For most of us, recycling means tossing our empty soda can or plastic water bottle into a recycling bin every now and then. We have done our part for the environment, and it feels good, right? At the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), recycling includes empty cans and bottles, but also many tons of paper, cardboard, shrink wrap, wooden pallets and even lamps and toner cartridges.
In 2013, ABC recycled more than 425 tons of cardboard, 23 tons of shrink wrap, 75 tons of paper, 21 pounds of aluminum and 54 pounds of plastic bottles. To put that in perspective, just recycling one ton of the paper used at ABC saves 7,000 gallons of water, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space and enough energy to power the average American home for six months, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Besides its environmental benefits, recycling also provides a revenue stream for the commonwealth. Last year, ABC brought in more than $50,000 for the cardboard, paper, aluminum and plastics the agency recycled. Wooden pallets used in the ABC warehouse are also recycled. In just one month, ABC recycles an average 4,700 pallets bringing in about $10,000, which translates to $120,000 annually.
Additionally, for minimal fees ABC recycles light fixture components, lamps, toner cartridges and other assorted materials used in ABC stores, regional offices and at its central office in Richmond.
”The materials we recycle are reprocessed and turned into new products,” said ABC Chairman Jeff Painter. “The new items are cheaper than those made with raw materials, and less energy is used. By recycling, we are helping to preserve natural resources, protecting the environment for future generations and lowering the cost of products we already use.”
Are you moving or looking for extra storage? ABC can help. Please visit your local ABC store to pick up reusable cardboard boxes. After using the recycled boxes, give them to someone else to reuse or put them in a cardboard recycling receptacle. In large and small ways, everyone can positively impact our environment.
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing $1.7 billion to the general fund in the last five years. The agency currently operates 347 state stores. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees 16,000 ABC licensed establishments while the Hearings and Appeals Division considers more than 700 cases each year. The agency also provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Now in its 80th year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its control, service and revenue mission.
Virginia ABC’s Robust Recycling Program Helps Environment and Provides Revenue Stream