From Waste Reduction to Innovative Recycling
The core direction of DSS is Sustainable Growth — the creation of shareholder and societal value while we reduce our environmental footprint along the value chains in which we operate. Through this Commitment to Safety, Health and Environmental Excellence, we affirm to all our stakeholders, including our employees, customers, shareholders and the public, that we will conduct our business with respect and care for the environment. We will implement those strategies that build successful businesses and achieve the greatest benefit for all our stakeholders without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Single Stream Recycling
By recycling paper products, aluminum, plastic bottles and glass containers, we reduced our conventional waste disposal by 40 percent. Our goal is a 60 percent reduction over three years.
Additional "RDF" Recycling
Some plastics and plastic-like products are not recyclable by conventional means. A process known as “Refuse Derived Fuel” provides us with another opportunity for recycling as opposed to landfill contributions. The un-recyclables are combustible and provide fuel for the safe and effective generation of electricity and steam. We have a dedicated container for such items.
- TFC Recycling of Chesapeake helps us dispose of non-recyclable plastics through the "Waste to Energy" program. The process keeps these plastics out of landfills, and generates electrical and steam energy that powers local industry. So far, ~8000 pounds of plastics and other non-recyclable, but combustible waste, has been recycled.
Items and equipment that no longer meet our needs, but have lost their serviceability, are offered to others for continued use. Local schools, churches, fire departments, and businesses have benefited from this effort.
Reusable Container Mindset
We have replaced paper cups and Styrofoam with recyclable or biodegradable paper products, whenever possible.
- Further reduced our waste disposal through our concerted efforts to eliminate "kitchen consumables" and consciously recycling office paper products. Our single-stream recycling efforts have allowed us to go from five dumpster services per week to two, over the past two years, for non-recyclable waste.
"Power Down" Mindset
Encourage, through regular reminders, the importance of turning off un-needed lighting or equipment. Install occupancy sensors in targeted areas to reduce the use of electricity when rooms are vacant.
- Analysis of year-to-date electric bills have shown a marked decrease in our use of electricity
Specialized Recycling Projects with Local Businesses
E-cycling Events – By recycling small electrical appliances, we help keep them out of landfills and support projects with Goodwill Industries.
Steel, Plastic, Fluorescent Lamp, and Battery Recycling - To date, we've recycled 12.5 tons of material. We also team up with Veolia Environmental Services to recycle fluorescent lamps, keeping a hazardous material and its component parts out of the environment.
We also participate in a battery recycling program, specifically for dry-cell and rechargeable types.
- Over 400 fluorescent light tubes recycled through Veolia Environmental Services. This entails the recycling or proper disposal of every component of the lamp.
- Repurposed ~1.5 tons of structural steel through a local business at "zero" net cost. The steel contributed to the construction of new office space for that business.
- Recycled approximately 40 cubic yards of unrecyclable plastics through the Refuse Derived Fuel Plant in Portsmouth.
- Established an office battery recycling program that has expanded to employees collecting and bringing in batteries from home. This, in conjunction with our "E-cycling" initiative, yielded ~1000 lbs of batteries for recycling in October 2012.
Miscellaneous Energy Management and Energy Conservation Initiatives
We use many of Unisource's "Green Product Solutions" such as environment-friendly cleaning chemicals and disposable paper products.