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WASTE REDUCTION STRATEGY 2010

ELEANOR ROTHMAN

WASTE REDUCTION STRATEGY


2010
For the Los Angeles architecture firm

By Eleanor Rothman
Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects
July 2010

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WASTE REDUCTION STRATEGY 2010
ELEANOR ROTHMAN

WASTE REDUCTION STRATEGY


By Eleanor Rothman

Between sampling products, making models, printing plots, studying


magazines, and using electronic software, architecture firms are constantly in
demand of materials. Yet no materials have a permanent home in our offices.
Consequently, we end up producing a huge amount of waste. With every mis-
measured foam roofing model or outdated sample, we send a complicated and
valuable material to be thrown away.
Yet “away” no longer exists, and you can’t “throw” anything there. The
action is obsolete. Our world is spinning towards the day when disposal becomes
impossible and all waste must be accounted for.
In fact, that day is almost upon us. Thus it is imperative that individuals and
company leaders implement sustainable practices in their lives and businesses.
Below is a guide for the first steps in waste reduction and responsibility. Take a
moment to review these guidelines and do your part, however insignificant it may
feel.
Remember that America’s mentality is shifting. Our youth is no longer
learning about garbage facilities or even recycling: they are learning that there is
no such thing as waste.

REDUCE
Use the internet.
Many companies are switching to the internet to display their product information.
Try to avoid ordering samples and product binders by using online sources
whenever possible. This will also open up space in your office.

Know your sources.


Always opt for the eco-minded brand.1 When that isn’t possible, order LOCALLY.
For a Los Angeles based firm, samples from California are inherently more
sustainable than samples from Italy.

Order efficiently.
In order to minimize driving/shipping emissions, limit your sample orders to what
you actually need and order them in one shipment.

REUSE
Contact the representative.
Often, companies producing material samples will reclaim them for reuse or recycle
in their own facilities. Such organizations include Shaw Carpet and Heath Ceramics.
Some of these reps accept products from other companies, so give them a call.

Email the office.


Many of our samples have great artistic possibilities. Odds are someone in the
office is interested in the materials you are looking to discard. Send out a friendly
email to your coworkers and you may get some hits.

Post an ad.

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WASTE REDUCTION STRATEGY 2010
ELEANOR ROTHMAN

In a metropolitan Mecca like Los Angeles, people are always looking for something,
especially something free. Post an ad for your materials on one of Southern
California’s many selling and trading sites, and you’re sure to get plenty of hits and
discover exciting projects. Start with Craigslist (www.craigslist.com) and Freecycle
(www.freecycle.org), then move on to government sponsored trading cites such as
LACoMax (http://dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/lacomax/) and CalMax
(http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/calmax/).2

Create a contact list.


As you receive responses to your posting, inquire as to whether the responders
would like to be notified during future cleanouts. Add any reliable persons to a
contact list (at my office, we call it our “Trash to Treasure” list). Then, during future
cleanouts, you will have a solid base to start with.

RECYCLE
Get with the program.
There are plenty of available recycling programs for businesses in Los Angeles, CA.3
Use them.

Do your research.
Know which materials are recyclable and which aren’t.4 Use the cans accordingly.

Don’t be lazy.
Though there may be a trashcan conveniently located under your desk, get some
exercise and walk the extra ten feet to the recycling bin. It won’t take a significant
chunk out of your day.

3
RESOURCES
1
R

Green products:

Carpet: Shaw Contract Group


Dalton, GA
www.shawcontractgroup.com
(800) 257-7429
• Cradle to Cradle Silver, NSF 140, CRI Green Label Plus, Good Environmental Choice
certification.
• 100% recyclable with recycling services included.

Ceiling/wall: Phonstop Acoustic Ceiling and Wall Tiles


Minneapolis, MN
(800) 662-0032
• 100% post-consumer recycled glass bottles.
• NRC 0.90 (same as standard insulation).
• Automatically Class 1 fire retardant.

Fabic: Textus Commercial Textiles


Irvine, CA
www.themomgroup.com
(949) 833-8886, (800) 366-6839
• ISO 14001 company.
• Terratex 100-percent recycled polyester (from pre-consumer sources)
• MBDC Gold certified fabrics such as the antimony-free, recyclable Eco-Intelligent
polyester and Climatex Lifecycle made from wool and ramie.
• Eco Wool fabrics processed without pesticides; using biodegradable detergents
that minimize water pollution; vegetable oil lubricants rather than mineral oil; and
environmentally friendly dyes.
• 72 percent lower CO2 emissions compared with conventional wool products.

Flooring: Nova Distinctive Floors Floating Cork Flooring


Carson, CA
www.novafloorinSgs.com
(866) 576-2485
• Made from recycled wine stoppers.
• Glueless.
• FSC Certified.
• 10- to 20-year warranty.

Lighting: Lunera Commercial LED Fixtures


Redwood City, CA
www.lunera.com
650-241-3875
• Dimmable commercial LED fixtures with higher energy efficiency, lower operating
cost, and improved environmental impact.
• Design and manufacture ceiling grid lay-in and suspended fixtures that replace
fluorescents.
• Develop application-specific task lighting.
Tile: Eco by Cosentino
Stafford, TX
www.ecobycosentino.com
(866) 579-4ECO
• Cradle to Cradle and Greengaurd certified.
• 75% recycled content composed of post-industrial or post-consumer materials.
• Bound by an environmentally friendly resin which comes in part from corn oil.
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Wood: Black Locust Lumber
Lewistown, PA
www.blacklocustlumber.com
(908) 735-9645
• Grown locally in North America.
• Fast grown, sustainably logged and un-endangered tree.
• Extremely durable.

How to post an ad:

i. Always be skeptical when dealing with strangers over the internet. When posting
an ad, you need to draw hits and provide information. Yet there is a delicate balance
to be maintained. Never display your phone number, address, or email address upon
initial communication. In addition, feel free to ask general information of your
responders. It is entirely within your rights to establish his or her legitimacy before
making contact.
ii. First responders aren’t the best responders! Don’t feel you have to give your
goods away to the first person showing interest. Give the ad some time and choose
the most valuable causes that appear.
iii. Below is an example of a successful ad I posted on Craigslist a few weeks ago:

Title: Art & Construction Materials, FREE

Body: MARBLE, TERRAZZO, LIMESTONE, SLATE, STEEL, WOOD, CONCRETE, ALUMINUM,


LINOLEUM, GLASS, STUCCO, ETC.

Architecture firm looking for SUSTAINABLE/CREATIVE WAY of disposing of their valuable


material samples.

If interested, please contact us with the following information:


-Name
-General location
-Reason for desiring materials
-Proposal for use of materials

We will only donate our materials to a cause we feel is artistically, economically, or environmentally
productive for the city of Los Angeles. Hurry, materials are going fast!

Thank you, we look forward to receiving your responses.

This ad was successful because it incorporates a large number of keywords that buyers
may be entering into search engines. Also, by requesting information, I was able to
select the best causes around the city to which we can donate our materials in the future.
Yes, It is Recyclable
PaperNo, It is NOT
Recyclable
PaperNewspaperPlastic
3 or wax coated paper and
Recycling programs:
cartonsPaper boardFrozen
Allfood boxesCardboard,
recyclable waste: Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation
corrugated
Department of Public Works, Bureau of Sanitation
boxesMicrowave
Solid food
Resources Citywide Recycling Division (SRCRD)
boxesCardboard
(213) 485-2260 cereal &
cracker boxes, etc.Wax
SRCRD@lacity.org
cereal/cracker
• Call forbox liners6-
a consultation, recycling guide, or to set up a recycling program in your
pack cartonsBooksBrown
office.
grocery bagsGummed or
Cans, glass,gluedplastic: Los Angeles Conservation Corporation
(213) 749-3601
bindingsMagazinesPaper
3655 South
towels, Grand
napkins, Avenue, Suite 280
tissue
Los Angeles,paperPaper
paperGlossy CA. 90007
www.lacorps.org
plates, soiled paperJunk
• This nonprofit
mailAdhesive backed or Los Angeles organization will come to your office and pick up your
cans, glass, and plastics for free. Service is less reliable, but if your office is on a
sticky notesStationery &
tight budget, programs like the LA Conservation Corp are good options.
envelopesCarbon paper,
thermal faxwaste:
Electronic paperAny Best Buy
high grade/uncoated
West LA: Store 109
paperAluminum
11301 W Pico Blvd foil
boxesBinder/notebook
Los Angeles, CA 90064
paper, any colorFast food
http://stores.bestbuy.com/109/2009/04/24/go-green-at-best-buy-with-recycling-your-old-
electronics/
wrappersTelephone
• Bring
booksPet foodyour Yes,
bagselectronic waste to the Best Buy West LA branch and they will recycle it
It isfor you. If it is gently used, you can exchange it for a gift card.
Recyclable
4 Plastic, Glass,
Recyclable vs. non-recyclable:
AluminumNo, It is
LANOT
County Recyclable
Department of Public Works http://dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/Recycling/what.cfm
Plastic, Glass,
AluminumAluminum
cans, foil, traysAerosol
cansTin cans & bi-metal
cansOvenwareGlass
bottles, jars (empty &
rinsed)CeramicsAny color
glass bottles or
jarsWindowpane glass or
MirrorAll plastic food
containers #1 & #2, most
#5, some #4Plastic
wrapPlastic bottles and
containers, such as
shampoo, detergent,
bleach, milk, soda, water,
and aspirin containers,
etc.All wax laminated
cartons/containers, such as
milk cartons, juice boxes
& soy milk
boxesMicrowave food
traysPlastic motor oil