Verizon Heads for EPA WasteWise Hall of Fame

Verizon Heads for EPA WasteWise Hall of Fame

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will induct Verizon Communications into its WasteWise Hall of Fame in November in a nod to the company's recycling and waste reduction efforts.

Verizon joined the EPA's voluntary program in 1994, and has since won nine awards.

But beyond the recognition, the communications company has saved some $16 million in purchasing costs by reducing waste. The company has also been able to turn the unwanted materials into revenue streams, such as $10 million in waste prevention revenue and more than $21 million in total recycling revenue.

To do this, Verizon allowed customers to recycle unused wireless phones and batteries at drop-off centers located in its retail stores. This yielded more than 900,000 wireless phones and accessories and 60,000 pounds of rechargeable batteries that were sent to local domestic violence agencies.

The company also handles about 70 million consumer bills online, rather than via paper bills. Verizon uses micro turbines fired by natural gas to generate about half of the electricity at two of its California offices, as well as powering down and removing obsolete network equipment in more than 400 facilities.

"We're honored to be inducted into the WasteWise Hall of Fame," said Dan Mead, president of Verizon Services Corp., which oversees many of the conservation efforts as part of managing real estate, supply chain and financial operations services across Verizon's three business groups. "Conservation is good business."