California Names 2,347 Waste Reduction Leaders

California Names 2,347 Waste Reduction Leaders

The envelope please: A record number of companies in California have earned the right to advertise their products and services as waste reduction stars.

Fully 2,347 companies in the Sunshine State landed the WRAP award given by the California Integrated Waste Management Board in its ninth annual Waste Reduction Awards Program this week. The award presentations coincide with National Pollution Prevention Week, which runs from Sept. 17-23.

According to the CIWMB, this year saw a record number of companies recognized for their efforts at reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

"Naming the winners of our WRAP awards is a pleasure because we're honoring California companies of all sizes for creative, workable solutions to reducing waste in the workplace," said Waste Board Chair Linda Moulton-Patterson.

"Businesses generate half of the state's waste stream, so the impact of recycling and waste reduction programs at offices, factories, stores and other company locations is tremendous. The outstanding programs and practices we're seeing in the business community are impressive and are helping greatly to reduce waste disposal in landfills," Moulton-Patterson said.

California launched the WRAP program in 1993 to recognize companies that significantly reduce their production of solid, non-hazardous waste. Companies applying for the award are judged on waste prevention, reuse, recycling and use of recycled content in products and operations.

Award winners may display the WRAP logo on products, in advertising, and with educational outreach materials.

For a complete list of WRAP winners, visit

The top 10 winners and their region in California:
  1. Albertsons/Sav-on - Statewide. Albertsons/Sav-On, the United States’ second-largest retail food and drug store, recycles more than half of its solid waste. These efforts have kept approximately 247,000 tons of waste out of landfills, saved on disposal costs, and brought revenue to the company from the sale of recyclables.
  2. Allergan - Irvine, a global provider of specialty therapeutic products, Allergan participates in a number of recycling efforts ranging from paper and plastic to the ink toner cartridges used in computer printers and copiers. Allergan also recycles materials from its research labs and donates excess chemicals and used research equipment to local colleges and local high schools for their chemistry classes. Allergan recycles more than 260 tons of paper, cardboard, and aluminum per year from its headquarters and purchases recycled-content supplies.
  3. Apple - Elk Grove. Apple Computer, Inc. recycles paper, glass, cardboard, wood pallets, and polystyrene, and purchases recycled-content products. The Elk Grove plant recycled 11.9 million pounds of waste and achieved a 91% recycling rate in fiscal year 1999, saving several hundred thousand dollars in avoided trash disposal costs.
  4. Bentley Mills - City Of Industry. Bentley Mills, Inc., a commercial carpet manufacturer in Los Angeles, launched a 100% recycled nylon fiber carpet. It reduced by 82% the amount of trash going to the landfill between 1994 and 1999. The income from selling recyclables exceeded $800,000.
  5. Direct Relief International - Santa Barbara. Direct Relief International, a 52-year-old non-profit humanitarian organization, in 1999 sent over $52 million in aid to 54 countries, reaching more than 10 million people. The organization redistributes pharmaceutical and medical supplies donated by over 150 manufacturers, hospitals, and clinics nationwide to communities in need. Used medical equipment (repaired and refurbished) is also sent to meet the needs of these communities.
  6. I.M. David Furniture - Gardena. I.M. David Furniture, a wood furniture manufacturing company, went from recycling less than 20% of its waste to nearly 100%. Due to the weight of the material previously being disposed of by the company (mostly woodcuttings and sawdust), the company initially did not realize it had much waste material to reduce. Space was also a limiting factor at the plant -- there wasn't room for additional recycling dumpsters. A little bit of research and a change in operations paid off. Now, I.M. David has virtually no trash and only one 40-yard roll-off, which takes a mixture of sawdust, wood, and floor cuttings away for recycling.
  7. North Coast Cooperative - Arcata. The North Coast Cooperative diverts more than half of the waste produced at both its Arcata and Eureka stores. The program includes recycling white and mixed papers, newspaper, cardboard, plastics, cans, glass, and compostable materials.
  8. Ocean Beach People's Organic Food Coop - San Diego. Ocean Beach People's Organic Foods Market, a customer-owned California cooperative and retail vegetarian food store specializing in organic produce and natural foods, composts waste generated in their deli and produce departments on the co-op sponsored organic farm in Jamul. The Ocean Beach People's Co-op recycles everything the city will accept: mixed paper, selected plastic, cardboard, glass bottles, tin cans, aluminum cans and newspaper. With the cost for waste collection partly determined by weight, the market's waste reduction efforts help keep their disposal expenses at less than $600 per month.
  9. The Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel - Millbrae. The Westin San Francisco Airport (Millbrae), a 315,000-square-foot hotel and restaurant with 393 rooms and 23,000 square feet of meeting/banquet space, donates excess food to food banks; recycles paper, glass, aluminum, and plastic; uses recycled-content products; and provides environmental education to employees. The Westin's average annual recycled materials weigh 22 tons and generate a cost benefit of nearly $6,000 per year.
  10. Yosemite Concession Services - Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Concession Services, Inc., under contract with the National Park Service to operate facilities in the park, recycles 25% and diverts 41% of the wastes generated at its concession facilities. The company estimates its cost savings through waste diversion exceed $100,000 per year.
Any California business that has taken effective measures to reduce the amount of waste it generates may apply for a WRAP award. Applicants do not compete by type or size of business, but are judged based on individual merit.


RELATED LINKS: Awards Directory Waste Reduction Resource Center