Don’t Throw That Away! Hallmark’s Goal for Zero-Waste To Landfill
Hallmark Cards, Inc. launched a pilot project in July 2009 to transform Hallmark’s landfill waste and recycling programs into a complete resource management system that utilizes additional recycling opportunities, waste to energy programs and food waste composting to achieve the ultimate goal of sending zero waste to the landfill.
Hallmark launched the project in the Rice Center building, occupied by 120 employees, of its national headquarters. Creating highly-visible and accessible “Disposition Depots,” the company placed the responsibility of office waste management on employees, freeing up janitorial staff to work on processing more specific waste streams.
In the initial Rice Center implementation, containers were color-coded by material and included display boards that gave examples of what could be placed in each container. As Hallmark began to roll out the program on three additional floors in its headquarters building in 2010 and 2011, they had to make adjustments to fit in line with the company’s interior design rules. Now, containers are all one color and use the Recycle Across America standard labeling system.
In addition to recycling the usual office materials (paper, cardboard, aluminum, etc.) Hallmark composts food waste to Missouri Organic Recycling and sends non-recyclable waste if appropriate to Systech Environmental’s Alternative Fuel Program.
In 2011, Hallmark diverted 279,540 pounds of waste from the landfill to be used as energy materials at Systech Environmental. Hallmark estimates that it diverts approximately 150 tons of food waste annually from the landfill to Missouri Organic to be composted.
Continuous Improvement Strategist
Hallmark Cards, Inc.