February 24, 2017 – ALCOSAN was among 10 organizations and businesses honored by the Pennsylvania Resources Council on February 23 for their efforts to divert waste during 2016.
ALCOSAN was selected as a recipient for a “Zero Waste” award because of the sustainable environmental practices employed during its annual Open House, which is held each fall at the North Side wastewater treatment plant.
During the September 17, 2016 event, ALCOSAN diverted 98 percent of the waste generated during the day-long fair, an impressive feat particularly because nearly 2,500 people attended. That means only 96 pounds of waste went to landfills, with 6,908 pounds diverted.
In each year of its 14-year history, the ALCOSAN Open House has been a platform for new and innovative ways to conserve and the event has become the region’s largest watershed and environmental festival. The goal of zero waste shaped the planning and it resulted in reduced paper use, the purchase of sustainable products, reuse of signs and supplies and education of the staff and visitors. Paperless registration, shuttles to promote mass transit ridership, and greater reliance on solar energy all were features of the Open House.
Executive Director Arletta Scott Williams said residual specialist Megan Cieslak-Mazza was instrumental in the success of the recycling, composting and reuse during the event.
In addition to ALCOSAN, award recipients were Allegheny County, the Ann Jones Gerace Center, Beers of the Burgh Winter Warmer, Echo Valley Farm, EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler, Mackey Lofts, the Great Race, Upper St. Clair Township and the 412 Food Rescue.