Abt’s new recycling center is now officially open, representing the latest effort in our ongoing quest to not only make our store’s operation more environmentally friendly, but to help our customers and overall community take an active role in creating a cleaner environment. A recent tour gave visitors a first-hand look at the center in operation (see photos below).
Located behind the southwest side of our main building, the center accepts plastics, cardboard, Styrofoam, and old appliances from anyone who wishes to do their part to help the environment. Among the recycling machines is one that flattens and bales about 1.5 million pounds of corrugated cardboard boxes a year, which are then shipped to a Wisconsin mill. Another machine compresses two full trailer loads of Styrofoam each day, amounting to nearly 120,000 pounds of material a year that gets picked up by an outside firm to sell or reuse.
According to store president Mike Abt, “This keeps 150 loads of Styrofoam and 200 loads of cardboard from going to the landfill every year. Our business has grown, but the frequency of our garbage collection has gone down. Instead of daily collections, we now have reduced that to only three a week.”
Other ways we are working to conserve natural resources include generating our own power from natural gas with two on-site generators, recycling 20,000 wood pallets a week, and using a biodiesel mixture for our large delivery trucks during the summer months.
One new project in the works involves the installation of solar panels and a solar windmill on the roof above our store’s atrium to generate energy and also serve as an educational display. To see more of what Abt is doing to help the environment, click here. –by Graham W.