Lady Liberty ... a Symbol of Stewardship
Evelyn Hill Inc.
For over 71 years, Evelyn Hill Inc., a National Park Service concessioner, has been serving food to the tired and hungry at the Statute of Liberty National Monument, which hosts three and one half million visitors each year. Trash is an abundant by-product of this activity, and hauling it off Liberty Island for disposal is costly.
Looking for a better way to manage this daily deluge of waste, staff of Evelyn Hill Inc. conducted a solid waste study and defined procedures for recycling everything from cardboard from deliveries to plastic cups and water bottles. The plastic recovered is shredded on premise and shipped to South Carolina where it is converted into fabric. The gift shop's signature tote bag is made of this fabric and demonstrates closed-loop recycling. Waste which could not be recycled, they sought to eliminate. Last year, over 361,000 pounds of material were recycled and an additional 10,000 pounds of waste was eliminated. In 2001, as much as 73% of the entire island's waste was diverted from disposal.
Buying products in bulk, grinding coffee beans on the premises, and using pump dispensing for condiments are some of the source reduction strategies.
Evelyn Hill Inc. transformed other operations as well. Hazardous products were inventoried and less toxic alternatives were substituted. Food-borne disease is effectively prevented and workers are now safer without the constant exposure to chlorine. Waterless urinals were installed to conserve over 190,000 gallons of water a year. Also, re-lamping has helped reduce more than 40 thousand kilowatt-hours of electricity, also eliminating the use of mercury-containing fluorescent light bulb tubes.