Paw of approval

One plastics recycler has been recognized as a good steward of the environment.

The North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro, North Carolina, has awarded Repreve manufacturer Unifi Inc., Greensboro, North Carolina, its 2017 Paw of Approval, which highlights the company’s commitment to environmentally responsible manufacturing. Repreve fibers are made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles.

Inspired by Polar Bears International, polar bear keepers at the zoo launched the Paw of Approval award in 2011 to highlight and reward the Triad’s most earth-friendly businesses. Zookeepers nominate companies, which are voted on by zoo guests.

Scrapping ships

Global metal recycling firm EMR, based in the U.K., recently towed the fifth vessel from a fleet of six United States Navy vessels awarded by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) into one of its Gulf of Mexico ship-breaking facilities for dismantling.

The decommissioned Ticonderoga class cruiser, USS Thomas S. Gates (CG 51), is the only ship in its class to be named after a person and not after a famous American battle. The ship was decommissioned Dec. 14, 2005, and docked in Philadelphia until it was towed to New Orleans for scrapping in July 2017.

Andrew Sheppard, chief operating officer of Southern Recycling, a subsidiary of EMR based in New Orleans and where the ship is being scrapped, says metal recovered from the Thomas S. Gates will be melted down and repurposed to make new products “and, who knows, maybe even a new U.S. Navy vessel to serve her country,” he says.

Hot item

Talk about taking control. Chittenden County, Vermont, leads the United States in its recycling program for mercury-containing thermostats, according to a recent report from the Thermostat Recycling Corp. (TRC), Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, that measured county recycling efforts.

The Green Mountain State’s Chittenden County collected 2,280 mercury-filled thermostats between 2012 and 2016. Minnesota captured second and third place, with Hennepin County finishing a close second with 2,274 thermostats, followed by Olmsted County with 1,901 units.

Chittenden County maintains a fully staffed hazardous waste collection facility with four full-time employees and also has seven drop-off locations that collect mercury-containing thermostats throughout the county.

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