development. Dr. Dave and Laura also teach many different classes such as making kombucha, goat milk soap and your own remedy's out of plants you find in nature. They REALLY live the sustainable lifestyle and have inspired me and many others to do the same.
Wish We Had Acres inspires people to embrace natural cures and products. They have open farm tours to teach the community about their sustainable lifestyle. They have been great teachers and mentors on how to live an eco-friendly lifestyle using products that are made in a sustainable way.