Tuesday, October 28th marked the day for the Waste Management of Illinois to be one of the first Waste Transfer Stations in the United States to be recognized by the USGBC. The LEED program awarded the facility gold certification, its second highest LEED rating.
The 15-acre transfer facility serves as a key component of integrated waste processing for communities in Kane, Cook and Du Page counties. The facility handles non-hazardous solid wastes, recyclables and yard wastes. Materials recovered by local collection trucks are taken to the facility, where they are consolidated and transferred to larger semi-trailers for shipment to processing facilities or remote disposal sites. It's purpose is to achieve efficiency in waste processing and reduce transportation costs for the community.
The Bluff City Transfer Facility earned 42 LEED rating points, including 29 for design and 13 for construction. Some of the environmental elements that were implemented were: water use reduction; the diversion of construction waste from landfills; use of wood meeting the requirements of the Forest Stewardship Council certification program; the use of locally manufactured construction materials with high recycled content; and the reduction of energy usage by approximately 65%.
"Our Bluff City Transfer Facility represents a continuing commitment by Waste Management to pursue sustainability goals and responsible environmental stewardship," said Steve Batchelor, Market Area Vice President for Waste Management of Illinois. "Because we are in the environmental services business, this is important recognition for this facility and it is doubly gratifying to our Company and people. We are truly delighted the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has chosen to bestow this honor on Waste Management for our efforts to develop a facility that meets the highest environmental standards."
Batchelor added, "Waste management has made a commitment to sustainability. Last year we outlined four company wide goals to help us continue to meet the growing need for smart, innovative waste management solutions. By the year 2020, we expect to triple the volume of recyclables we manage to 24 million tons a year; double the waste-based energy we produce to meet the needs of two million homes; to increase our collection fleet's fuel efficiency by 15 percent; and to expand the number of wildlife habitats at our landfills to 25,000 acres."