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Airport Employees Learn New Ways to Take Action for the Environment

April 29, 2014 Airport No Comments Email Email
In celebration of Earth Week, the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) Environment Division presented a Lunch & Learn program to promote sustainability awareness amongst airport employees.
The workshop offered information on recycling and composting opportunities both at CDA and at home.

Composting to Reduce Waste

Beveryly Mayberry, Sweet Beginnings, LLC and David Robbins, CDA Projects Administrator, show off the CDA's worm bin for composting

Beveryly Mayberry, Sweet Beginnings, LLC and David Robbins, CDA Projects Administrator, show off the CDA’s worm bin for composting

During the luncheon, new organic collection bins located throughout the Aviation Administration Building were unveiled. The bins were provided thanks to a grant from the Searle Funds at theChicago Community Trust in coordination with the Compost Collection Network. In line with the CDA’s goal of embracing collaboration, sharing experiences and utilization of local resources, Loyola University launched the Compost Collection Network to assist local businesses and institutions in setting up an efficient food scrap collection process.

Along with the compost collection bins, the Environment Division’s new vermicomposter (worm bin) was put on display. The worm bin will be used to showcase an efficient way to convert food waste, coffee grounds, cardboard, newspaper, junk mail, and other organic matter from the into nutrient-rich compost.

It is important to the CDA that their employees not only understand the value of being environmental leaders at work, but how to apply these principles to areas outside of the job. John Mulrow, from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), a division of the Prairie Research Institute, instructed employees on how they can take the lessons presented and identify composting opportunities at home.

Recycling & Waste Management

Display of compostable cups, cutlery napkins and other items provided by HMS Host

Display of compostable cups, cutlery napkins and other items provided by HMS Host

Meredith Cywinski from SET Environmental, Inc. provided information on the universal waste recycling and waste management program at CDA. The program is intended to prevent products which often contain hazardous substances, such as lead, mercury, and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), from reaching landfills where they can contaminate our air, soil and water. Along with speaking to employees on how they can help the CDA recycle batteries, cellphones and other products in environmentally friendly ways, the program highlighted the City of Chicago’s Household Chemicals & Computer Recycling Facility at 1150 N. North Branch Street. The City’s permanent facility accepts a range of items including household cleaners, oil-based paints, solvents, cell phones, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and computers for proper disposal.

HMS Host provided a display of compostable trays, bags, plates, napkins, cutlery, lids, cups, and other items and was on-hand to answer questions. The compostable items are used in the O’Hare terminals in support of the CDA’s industry-leading Green Concessions Policy. Attendees were able to enjoy their lunch on compostable plates and napkins knowing their organic waste would soon be recycled back into the natural environment.

Arbor Day Recognition

Sweet Beginnings' beeline products

Sweet Beginnings’ beeline products

As an Arbor Day treat, Brenda Palms-Barber from Sweet Beginnings, LLC stopped by to show a video on the apiary at O’Hare International Airport.

Typically people think of bees just for their use in the production of beeswax and honey and may not consider their importance in the pollination of trees and crops.

The urban beekeeping performed by Sweet Beginnings helps provide a safe refuge for honeybees that in turn cross-pollinate local plants.

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