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WASTE REDUCTION–Tech Company Ranked High on ’99 Awards List



State Board Commends Unisys for Waste Reduction

Reducing and recycling waste is not something commonly associated with tech companies , unless you are talking about one like Unisys Corp.

The 600-employee division manufactures information management systems, including mainframes and high-end servers.

The company’s Rancho Bernardo division has garnered several awards from the California Integrated Waste Management Board and other agencies for its environmental efforts.

Most recently, the waste management board awarded Unisys, which is based in Blue Bell, Pa., a Waste Reduction Awards Program commendation for 1999 and named it one of the top 10 California businesses for best recycling and waste-cutting achievements.

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“These awards commend the business community for taking an active approach to resource conservation and showing that recycling and cutting waste can also save a company significant costs , even bring in new revenues in many cases , and prove that going green can keep a business in the black,” said Dan Eaton, the waste board’s chairman.

In past years, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the Environmental Resource Agency, San Diego County Department of Health Services, and the city of San Diego have also honored the company.

– Accomplishments Are

A Companywide Effort

Unisys’ environmental accomplishments are the result of a companywide effort. Employees are educated on the recycling program and updated on the company’s local achievements, according to Raymond Rice, environmental health and safety manager for the company’s Rancho Bernardo site.

In addition, he is always ready to remind offenders of the policies, and reward those who do more than just comply with company regulations.

The information management system manufacturer produced about 2,800 tons of waste in 1999, but less than 10 percent of that actually went into a landfill, according to Rice.

Over time Unisys has also decreased and maintained the amount of waste sent to the landfill as well. Although the company has been producing about 1,600 tons of waste per year since 1988, Unisys has only sent a ton of that to the landfill, Rice said. The company produced more waste in 1999 due to a building expansion.

– Conservation Efforts

Rewarded Financially

The environmental efforts have generated a cost savings of more than $400,000 last year, he added.

These environmental and money-saving efforts have included everything from changes in packaging to recycling a variety of materials.

Packaging materials take up a lot of space in landfills, Rice said.

“It really wasn’t a question of throwing it in a landfill. It just doesn’t belong there,” he said.

As a result, the company has taken it upon itself to find a use for these materials, Rice said.

Isocyanate packing foam received with incoming packages is replaced with a biodegradable starch packaging that dissolves in water, he said. The foam is then given to a foam manufacturer so it can be reused, he said.

Recycled materials consist of paper, scrap metal, computer parts, light tubes, batteries and cardboard, Rice said.

Some items are donated to local companies for reuse. Packaging materials such as bubble wrap and foam are reused by businesses such as Mail Boxes Etc., Postal Annex+ and others, he said. Plastic foam is donated to another company that creates wood-like products from it.

Last year, the company generated waste like concrete and greenery that it would not produce normally due to a building expansion, Rice said.

Unisys worked with the contractors to make sure that the waste could and would be recycled, he said.

This year, the company plans to send less than 20 percent of its waste to a landfill, Rice said. Unisys also plans to expand its recycling efforts, he said. The company recently began recycling colored and glossy paper and it plans on adding shrink-wrap to the list.

The state Integrated Waste Management Board selected a total of 566 waste reduction award winners for 1999. The top 10 winners received the Waste Reduction Award Program of the Year commendation.

Out of 40 local waste reduction award winners, Unisys Corp.’s Rancho Bernardo division was the only local company that received the honor for 1999.

Other notable, local winners include Albertsons, Inc., Callaway Golf Co., EDCO Disposal Corp., Gold Mine Natural Food Co., NCR Corp., SeaWorld of San Diego, STMicroelectronics, and TRW Avionics Systems Division.

A complete list of winners is available at (www.ciwmb.ca.gov/WRAP).

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