Eaton Trucks Adds Division, Realigns

As of January 1, Eaton Truck Components Operations, Kalamazoo, Mich., began a new Truck Electronics Division, combining three of the company's technological sectors: Automated Products, Trucking Information Services and Eaton VORAD collision warning systems.

"We took all our products that have a wire hanging off of them and put them into a single division," says Don Alles, marketing services manager. "What were three divisions now will be operating with a single, clear strategic vision."

The integration means more technologically advanced products and services in the company's future, he says. For example, Eaton's autoshift transmission could read data generated by VORAD's Smart Cruise system, which calculates a truck's safe following distance. Autoshift then could adjust the speed of the truck by downshifting if it was necessary.

"The products perform so much better if they are working together and sharing data rather than working separately," Alles says. "This is just emerging as a result of cooperation."

In addition to the new Truck Electronics Division, Eaton's personnel also has changed as of January 2000. The company announced that Alan E. Best, operations vice president for Truck Components Operations-Worldwide (TCO), Kalamazoo, will retire by the end of the second quarter. Also:

* James E. Sweetnam has been named operations vice president for the Heavy Duty Transmission and Clutch Divisions, which have merged. Alles says the divisions' link will benefit customers and streamline operations.

* David D. Renz has been named vice president of sales and marketing-worldwide. He will be responsible for departments in 25 countries.

* Gregory Lang, vice president/ general manager for the Light/ Medium-Duty Transmission Division, Amsterdam, Holland, will report to Thomas Boyle, senior vice president and Truck Components group executive in Kalamazoo. Lang previously worked under Best.

Eaton Truck Components is a division of Eaton Corp., Cleveland.

FREEHOLD, N.J. - Employees at a Starbucks coffee shop are helping the environment while they serve up cups of joe. The workers separate used coffee grounds, food waste, napkins, cups and other organic waste, and collect the material in biodegradable bin liners manufactured by Biocorp Inc., Redondo Beach, Calif.

Jill Manion, assistant manager of the shop and member of Starbucks' "Green Team," was looking for a way to compost the store's biodegradable materials when she learned about Biocorp's bin liners. Because employees throw organic material into a separate plastic container, she says it is easier for collection purposes when the bags also are organic.

The store fills approximately five bags each day, which are picked up once a week by American Soil, a composting facility in Freehold, N.J.

Although composting does not financially benefit the Starbucks store because it does not pay for garbage disposal, composting has created environmental awareness, Manion says.

"It's more a point of interest in our store - the employees ask questions and take interest," she says. "It helps us for the sole reason that we want to do whatever we can as a company to take care of the environment."

Starbucks Coffee Co., Seattle, already has been a friend to composting since 1998 when it began offering customers coffee grounds for composting free of charge at its 1,800 retail locations. The idea was conceived five years ago by the company's Green Team, a group of store managers representing each region of the United States and Canada who initiate environmental programs.

When customers request grounds from a Starbucks, the grounds are put in 5-pound bags with a sticker indicating the bag is for composting. Some stores publicize the program with a display noting the availability of used coffee grounds.

For information, contact Starbucks, P.O. Box 34510, Seattle, Wash. 98124-1510. Phone toll-free: (800) STARBUC. Website: