Business

Six Kent businesses named Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling by King County

For the Reporter

Six local businesses, including the city of Kent, made King County's list of Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling. Businesses meeting the criteria include Applus Technologies, Inc., Fred Meyer #215, Hexcel Corporation, Ingenium Group, LLC and Torklift Central.

In its eighth year, the list recognizes businesses incorporating exceptional waste prevention and recycling efforts into their daily operation. Activities range from educating staff, to making recycling convenient, using durables versus one-time use items and composting food waste.

"Thanks to our enthusiastic, enviro-minded employees, this is the sixth year the city has qualified for the recognition, placing it on the 'Honor Roll' of businesses," said Gina Hungerford, conservation specialist.

Besides recycling paper, cardboard, bottles, and cans, the city recycles compact fluorescent light bulbs, toner cartridges, and, new this year, EPS#6-labeled Styrofoam on campus.

"Keeping these materials out of our area's last remaining landfill will help extend its life and delay the need to ship our garbage to another landfill," Hungerford said.

"Considering that roughly 80 percent of what we throw away at home and at work is recyclable or compostable, the city encourages everyone to check their garbage cans to make sure they're not throwing away good resources."

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KENT COMPANIES HONORED

Engineering/Manufacturing category

• Hexcel Corporation (www.hexcel.com)

An advanced composites company with a location in Kent makes the list for the second year. Hexcel's efforts toward sustainability include shipping its products with little to no packaging, recycling any packaging they receive, and purchasing office supplies such as paper and printer cartridges made from recycled material. Recent winners of the City of Kent's Green Business of the Year award, Hexcel also donates surplus materials.

• Torklift Central (www.torkliftcentral.com)

Torklift Central is honored for the fifth year, earning its place on the honor roll. Torklift Central has been in the towing and RV business since 1976. It specializes in custom fabrication, trailer hitches, welding and towing applications. Torklift Central recycles all of its internal office supplies like folders, paper and envelopes as well as metal scraps, oils, wood pallets, cardboard. In 2013 Torklift installed an electric car charging station. New in 2014, Torklift had all of its air conditioning systems refurbished to prep for less energy in the summer. In an effort to reduce paper waste, the majority of its communication is done through email and fax.

Government/utilities category

• City of Kent (www.kentwa.gov)

The City of Kent lands on the honor roll of King County's Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling list, continuing to lead by example for its citizens. The city has been recycling toner cartridges for a number of years, and has recently added Styrofoam to the list of recycled materials. They host three recycling events per year for city residents where they accept the usual as well as hard and costly to recycle items. They also promote recycling in their e-newsletter and through social media.

Professional services category

• Applus Technologies, Inc. (www.applustech.com)

Applus Technolgies returns for its sixth year as a Best Workplace for Waste Prevention and Recycling, reclaiming its spot on the honor roll. The technology services and electronic solutions provider is headquartered regionally in Kent and has 16 worksites in King County. After reducing energy and paper usage last year, this year Applus has purchased a new green printer that is made from recycled products and uses cartridges instead of toners. They plan to outfit most of their locations with the new printers. In accordance with the company's mission, Applus also uses compostable products whenever possible, and make sure that most of their products are made from a minimum of 50 percent recycled content. Applus strives to be a leader when it comes to their environmental practices. They find new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle, reduce their carbon footprint, and also educate employees on these practices.

• Ingenium Group, LLC (www.pureingenium.com)

Ingenium Group, LLC is a waste disposer and recycler with services that include transportation, recycling, and repurposing of hazardous, biological and radiological materials. This year, its Kent office returns to the list for the third year in a row. Ingenium helps companies reduce costs by streamlining its processes and minimizing waste volumes such as by taking manufacturing by-products and redirecting them from the landfill to waste-to-energy programs. Ingenium is committed to increasing sustainability, reducing costs to its clients and recapturing capital in every possible area.

Retail category

• Fred Meyer-Redondo #215 (services.fredmeyer.com/StoreLocator/StoreDetails.aspx?recordId=70100215)

Fred Meyer in Kent makes its debut on the list. When the store first opened, it was set up to compact trash. Since then, they have expanded to include biodegradable composting, cardboard and plastic recycling, and fluorescent led light bulbs and Hazmat collection. They have come a long way and have made many improvements. Their monthly and year-to-date figures for compostable materials have been steadily climbing. In addition to recycling and composting, they have a donation program in place that includes seasonal items, furniture, clothing, and household items and also has a daily food bank pickup. They have a team that is dedicated to the environment and excited about doing their part to help make our world a little safer for everyone.

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