LIHUE, Hawaii – Kauai Community Federal Credit Union (KCFCU) is proving that recycling efforts at even just one branch can help improve the environment in a big way. Since implementing a pilot recycling program at the Lihue branch, KCFCU has reduced its amount of waste sent to the landfill by 46%. Last year KCFCU Business Development Account Executive Connie Clausen introduced desk-side recycling to the Lihue main office as a test site for a new program. After an audit of employee trash cans by Kauai County Recycling Coordinator Allison Fraley, Clausen set up a recycling center with six color coded bins, labeled for white paper, junk mail, mixed paper, cans, plastics and newspapers in the employee lounge areas. In addition, each employee had a specially marked desk-side container for sorting paper, to be regularly emptied into larger bins at the office recycling center or into a shredder. Staffers also viewed an educational video that detailed the importance of office recycling for businesses. “What has really amazed me is the overwhelming participation of the staff. They are totally behind it,” said Clausen. It is estimated that the credit union’s move has helped save approximately 97 cubic yards of landfill space, 510-930 trees, 120,000 kilowatt hours of energy and 1,800 pounds of air pollutants- in just 12 months. The success of the pilot has sparked the creation of not only an island wide desk-side recycling program in each of the five KCFCU branch offices, but also an environmental commitment that is posted on the KCFCU Web site, which includes operational policies, management practices for recycled paper, waste, green waste, equipment, employee lounge areas, events, and new facilities. KCFCU has also sponsored a Lihue Business Association Meeting on office recycling featuring experts from Shred Ex, Garden Island Disposal, Island Recycling and Kauai County offering tips to help businesses launch their own recycling program. “We hope that by making this not only an internal cultural commitment but also a public commitment to build awareness, it will encourage other businesses and the community as a whole to develop similar programs,” said KCFCU Marketing Vice President Shannon Hoeckele.

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