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Sonoco Awards SEWE

SEWE achieves bronze-tier award status by implementing recycling program

Sonoco Recycling, LLC, one of the largest packaging recyclers in North America, announced Southeastern Wildlife Exposition a bronze-tier Sonoco Sustainability Star Award recipient for diverting over half of the three-day event’s waste from landfill.

A recycling leader with locations and expertise worldwide, Sonoco Recycling annually collects more than 3 million tons of old corrugated containers, various grades of paper, metals and plastics. In addition, the Company has experts who provide secure, reliable and innovative recycling solutions to residential and commercial customers.

“This is something we are very proud of,” said John Powell, executive director, SEWE. “Recycling at large events like these is notoriously challenging. Before we began the program in 2011, we were only diverting about 10 percent of event materials from landfill. To grow that to 65 percent of the waste generated over three days at the exposition in just three years is a huge accomplishment for our team.”

Ray Howard, Sonoco Recycling general manager said, “We are honored to work with the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition on its recycling initiative. Part of their mission is working to make us aware of our natural treasures, and of the need to protect and preserve them for the future. By working to implement an event-wide recycling program, they demonstrate the importance of recycling not only in the Lowcountry, but across the country, to their over 40,000 attendees. We are pleased to present them with a much-deserved sustainability star award.”

To achieve 65 percent diversion, SEWE began working on an event recycling program in February 2011, which focuses on three key areas: recycling of paper, cans, bottles and other plastics; collection of old corrugated cardboard (OCC); and composting. Recycling and OCC collection comprises about 50 percent of diversion, with approximately 15 percent of materials being composted. Staff mans each collection point throughout the three-day event to ensure that there is no contamination of materials – one of the biggest challenges of event recycling.

Created to recognize customer and Sonoco facilities for achieving significant milestones in landfill diversion and waste stream reduction, the Sustainability Star Award program is composed of three tiers: Gold Star Awards, which recognize facilities that have achieved 99 percent landfill diversion; Silver Star Recognition, which is awarded to facilities achieving 95 percent landfill diversion; and Bronze Awards, which recognize facilities that have made significant waste reduction achievements.

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