Sunrise Rotary Coca-Cola has viable, successful recycling program
by LUCIE R. WILLSIE, Associate Editor
Jan 27, 2013 | 537 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEBBIE MILLARD, operations clerk/corporate responsibility and sustainability (CSR) champion at the local Coca-Cola facility, spoke to the Bradley Sunrise Rotary group Thursday about the various recycling programs she oversees internally at Coca-Cola, as well as out in the community and the schools.
DEBBIE MILLARD, operations clerk/corporate responsibility and sustainability (CSR) champion at the local Coca-Cola facility, spoke to the Bradley Sunrise Rotary group Thursday about the various recycling programs she oversees internally at Coca-Cola, as well as out in the community and the schools.
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“I’m really proud of our recycling program,” said Debbie Millard, operations clerk/corporate responsibility and sustainability champion at the local Coca-Cola facility. She takes care of internal and community recycling efforts and programs.

The CRS program consists of various parts: a diverse and inclusive culture, product portfolios, water stewardships, energy conservation and climate change, and sustainable packaging and recycling.

“We’ve had a big effort since 2008 for recycling,” Millard said.

For example, Coca-Cola is one of the area’s largest consumers of water, prompting the company to have a significant water conservation effort.

Currently, recycled cans are recovered at a rate of 95 percent and their raw material in the form of more cans is usually back on the shelf again within two months.

The current recovery rate at the local facility is around 97 percent.

Its target is a 100 percent recovery footprint by 2020.

The items that are currently recycled include aluminum, pails and drums, cores, reset plastic glides, PET, paper, batteries, mixed plastics, OCC/cardboard, stretch/shrink film, hi-cone, metals, scrap pellets, and PET straps.

Coca-Cola also has an employee training and recycling program in place. Cleveland State Community College was Coca-Cola’s first school partner, with many more schools being added over the years.

This School Recycling Program works with area schools and businesses to establish a recycling program specifically designed for each unique organization. The program not only collects recyclables, but also keeps trying to increase participation in the area.

One college, two high schools, three middle schools, eight elementary schools, four private schools, Trousdale school and 13 businesses are currently part of the school recycling program.

And, if a business recycles, it can even give its credits to a specific school.

Millard told the assembled Rotarians that in 2008 the plant spent $34,000 in landfill costs. But she also was very proud to tell the group that last year, the landfill costs had dropped dramatically to only $5,100.

And, in addition, Millard said proudly, the Cleveland Coca-Cola plant is the only one in the country to have this extensive a recycling program.

“Our success is due to having everyone involved,” she said.

To sign up for this program, call Millard at 339-4522 or 504-6102 or email her at dmmillard@coca-cola.com.

In other business —

n The Bradley Sunrise Rotary has inducted 16 new members since last fall.

n Ross Tarver, president of Tarver Distributing and a member of the Noonday Rotary club, addressed the Bradley Sunrise Rotary club Thursday, telling them about the upcoming fundraiser auction and dinner on Feb. 15 at the Five Points Museum Center.