Who would think one of the most popular events in sustainability was so close to home! With the past two celebrations suffering COVID-related cancellations, the Atlantic County Utilities Authority made a strong return with their 30th Annual Earth Day Festival in Egg Harbor, NJ, just outside Atlantic City. With free admission, hay rides, and entertainment for all ages, 9,000 people flocked to the can’t-miss outdoor gathering.
As an event sponsor and exhibitor, we focused on educating children about environmental practices in the business world. Kids like Aaron and Annalise had fun interacting with the InterWork globe, spinning our wheel to win prizes, and learning how sustainability empowers the community. To ensure our impact was completely positive, our prizes, from reusable water bottles to free-trade, climate-friendly shirts and hats, were eco-friendly as well.
We had a great time at the festival answering questions like “How do you keep trash out of landfills?” But, we were excited to learn new innovative ways to improve our sustainability initiatives and incorporate these findings into our best practices, due in part to information we gathered on tours of ACUA’s recycling center, wind farm, and waste water facility. Here is some of what we learned:
The ACUA oversees Atlantic County’s recycling program, streamlines the process to recycle right. Since 1987, recycling has been the law in New Jersey; residents, businesses and institutions are required to recycle, reduce waste, and help the environment. To make this easier, ACUA practices single-stream recycling – that means residents put plastics, glass, metals, and paper all in the same bin! After ACUA completes the sorting process, they send each material to secondary processing sites where they are refined and repurposed.
Located in Atlantic City, NJ, the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm consists of five, 380-foot turbines capable of producing a combined 7.5 megawatts of power – enough energy to power approximately 2,500 homes! The power produced, in conjunction with their solar energy project, is used to operate the wastewater treatment plant, with any excess energy provided to the main power grid. Since opening in 2005, it has prevented more than 70,359 metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
Wastewater Treatment Center
Also on the ACUA waste management campus is a wastewater treatment facility capable of processing 40 million gallons per day. Wastewater starts at residences and businesses before flowing to the treatment facility. There, it passes through screens to filter out objects and large solids. The water follows a refinement process and is treated with bacteria, microscopic organisms, and eventually chlorine. The ACUA does all this to ensure our marine life stays happy and healthy. As an added bonus, solar and wind energy help power the facility – keeping the planet clean for years to come.
Sustainability at InterWork
At InterWork, sustainability is a focus on in all aspects of our business. Our industry-leading sustainability initiative, EcoWork, goes beyond our client-based achievements. Yes, we achieve a 90%+ landfill diversion rate on all decommissions. Yes, our projects have diverted 104.87 tons of CO2 so far this year. But, those are just the headlines: we do more.
We live and breathe sustainability and audit ourselves annually in three categories: Products & Services; Office Campus; and Community Service.
Products & Services
- Whether new or pre-owned, our goal is to furnish offices with premier quality assets engineered to minimize waste and maximize durability.
- We offer like-new and refurbished furniture options to our clients, diverting hundreds of thousands of pounds annually from the waste stream.
- Our programs make an impact throughout North America. With projects in the contiguous US, Canada, and multiple US territories, we give back wherever we go.
- Our office and distribution center use solar panels to supplement our power needs.
- Our EcoWork initiative places a preference on free-trade and environmentally friendly office supplies and promotional materials.
- We furnish our offices with the same premier-grade pre-owned furniture we offer to clients.
In Our Community
- We are committed to investing in our community; from flat screen TVs to workstations, InterWork donates like-new assets to nonprofits — white glove delivery included.
- We partner with LEED-compliant recycling centers for responsible disposal of office furniture and other materials.
- We make it a priority to invest in environmental initiatives with office furniture donations and other programs.
About InterWork Office Solutions
With over 30 years of experience in project management and contract office furniture, InterWork manages projects through the planning, logistics, and design of relocations, renovations, or remodels.
We help our clients with move management, furniture relocation, logistics, furniture installation, asset management, office decommission and liquidation, and anything in between.