RECYCLING: Celebrating WRAP Awards

Most competitions have winners and losers, but everyone wins in California's Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP) because all entrants have committed to reducing waste.

Sponsored by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB), Sacramento, the annual WRAP awards recognize California businesses that have made outstanding efforts to reduce nonhazardous waste and dispose of less trash in landfills. The program is entering its 10th year, and applications for this year's awards will be accepted through June 30.

In 2001, 2,347 California companies received WRAP awards, including many repeat winners that have made recycling and waste reduction a priority for years. Out of the 2,347 winners, 10 "WRAP of the Year"; awards were given to businesses that made the greatest strides toward waste reduction. WRAP of the Year winners for 2001 include: Anheuser-Busch, Inc. (Fairfield); Fender Musical Instruments Corp.; IBM Corp. Storage Technology; Korbel Champagne Cellars; Pacific Bell Directory' Philips Semiconductors Inc.; Sacramento Zoological Society; SMG-The Moscone Center; The City Market of Los Angeles; and Yost Printers & Lithographers.

According to CIWMB, WRAP winners reduce refuse through many means, but each business tends to create company-wide policies that foster waste reduction. For example, first-time WRAP of the Year winner and recipient of eight previous WRAP awards, Anheuser-Busch's Brewery, Fairfield, Calif., produces more than 4 million barrels of beer per year. Designed with conservation in mind, the brewery recycled 98.8 percent of its waste and byproducts or more than 102,000 tons in 2000, and it saved more than 100 billion Btus of energy with a closed-loop heat recovery system. Last year, the brewery reclaimed more than 310,000 gallons of ethanol produced from waste and recovered beer, and more than 99,980 tons of grain, which was then used for livestock feed.

Wayne Senalik, the brewery's plant manager, says that all 12 of Anheuser-Busch's breweries are environmentally conscious, a tradition that began in the 1800s when the company first began recycling grain.

"I think we continue to improve year by year, and you do this by making employees aware of the materials they use and aware of the recycling process," Senalik says. "[Winning the award lets] people know that we are serious about recycling, and that gives a great boost to our employees."

Philips Semiconductors, Sunnyvale and San Jose, Calif., has adopted the "Philips Global Environmental Policy," in which each operating company within the Philips family adopts environmental policies specific to its line of business. Philips Semiconductors established the En Vision team that is dedicated to solid waste recycling and the Helping the Environment by Revising the Operations System (H.E.R.O.S.) to address waste reduction and reuse.

Additionally, SMG-The Moscone Center, San Francisco's main convention facility, was recognized for reducing waste by 75 percent through recycling, reuse and donations to charitable organizations. SMG, a facility management company headquartered in Philadelphia, is a three-time WRAP winner and has managed the Moscone Center since 1981. Before recycling, the Moscone Center disposed of more than 2,000 tons of waste annually at a cost of nearly $525,000 a year. During the past four years, the center diverted 800 tons of materials and donated 200 tons of goods.

"We were the single largest waste generator in the city and county of San Francisco prior to implementing our program," says Julie Burford, SMG assistant general manager. "Landfills are diminishing in capacity, and it is becoming increasingly important for cities like San Francisco to set the standard."

WRAP of the Year winners varied, both in their lines of business and their modes of waste reduction. For example, the City Market of Los Angeles, a long-running produce market operated by the city, has been sending between 30 tons per week and 50 tons per week of vegetable trimmings and unmarketable produce to a composting operation in Ventura county. Also, the market has been sending organic waste to a local livestock farmer for feed.

Fender Musical Instruments Corp., Corona, Calif., a nine-time award winner, is known for its guitars. The company's waste reduction efforts have included reducing wood waste in the manufacturing process and all of its musical instruments are shipped in packaging made from 33 percent to 66 percent recycled material.

IBM's Cottle Road facility in San Jose reduced waste that is generated in the manufacturing process. In 2000, the facility recycled nearly 81 percent or 4,638 tons of refuse generated at the site and used 462,000 tons of recycled plastic in product manufacturing.

Korbel, Guerneville, Calif., annually recycles 1,500 tons of cardboard, 200 tons of glass and stretch paper, 40 tons to 50 tons of scrap metal, office paper, phone books and shredded paper, and 42.5 tons of crown caps.

Pacific Bell Directory, San Francisco, publishes telephone directories with a high percentage of post consumer waste and coordinates with hundreds of California communities to foster phone book recycling.

Additionally, the Sacramento Zoo, a five-time WRAP award winner, recycled 15,131 pounds of cardboard, glass, aluminum and tin in 2000.

And Yost Printers and Lithographers, Monrovia, Calif., recycles paper, its primary waste product, reuses packaging materials, promotes recycled-content paper to customers and sells recyclable products. The company has achieved a 94 percent recycling rate.

"Businesses account for half of the waste generated in California," says CIWMB board member José Medina. "In a state this size, it really makes a difference when companies take steps to reuse materials, recycle, buy recycled-content products and reduce their waste."

For more information about the WRAP program and an application for next year's awards, visit