Foothill Elementary Takes Top Prize

Foothill Elementary Takes Top Prize

When it comes to recycling, Foothill Elementary is one of the best in the nation. It won the 2013 Recycle-Bowl, an annual month-long competition among 1,500 schools nation-wide. Foothill students recycled 81,797 pounds of material, averaging 157 pounds per child. But those impressive numbers weren't anything special - they recycle like that all year long, says Sara Fuentes, Sustainability Manager for CIWA, Inc., a waste and recycling management company that helped the school district launch a zero waste program five years ago. Fuentes' team initially visited the school daily to do lunchtime training and build interest among the students, but now they know the drill and keep one another accountable. "Nobody wants to be the kid who puts stuff in the wrong bins," says Fuentes.

Keep Plastic Out of the Pacific

In just a few years, our movement to stop plastic pollution has grown by leaps and bounds, from Los Angeles to Marin, with single-use plastic bags now banned in more than 100 communities. Together, we can achieve a statewide ban — saving more sea turtles and other wildlife by keeping plastic out of the Pacific.

Trash is killing ocean wildlife!

Californians throw away 123,000 tons of plastic bags each year, and too many of them end up as litter in our ocean. Today, there are 100 million tons of trash in the North Pacific Gyre; in some parts of the Pacific, plastic outweighs plankton 6 to 1.

All of this trash in the Pacific is creating an ecological disaster:

  • Turtles and seabirds frequently ingest floating plastic, mistaking it for food. They also get entangled in bags and often drown or die of suffocation.
  • Adult seabirds inadvertently feed small bits of plastic to their chicks — often causing them to starve to death after their stomachs become filled with plastic.
  • Toxic pollutants leach from the plastic into the water. Scientists are now studying whether fish and other marine animals absorb these toxic pollutants. If so, there is a good chance that we
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Keep Plastic Out of the Pacific

Business Profile - FireEye leading the way

Business Profile - FireEye leading the way

Milpitas-based network security company FireEye is a leader when it comes to promoting sustainability by making recycling opportunities for paper,  cardboard, glass, and plastic available throughout the organization. In 2015, FireEye took a significant step to further increase diversion by including organic  recycling in the employee cafeteria.

"FireEye wants to make sure it is doing the right thing by composting paper plates, napkins and food waste," says Facilities Manager Scott Peterson. With the assistance of Denise Stanley, Commercial Industrial Waste Applications' (CIWA) consultant, and Republic Service Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Crozier, Scott took on the task of implementing a comprehensive organics program that results in less waste going on the landfill.

To gain awareness and interest in the program, company-wide emails were sent to all employees three months in advance of organics recycling implementation. The result? Nothing but positive feedback from employees, and less waste for us all!

CIWA helps Pittsburg Schools Save 65%

In a time of widespread budget shortfalls in public schools, CIWA Inc. is helping Northern California school districts salvage hundreds of thousands of dollars usually spent on waste management for use in other areas. CIWA develops and enhances “go green” initiative programs in schools and businesses to help them towards sustainability while reducing costs.

When Enrique Palacios became associate superintendent in charge of business service at the Pittsburg Unified School District, he had a hunch the district was throwing away good money on their existing waste management system. To confirm his suspicion, he brought in the premier San Francisco Bay Area waste management firm, Commercial Industrial Waste Applications (CIWA), which ended up finding ways to cut costs by a whopping two-thirds.

After conducting a free comprehensive waste assessment, CIWA set up a streamlined system that was cost effective for the supplier and added recycling educational programs for the Pittsburg school district, allowing them to redirect $804,352  from waste disposal fees to saving teachers' jobs, educational programs, and supplies that are essential for the district during the 2010-2011 school year alone.

“I knew CIWA would save us money,” said Mr. Palacios, “but I was blown away by how

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Pittsburg Saves 65%