MAY 2010

Con Edison awarded for recycling

For recycling almost 50,000 tons of materials, Con Edison has captured one of the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) highest honors, a WasteWise Gold Achievement award for industrial material recycling.

This award recognizes the company’s performance in 2008 for recycling 90 percent of the total waste materials handled. This success translated to close to 50,000 tons of waste materials from company locations.

In addition to recycling common materials like paper and cardboard, Con Edison also recycles industrial materials that have been reclaimed from utility operations, such as metal and scrap cable, sand and soil from excavation sites and construction and demolition debris.

Con Edison’s recycling program saves money and manages materials in an environmentally sound way. In 2008 alone, the company estimated that it saved over $19 million through its waste-reduction efforts. Programs range from directives requiring two-sided copies throughout administrative offices to a metal recycling program from company construction sites.

As part of joining the EPA WasteWise voluntary reporting program, Con Edison began to track all materials it recycles. In 2008, the company estimated it recycled:

  • 33,000 tons of sand and dirt.
  • 11,500 tons of metal.
  • 3,400 tons of trash.
  • 1,300 tons of construction and demolition debris.
  • 100 tons of wood.
  • 400 tons of mixed office paper.
  • 150 tons of corrugated cardboard.
  • 140 tons of skids and chairs.
  • 120 tons of plastic.
  • 50 tons of electronic equipment.

In 2009, Con Edison achieved a 91 percent recycling rate for its generation of 67,000 tons of the same material streams. This represents a trend in material reuse and cost savings that the company is seeking to not only maintain, but also improve upon annually.