RRR: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
In 2015, our diversion rate (the percentage of total waste saved from landfills) was 53% as a result of recycling, composting, donations, and repurposing of materials:
- 183,320 pounds of plastic, glass, aluminum, paper and cardboard
- 81,600 pounds of wood pallets and building materials
- 2,440 pounds of light bulbs and electronic waste
The waste diversion program extends to organic waste as well. Food scraps and landscaping waste are composted, while unused food from Convention Center events is donated to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and Jubilee Soup Kitchen. These programs are a large part of our overall diversion strategy, resulting in 2013 in:
- 98,720 pounds of organic waste composted
- 10,982 pounds of food donated
- 4,150 pounds of cooking oil recycled
However, a comprehensive recycling program is not enough. In order to truly lower our use of natural resources, we also strive to reduce source consumption and prevent unnecessary waste.
Levy Restaurants, the Convention Center’s exclusive food provider, uses entirely compostable cups, plates, flatware, and packaging, giving event planners the option of 100% compostable food service events. By purchasing in bulk and supporting local food sources, Levy Restaurants is able to reduce the packaging and transportation costs associated with food purchases. Some produce is even grown right on the Convention Center North Terrace roof. Click here for more information about the North Terrace.
Purchasing environmentally friendly products such as refillable water cambros and stapleless staplers, and using second life copier paper also reduces consumption. These source reduction measures result in an average of only 1.6 pounds of total waste per visitor, much lower than comparable facilities.
When using one of the g1 (greenfirst)® recycling stations located throughout the building, be sure to look for the current diversion rate posted above the bins.