Tag Archives: recycle

The 12 Days of Reducing, Reusing and Recycling

Although Christmas is a wonderful time of the year it is also a time when people generate tons of waste. While reducing, reusing, and recycling should be practiced year-round, it is even more important during the holidays when our waste is plenteous.

We at DHEC urge you to put these 12 recycling and waste reduction tips to use this holiday season:

1. Keep a waste-free kitchen: Before going shopping, look around to determine what you already have on hand and make a list of things you need before heading to the store. Compost or donate your unwanted food and recycle your cooking oil. Find other helpful tips at www.scdhec.gov/dont-waste-food-sc.

2. Have hard-to-recycle items? Consider only buying materials packaged in what can be recycled in your area. Find where and what you can recycle at www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Recycling.

3. Give waste-less gifts like your time to clean someone’s house, piano or guitar lessons, gym memberships or certificates for pampering.

4. Most wrapping paper cannot be recycled, BUT you can reuse something to wrap with instead, such as paper bags, newspaper, maps or use reusable grocery bags, scarves or flower pots. Also reuse greeting cards to make gift tags.

5. Stop the unwanted mail! Check out ecocycle.org/junkmail for six easy steps. Make sure to recycle mail with your paper as well.

6. Prevent food waste this holiday by providing reusable containers or asking your guests to bring their own for leftovers.ledlights

7. Use LED lights, which last 10 times longer and use 80 percent less energy. Recycle your old strings of lights. Find more information on hard-to-recycle items at www.scdhec.gov/recycling-waste-reduction/recycling-hard-manage-items.

8. Go with an eco-deco theme by decorating with natural materials like greenery, gourds, fresh fruit and pine cones — all which can be composted after the holidays.

9. Set up a collection corner at your party by providing an area where guests can bring unwanted items to swap or donate.

10. Always let your guests know what can be recycled and composted. Clearly mark your bins and let guests know where they’re located.

11. Provide a green dining experience by using dishes and silverware instead of disposables.christmastree

12. Grind those greens. If you decorated a real tree and are ready for it to go, remember to find out where your county will be accepting them for grinding.

Visit the DHEC website for more tips and information on recycling and waste reduction.

From Other Blogs: Avoiding foodborne illness, cold weather tips, going green for the holidays & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Your Holiday How-To: Keeping Hot Foods HOT and Cold Foods COLD!

The holidays are here, which means plenty of gatherings with family, friends and food! These get-togethers are usually fun-filled with catching up, laughter and occasional dancing, so don’t let foodborne illness crash your party. One of the best ways to keep foodborne illness off the guest list is to keep your food items at the proper temperatures while you enjoy your party. — From the US Department of Agriculture blog

Cold weather tips to keep you safe

In South Carolina, we typically don’t have extremely cold weather. However, cold weather has the potential to be dangerous, so it’s important to know what to do when the freezing temperatures decide to creep up on us. — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Go Green for the Holidays

Are you one of those organized people who are already prepared for the coming winter holidays? Or do you still have plans to make and gifts to buy? Either way, why not take a second look at some of your usual holiday activities to see if you can make them more “sustainable?”

Sustainability is the responsible use of environmental resources in the present so that future generations will have enough to meet their needs. This is a lofty goal; how can any one person make a difference in reaching it? You may not realize that you are already working toward sustainability if you reuse and recycle; compost; walk, bike, take transit, or drive low-emission vehicles; conserve water and electricity; join community clean-up efforts; or otherwise save resources. — From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Your Health — Your Environment Blog

5 Practical Skills for the Holiday ‘Host(ess) with the Mostest’

It’s not easy playing the part of host or hostess with the “mostest” at the holidays. A lot of time, effort, and planning goes into making merry with family and friends. In all the excitement of getting the house and food ready for guests, honest mistakes, minor mishaps, and even life-threatening emergencies can happen.

Some accidents are just that … accidents; others—like turkey fryer fires—are often preventable. You can prepare for all of them. — From the CDC’s Public Health Matters Blog

Health for the Holidays: Risks and Recommendations for the Retail Industry

It’s finally here — the most wonderful time of the year… for shopping. People will visit retail stores to buy a variety of goods: the cleaning supplies they will use to prepare for holiday celebrations, the food and beverages they will serve at holiday gatherings, the holiday gifts they will give loved ones, and much more.

Economic projections suggest retailers should brace themselves for a heavy amount of seasonal shopping traffic this year.  … As the industry works to meet the demands of holiday shoppers, it’s important for store owners, managers, and employees to remember that the hustle and bustle can take a toll on retail workers’ physical and psychological well-being. — From the CDC’s NIOSH Science Blog

Two Of The Newest Members of SCEEP Doing Their Part To Protect The Environment

DHEC’s Office of Environmental Affairs visited with two of the newest members of the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program recently to talk with managers and staff about the Bridgestone Americas Aiken Off Road Tire Plant and the PSR Plant in Aiken. Both facilities are very involved with their communities and are doing their part towards environmental sustainability.

Aiken Off Road Tire Plant

The Aiken Off Road Tire Plant is the newest Bridgestone Americas facility in Aiken and they are harvesting rain water. Since 2015, more than 16 million gallons of rainwater has been harvested. Total water usage continues to decrease due in part to the rainwater

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Myra Reece, Director of Environmental Affairs, and Rebecca Sproles, EA Liaison, present Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations – Aiken Off Road Tire Plant with their SCEEP Member Certificate and Glass Award.

collection as well as using low flow water fixtures, waterless urinals and closed loop cooling. This facility is also recycling 100 percent of its production waste, upgrading LED fixtures and adding occupancy sensors to help reduce energy usage.

The Aiken Off Road Tire Plant also hosts a Community Outreach Event at the Gregg Park Civic Center in Graniteville that is open to children of the Graniteville, Vaucluse, and Warrenville communities.  This event helps promote conservation ad positive community relations with citizens.

PSR Plant

The PSR Plant is using solar energy throughout its facility and many outlying areas use solar exclusively.  Natural lighting in the warehouse is used during daytime hours to conserve energy consumption and in many places interior lighting has been converted to low-energy consuming LED lights.

The PSR Plant has maintained a 100 percent recycle rate for plant wastes and no manufacturing waste is shipped to landfills. This plant is also LEED Silver-certified since

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Myra Reece, Director of Environmental Affairs, and Rebecca Sproles, EA Liaison, present Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations – PSR Plant with their SCEEP Member Certificate and Glass Award.

2009 by the Green Building Council. An environmental learning center is on site and located outdoors, complete with a disc golf course, a horseshoe gaming area and walking trails. This center is used by PSR plant teams as well as civic groups, church groups and schools. A bluebird habitat is maintained on site in conjunction with the South Carolina Bluebird Society. A total of 31 bluebird boxes are on site and are monitored weekly by employee volunteers. Over the past 10 years, a total of 1,377 eggs have been in the boxes with 965 young fledge hatching so far.

Congratulations to both the Aiken Off Road Tire Plant and the PSR Plant of Bridgestone Americas for your work towards environmental sustainability. Both facilities will be members of the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program through 2021.

Learn more

For more information on becoming a member of the SCEEP, please contact Rebecca Sproles at sprolemr@dhec.sc.gov or 803-898-3139.

Pollution Prevention Week

Over the past few years, the third week of September has come to be known as Pollution Prevention (P2) Week. P2 Week (September 17-23) is a time for businesses, governments, and individuals to focus on preventing pollution, celebrating achievements, improving existing pollution prevention practices, and initiating new ones. You, too, can play a part in conserving our planet’s resources and moving us toward sustainability.

Here are some things you can do at HOME to help prevent pollution:

  • Conserve energy by turning off lights and electric appliances when not in use. Use energy-efficient light bulbs and buy Energy Star appliances.
  • Use environmentally-friendly cleaners and seal all containers to prevent harmful chemicals from evaporating into the environment.
  • Use electric-powered lawn equipment and bag yard clippings at the beginning of seed growing season to prevent them from being dispersed.
  • Reduce waste by reusing containers, composting food scraps, canceling unsolicited junk mail, and buying goods that use minimal packaging.

Here are some things you can do at WORK to help prevent pollution:

  • Form a Green Team. It is much easier to make your work place greener as a team.
  • Use your business’s intranet to educate employees on being green: Display a calendar with a focus on pollution prevention awareness events such as Earth Day, P2 Week, special recycle and paper shred days and bike-to-work day.
  • Promote recycling at work and make it easier to recycle by having an area where people can leave unwanted items that can be reused or repurposed.
  • When replacing office products (computers, faxes, etc.), choose ENERGY STAR-certified products.

Here are some things you can do at PLAY to help prevent pollution:

  • Use public transportation, walk, or ride a bike whenever possible to get to your destination.
  • Be car care aware; keeping your car in good condition can help reduce carbon emissions.
  • When on vacation, take your own toiletries and reuse towels to reduce energy usage and hot water consumption.
  • Use electronic tickets when traveling by saving or downloading the documents to your mobile devices.

For more information about Pollution Prevention week and how you can help prevent and reduce pollution, browse the South Carolina Smart Business Recycling Guide or go to https://www.epa.gov/p2.

DHEC in the News: Flu, recycling e-waste, using oysters to protect the environment

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Taking preventative actions vital to staying clear of the flu

Cover your mouths, because flu season in South Carolina is underway.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has released data saying for the week of Dec. 3 to 9, there were 24 lab-confirmed cases of flu and 893 rapid detection cases reported by clinical labs in South Carolina.

Keep Aiken Green: Know how to recycle e-waste in Aiken

After the holidays, once new televisions, new PS4s, new Xbox Ones, new computers, new sound systems and more settle in, the old ones tend to be done away with.

But where those unwanted electronics actually go, according to the state health and environment department, is of utmost importance.

Old Oysters Put to New Use at SRS for cleanup innovation

A member of the mollusk family could be the key to controlling the level of zinc in storm water runoff at Savannah River Site.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, the management and operations contractor for SRS, is among a small number of U.S. companies and utilities experimenting with oyster shells. They’ve found the shells naturally absorb zinc and copper from water, often reducing concentrations to acceptable levels.