For Immediate Release
September 30, 2011

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

Businesses, Individual Recognized for Green Initiatives

Awards Presented at Annual Green Teams Assembly

Topeka— Today, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s (KDHE) Bureau of Waste Management held its fourth annual Kansas Green Team Assembly in Topeka. This assembly celebrates the success of the state’s Green Teams and to shows appreciation for the commitment to environmental stewardship made by businesses in Kansas.

‘This annual event is a great way to showcase the green work taking place year-round,” explained Megan MacPherson, KDHE’s State Green Team Coordinator. “These business and individual are doing their part to not spoil Kansas and keep it clean for years to come.”

The following Green Teams were recognized at today’s assembly and received Green Team awards:

Dream Team Award – Hyatt Regency Wichita
This award recognizes a Kansas Green Team that has incorporated sustainable practices and principles into many aspects of its operations. The Hyatt Regency Wichita recycles 6,000 pounds of cardboard and 1,350 pounds of paper each month; the hotel also recycles plastic and aluminum. They have installed compact fluorescent lights in all their guest rooms and use t8 fluorescent tubes in their meeting rooms, all of which are recycled. Since 2006, they have reduced their gas, electric and water consumption by 9 percent. Each guest room has two bars of soap which potentially could be thrown away on a daily basis. They recover the soap from each room and ship approximately 400 pounds a month to a recycling company for sanitizing and distribution to organizations assisting those in need.

Continuous Improvement Award – SRS Record Center
This award recognizes previously honored Kansas Green Teams that have demonstrated a continued improvement in their program. The SRS Records Center has a four member team working to improve upon the shredding and recycling of records for SRS. The SRS Records Center headquarters a high capacity Allegheny industrial shredder which allows a large amount of paper to be diverted from the landfill. To date, a total of 92,490 pounds of shredded paper and 1,280 pounds of cardboard have been recycled. 

Sustainability Education Award – Southwestern College
This award recognizes a Kansas Green Team that is an outstanding leader in the education and outreach of sustainability. This Green Team is heavily involved in campus sustainability education. Green Team members lead sustainability trainings in the residence halls and various institutional departments each year. They are also involved in community outreach sustainability efforts. In 2010, in collaboration with USD465, the Green Team began a community garden in Winfield. The purpose of the garden is to emphasize the importance of locally grown food and to support the local food bank. To commemorate Earth Day, they have planed activities such as Park-It-Week, Plant-a-Tree Day, a nature hike, various educational speakers and Sweep Winfield.

Leadership Award – Becky Carter, Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility
This award recognizes each year a Green Team leader who is a sustainability champion and agent of change within his or her workplace. Becky Carter has been a member of the Green Team at Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility since it was created. She has been instrumental in keeping their recycling program running and continuing to thrive.  Her main focus has been on educating the youth on the importance of recycling and how to do it properly. Carter also single handedly kept the recycling program at Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility operational since budget cuts discontinued the pickup of materials. She takes time every week to gather items around the facility and enlists the help of Green Team members help to deliver the recycling material. Carter has also been instrumental in the maintenance of the community garden.

For more information on Kansas Green Teams, visit www.kansasgreenteams.org.