For Immediate Release
July 8, 2010

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Kansas Green Team Assembly and Award Luncheon July 8 in Topeka

The 3rd Annual Kansas Green Team Assembly and Award Luncheon was held in Topeka today, July 8.   

“In early 2007 Governor Kathleen Sebelius issued a directive requiring all state offices to start recycling by the end of 2007,” said Roderick Bremby, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “Today, all state agencies and their satellite offices around the state are now participating in the program.”

The following state Green Teams and Green Team members were recognized at today’s assembly:

Hutchinson Correctional Facility:  Recycling Program
HCF has received recognition in previous years for their recycling program.  This year, they have begun a mattress reclamation program through which mattresses are dismantled and the wood, foam and metal salvaged for recycling.  Since the spring of this year, the process has prevented approximately 500 mattresses from being land-filled. 

Lansing Correctional Facility:  Recycling Program
Lansing maintains their tradition of recycling through constant evaluation of their programs and rethinking new ways of approaching conservation efforts.  During even numbered years, the facility develops strategies for reducing their waste and during odd numbered years the focus is on re-directing what waste is being generated.  This on-going approach has led to projects from planting drought tolerant plants to eliminating the use of styrofoam cups at the facility.  Lansing has received recognition previously for their efforts.

Wichita SRS:  Recycling Education Program
A 2009 recipient for outstanding education outreach efforts in recycling, the Wichita SRS program continues their tradition of excellence.  This year, an Earth Day event took place that included education on eWaste and time was spent with the local recycling center to increase understanding of what happens to the items once they are dropped off.   Educating staff on recycling possibilities for the holiday season was also one part of the strategy for the SRS Wichita. 

Eric Dyer: Individual Recycler:  SRS Wichita     
Eric has been composting since the 1970s and an avid recycler since his college days in the ‘80s.   He has continued his commitment to the environment both in his home through various conservation efforts as well as providing leadership through waste and energy reduction efforts in his work setting.  Eric sets an example and educates others through his long term dedication to waste reduction. 

Wichita SRS:  Recycling Program
The SRS Regional office in Wichita continues to work on ways to improve the recycling program in their office.  After a waste audit revealed a large number of plastic bottles in the waste stream, plastic recycling was added to the overall efforts.  During the first month of plastic collection, approximately 3,600 bottles were collected and the volume of plastic did not slow down.   SRS Wichita estimates a whopping 43,200 plastic bottles have been recycled since the collection began.  This office also diverted 36 tons of paper, approximately 3,800 aluminum cans and conducted an eWaste collection for Earth Day.  SRS has been recognized in previous years for outstanding waste reduction efforts. 

Topeka SRS Records Center:  Recycling Program
 The Records Center for SRS in Topeka is doing an excellent job diverting paper from the landfill while ensuring the security of documents through shredding.  Under the leadership of last year’s individual recycler awardee, Jerry Meredith, the shredding capacity at the recycling plant has significantly increased through the purchase of a large scale industrial shredder in April of this year.  This larger piece of equipment has already impacted the amount of paper shredding from one trip to the recycling plant weekly to two or more times a weekly.  

Deb Wyant:  Individual Recycler:  SRS NE Regional
Deb Wyant is currently the Salina Service Center Manager for SRS and oversees nine (9) service centers throughout Northeast Kansas.  Deb has provided leadership and motivation through scheduling and making time to meet quarterly with the Green Team representatives from each service center location.  She has been creative in finding efficient ways to recycle plastic, paper, glass, aluminum, newspaper and cardboard from the offices in her region.  It is a pleasure to add Deb Wyant to the list of dedicated individuals  making a difference in Kansas.

Karen Zelznak:  Individual Recycler:  SRS Topeka Service Center
Karen is not a newcomer to being recognized for her “lead by example approach” to environmental stewardship.  Karen promotes the recycling efforts in her building through management of the bins in the break rooms and by using her own resources to ensure these materials are transported to recycling centers.  During the growing season, Karen’s efforts extend to an inter-office Farmer’s Market through which the gardners in the office can bring in produce and flowers.  These items are sold for a nominal fee with proceeds going to the Kids’ Closet which is an organization providing clothing for children in the foster care system. 

For more information on the Kansas Green Team, visit www.kansasgreenteams.org/.