The Fulton County Board of Commissioners recognized eight environmental award recipients and 10 libraries Nov. 7, 2018.
Each was recognized because of efforts to advocate and exemplify environmentally sound practices in Fulton County. Their efforts align with the county’s strategic priority areas set forth by the board of commissioners under the 2016-2019 strategic plan areas of All People are Healthy, All People Have Economic Opportunities, and All People are Safe.
The Fulton County Library System also earned recognition as three Phase I library projects earned LEED Gold certification: East Roswell Library, Louise Whatley Library at Southeast Atlanta Library, and Auburn Avenue Research Library; and seven Phase I library projects earned LEED Silver certification: Alpharetta Library, Milton Library, Northwest Atlanta Library, Palmetto Library, Metropolitan Library, Wolf Creek Library, and Gladys S. Dennard Library at South Fulton.
The 2018 environmental award recipients by commissioner district are:
County-wide: Chairman Robb Pitts
Blue Goblin is a start-up recycling company which specializes in the recycling of difficult to recycle materials, particularly Styrofoam, plastics and roofing. They focus on commercial and industrial recycling needs, offering transportation of materials and recycling. In addition to recycling thermoplastic foams, they also are active in flexible Polyurethane recycling. They prepare qualified material for chemical recycling, which is a process that breaks down existing cushiony foam to produce the raw materials to make new flexible PUR. They also prepare material for re-bond carpet padding. Blue Goblin expects to exceed 3,000,000 pounds recycled in 2018.
Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy
This organization is the official friends group for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, which is made up of a series of 15 parks along 48 miles of the Chattahoochee River. Their mission is to build a community of support for the recreation area and promote its natural and cultural resources. Their support includes educational support, funding of enhancement projects, and development of plans and partners for this valuable asset of the county and the region.
District 1: Commissioner Liz Hausmann
The Dr. Robert “Bob” Fulton Environmental Education Center
This group has educated over 24,500 students and adults about “The Water Treatment Cycle” and “What happens to our Water Before and After We use it?”, having an effect on how they will approach water usage in the future. Their programs are an important supplement to school curriculums. They even have a mobile program they can take to schools, and they offer informative tours of the water treatment facility.
District 2: Vice Chairman Bob Ellis
City of Milton Greenspace Advisory Committee
The advisory committee led the City of Milton to acquire land leading to the preservation of up to 137 acres, including land that runs along approximately 1.6 miles of Chicken Creek. The preserved land’s pre-existing trail infrastructure will connect with the Central Milton Trail.
District 3: Commissioner Lee Morris
Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead Engineering Team
The Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead engineering team has implemented leading edge sustainability practices. The engineering team for this Hyatt in Buckhead has implemented leading edge sustainability practices that include:
- Installing a 50,000 gallon rain harvesting system which reduces water waste; helps cool the hotel; saves drinking water; and reduces impact on city sewers. The system saves about 1 million gallons of water each year.
- Recycling 3.5 million tons of paper, batteries, light bulbs and other materials each year
- Recycling gray water from laundry – over 40 million gallons of water
- All steps taken have significantly reduced the hotel’s carbon footprint, reducing their energy consumption by 18 percent; saving 600,000 million BTU’s per year; and reducing emissions by 560 metric tons per year.
District 4: Commissioner Natalie Hall
Tony Torrence has been nominated by the Emory University HERCULES program for his work educating residents on environmental technologies, watershed and waste management and political advocacy – all environmental justice issues. He organizes tire clean-ups, works with volunteers to test neighborhood water quality, and hosts residential workshops to install rain barrels and other flood mitigation water practices.
District 5: Commissioner Marvin Arrington Jr.
Columbus Ward has obtained a grant to assess the health risks associated with urban flooding in the Peoplestown neighborhood. He has worked with the Emory University Dept. of Global Health bringing in experts in environmental health and resources to study the health of this underserved community. This project allows educational materials and other resources to be distributed throughout the community.
District 6: Commissioner Emma I. Darnell
Nestle Purina PetCare Company
On May 8th, 2013, Nestle/Purina dedicated their newest and largest solar installation, a 450-kilowatt photovoltaic system of nearly 1,900 panels at their Atlanta Facility in Fairburn, Ga. The amount of electricity produced annually by the solar array could power nearly 52 average-sized homes – or approximately 5,000 light bulbs – for a year. The project marks a collaboration between Purina and Georgia-based United Renewable Energy, LLC. With the addition of the Atlanta solar array, they now generate one megawatt of solar power each year, some of which is returned to the local utility. They have established big global sustainability goals for 2020, which include 35 percent reduction in water usage and 35 percent reduction in greenhouses gases. At the end of 2017, 75 percent of Purina facilities achieved zero waste to landfill.