UPDATE: CIWMB Honors Top Waste Recyclers

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. - Two Golden State attractions have been put in the spotlight by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB). As part of its Top 10 Waste Reduction Award Program, CIWMB has given Sea World, San Diego, and Warner Bros. Studios, Burbank, "WRAP of the Year" awards for 1997.

Warner Bros. went from a recycling rate of less than 7 percent in 1992 to a 40 percent rate in 1996. Last year, the company's main studio lot saved more than $225,000 with its focus on waste reduction, reuse donation, recycling and buying recycled-content products.

What's noteworthy, according to the board, was the company's efforts last year in recycling 1,700 tons of materials that had been used to construct movie sets, and 914 tons of office supplies. In 1997, recycled production stage materials included nearly 800 tons of wood and 486 tons of construction and demolition debris. The company also recycled more than 600 combined tons of compost and garden/yard trimmings, and more than 100 tons of scrap steel and film and magnetic tape. More than 64 tons of materials, furniture, office supplies and computers were donated to area schools and non-profit organizations.

Warner Bros. also shares its "know-how" with organizations, such as the Recycled Paper Coalition, Green Seal and Business for Social Responsibility, as a "leading example of commerce at its recycling best," CIWMB says.

Sea World began its first recycling project for its employees in the 1980s. Now, the popular marine attraction diverts more than 1.5 million pounds of refuse from area landfills by recycling more than 450,000 pounds of green waste and 576,000 pounds of cardboard annually.

The company donates materials: More than 10,000 pounds of surplus food have gone to charities while old computers have been put to use at local elementary schools. A program that allows employees to purchase old equipment has generated $12,000 in sales, more than 2,500 pounds in donations and has saved Sea World $600 in hauling and disposal costs in the program's first year.

To further reduce its paper use, the company relies on voice and electronic mail, message boards and routing slips to convey information to employees. It uses notepads made from scrap paper and old show schedules, saves on food service waste by substituting reusable dining baskets for paper plates and plans to purchase $70,000 worth of janitorial paper supplies made from recycled content. Vendors are asked to deliver products in reusable containers, too.

In 1996, Sea World recycled more than 26 percent of its solid waste and saved nearly $50,000 in disposal fees by diverting more than 300,000 pounds of paper waste, wooden pallets and horse manure from landfills.

CIWMB gives WRAP awards to businesses that promote recycling, reusing or donating waste instead of throwing it away.