DECC Going Green To Help Enviornment

By KBJR Manager

August 6, 2010 Updated Dec 13, 2007 at 12:48 AM CDT

Our climate is changing drastically and many scientists believe the world is in trouble.

We learn now how one Duluth Business has changed this into a world of opportunity, as meteorologist Shannon Murphy reports in "Your Green Life."

145-thousand pounds of paper, aluminum, glass, plastic, and food would have gone to the landfill in 2006 but instead they ended up in recycle bins and composts.

Chelly Townsend, an employee of the DECC in Duluth, started the recycling movement back in June of 2003.

"We had three weddings and that was the first night that we composted, and the first night we had six hundred pounds of compost and we knew that it was going to be a huge impact on the environment if we were to keep that up."

This operation started in the catering department but has expanded so that recycle bins are found in every meeting room, hallway, lobby, and restroom.

There is a motive in having so many receptacles.

"We have found that the general public wouldn't walk five feet from the garbage can to throw their pop bottle in the recycle bin."

The DECC tops facilities in the Midwest for their recycling efforts and is an international pacesetter in the green movement.

"We didn't start this with the idea that we were going to be leaders. We started it because it was the right thing to do for the community."

Food Service is the area where most waste is created but the DECC found ways to minimize the impact it had on the environment.

Cream pitchers, sugar bowls, wood stirring sticks, and paper cups are being found in place of plastic packaging and Styrofoam.

All cardboard and vinyl is bailed and recycled.

The DECC also found ways to give back to community while reducing their own waste.

"We donate our surplus food to the second harvest food bank."

"We use only local bakers. We use Twin Ports Paper for all of our paper products."

Energy costs have been reduced with efficient lighting methods and the use of waste, produced by Duluth's Steam Plant, to heat and cool the building.

With plans for the construction of the new arena already underway, the .';DECC plans on it becoming a certified green facility.

Additions to the parking ramp will even include outlets for hybrid cars.

In Duluth, Meteorologist Shannon Murphy, the Northland's NewsCenter.

The DECC has been nominated by the WLSSD for the 2008 Governor's Minnesota Great Award, and the winner of this honor will be announced this week.