The Ohio EPA has recognized two major northwestern Ohio facilities as part of a new program to recognize organizations committed to environmental excellence.
The General Motors Co. transmission plant in Toledo and Marathon Petroleum Corp. headquarters in Findlay earned Silver Award status, the second-highest level.
According to the EPA, the GM facility has reduced routine waste by 80 percent. In a one-year period, 94 percent of waste was recycled and 6 percent was shipped to an energy-recovery facility. GM also set up an energy conservation program as part of its “drive to zero,” which was recognized by the U.S. EPA for lowering greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 30 percent and avoiding nearly 40,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
The facility’s energy-saving innovations include a solar array that generates 600 kilowatts.
At Marathon Petroleum’s 13-acre headquarters complex, what began as office-waste recycling expanded into a comprehensive recycling effort that included energy and water-use reduction. Employees recycled 1 ton of batteries, 20 tons of food scraps, 3 tons of toner cartridges, 10 tons of scrap metal, and 103 tons of mixed recycling, including paper, bottles and cans, cardboard, and plastics.
The cafeteria processed 40 tons of food into compost and replaced foam lunch containers with compostable paper containers. Foam cups were replaced with reusable mugs.
The headquarters, which consists of three multistory office buildings and other facilities, made changes to its lighting, windows, faucets, and toilets and upgraded the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.