Monday, October 1, 2012

Orlando Recycles an Arena and Gains a New Center

It is common to hear about professional sports franchises building a new stadium or arena in the news. The motors of construction crews have replaced the cheering and chanting of season ticket holders and while a big dunk use to “bring down the house” now the building literally is torn to the ground.

Deconstruction of the 'old' Amway Arena
Buildings that use to get prime time exposure in front of tens of millions will now have only a short demolition video on the local news or the internet. However, the recycling and responsible disposal of materials from these old sports cathedrals, where millions have been supported both physically and emotionally, is an under appreciated process that deserves just as many highlights as a close game. Often times the demolition and reselling of materials is one of the primary reasons the new stadium possible.

A recent example is the Orlando Amway Arena, the previous home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Deconstructed by ZMG Construction, approximately 4,500 tons of steel has been salvaged and recycled. The money returned from properly disposing of the material helps mitigate a portion of the costs that, with recently built athletic complexes, has continued to climb.

The Orlando Magic may have lost a center in the offseason, All-Star Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers, but they will continue to play in the recently constructed Amway Center. The home of three professional teams, along with numerous other events, is triple the size of the old arena and LEED-certified Gold, partially for its use of recycled steel in the building process.
The New Amway Center

“The demolition of the Amway Arena is part of a larger redevelopment project called Creative Village,” described Vice President of Development, Sean Flanagan. “The plan is for Sonny Glasbrenner, Inc. to dismantle the balance of the structure and process the materials on site into smaller sizes for shipping to a salvage company.”

“ZMG strives to be a leader in environmental stewardship, and we look for opportunities to recycle on all of our projects,” continued Flanagan. “We understand the importance of diverting waste from landfills, as well as the benefit of reducing the demand on natural resources by recycling/reusing existing materials.”

“Recycling reduces solid waste, which benefits our environment as well as our community.”

For a live camera of the Creative Village redevelopment project, click here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

CFA/SRI Assist Nevada’s WIC Food Program to Accept Steel Canned Beans

The state of Nevada recently announced that it will be adding canned beans to its Oct. 2012 approved food list for all Women, Infants and Children participating in the state’s WIC food and nutrition assistance program, thanks to the efforts of the Canned Food Alliance (CFA) and the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI). This joint effort presents an opportunity for WIC participants to have access to more nutritious foods and allows them to select steel canned goods as their preferred form of food. And with Americans using a combined 100 million steel food cans a day; it is a popular choice that meets family lifestyles and preferences.

There are currently 25 states who only offer fresh fruits and vegetables and 35 who offer both canned and dried bean varieties. The CFA has been working with SRI to reach Lt. Governors to help encourage those states to add “all forms” of fruits, vegetables and beans, including those that come in the most sustainable food package, the steel food can. Nevada’s announcement comes as the first in 2012, but off the heels of a successful 2011, where two states elected to allow WIC participants to purchase canned fruits and vegetables with their fruit and vegetable voucher and five states added canned beans to their WIC food packages.

A study in the recently published Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences stated when price, waste and preparation time were considered, canned foods offered many nutrients at a comparable and often lower cost than competing materials. Even the USDA’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends “all forms” of fruits, vegetables and beans to help meet dietary goals.

In addition to their budgetary and nutritional value,, steel food cans have added benefits thanks to their convenience, long shelf life and ultimately their inherent recyclability at end of use. Being made from steel, North America’s most recycled material, lets consumers know that recycling their can through their community curbside or recycling program will conserve energy, save natural resources and keep valuable material out of the nation’s diminishing landfill space.

The CFA and SRI will continue to work together to encourage the USDA and individual states to expand food and nutrition assistance programs to include steel food cans. After all, from the nutrient filled ingredients that get packed into a steel can, to the ease and longevity of storing until it’s ready for use and ultimately the responsible disposal of the steel can through recycling programs, canned foods serve as an answer to help all Americans have access to healthy food choices; which in turn will contribute to driving canned food consumption and complete the life cycle of steel as a sustainable material.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Canned Foods: Nutritional, Economical and Recyclable

Canned foods are less expensive than their fresh, frozen and dried counterparts and can offer a more convenient way to get much-needed nutrients according to a new study published in the Journal for Nutrition and Food Sciences. Commissioned by the Canned Food Alliance (CFA), the study showed that canned fruits, vegetables, beans and seafood offer a cost-effective way to obtain several key nutrients.

The inclusion of all forms of fruits and vegetables, whether they are canned, fresh, frozen or dried, has several health benefits such as reducing the risk of several chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The CFA continues to communicate the many benefits of canned food and dispel myths about canned food to encourage consumers to eat all forms of fruits, vegetables, beans and seafood.

The CFA study analyzed the cost per nutrient for canned, fresh, frozen and/or dried forms of common fruits, vegetables, beans and tuna. It concluded when price, waste and preparation time were considered, canned foods offered many nutrients at a comparable and often lower price. Studies, such as this, shatter the myths about canned food’s lack of maintaining nutrients and reinforce the truth behind eating healthy while still saving time and money for households.

Beyond the nutrition, affordability and convenience benefits identified through the study on canned foods, the recyclability of the container should be taken into consideration as well. The full life cycle of the package plays a role in overall environmental health by conserving energy and reducing unnecessary disposal of valuable materials in limited landfill space. Steel packaging is recycled in excess of 67% annually which sets it ahead of other packaging materials such as plastic and glass.

Americans use over 100 million steel cans a day comprised of more than 1,500 food products that come in steel cans, many of which are fruits and vegetables. These canned items have a longer shelf life than other packaging options and reduce the risk of food borne illness.

The ease of recycling steel cans mirrors the ease in preparation of your meal. More than 31,000 community recycling programs accept steel cans, whether it is a local drop-off or your weekly curbside pickup. Families can look up their nearest recycling options with the Steel Recycling Locator.

Across the board, steel packaging not only meets, but exceeds competing materials in providing access to affordable nutrition, while also achieving environmental benefits.

For more information on the Canned Food Alliance, visit

Thursday, May 24, 2012

AIST Materials Camp

About 225 students the two day AIST Materials Camp which included an example 'What's a MRF?' activity provided by SRI. It was one of 10 lessons taught at this camp.

'What's a MRF?' highlights the importance of material choice on product recyclability by mimicing a small scale model of the material separation process. A team of students separate pieces of steel, plastic, and paper to see how the magnetic separation of steel compares to manual removal of other materials.

The camp is intended for kids with interests in material sciences and is taught by college students who share that interest. It is additionally attended by AIST members.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Steel Packaging Returns to Premium Coffee

The Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company (CBRC) has always maintained “sustainability and community outreach” as a company wide mantra. Their business decisions have reflected such since the company’s inception ten years ago and their decision of using steel packaging for their product embraces that trend.

“Back in the day, most every coffee product was in steel [containers],” says Neil Cooper, SVP of marketing and sales at CBRC. “Premium products started to use bags in place of steel cans, so the products using steel cans were the mid or lower priced coffee products. We decided to enter the premium priced segment and to celebrate the unique qualities of steel while using contemporary graphics and design characteristics as a point of difference versus our competitors.”

CBRC is not alone in their choice to use more sustainable packaging. With over 1.5 million net tons of steel packaging recycled last year, and a recycling rate of 67%, the public is showing that a sustainable and recyclable packaging material is a factor in their home purchasing needs.

“It is important to most people when they see us at an event, a customer coffee tasting, or at a water clean-up effort, they take notice,” according to Chris Paladino, CEO of CBRC. “They also tell their friends and business associates about a local company that is making an effort!”

In addition to their packaging, CBRC has and continues to differentiate itself from competitors by being involved in local events or causes. They purchase wind power, utilize distribution partners to collect used coffee grounds for farming compost and sponsor river clean-ups. Most employees are also involved in environmental organizations such as Trout Unlimited, the Severn River Partnership, and Silver Spring Green, among others.

The commitment to the environment is no better reflected than in CBRC’s established community outreach program called the ‘H2O Initiative.’ Its primary goal is to preserve and protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which extends across six states and almost 17 million Americans. CBRC pledges 2% of all coffee sales annually to go back in support of organizations that help to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. By including the H2O Initiative symbol on products, the hope is to encourage other companies and organizations to join CBRC’s program and find ways to make a difference.

Part of that difference includes reassessing packaging for environmental impact and its overall life cycle assessment in terms of sustainability without sacrificing a quality product.

“Steel is the perfect material to protect coffee beans from ‘the enemy’ [light, air and moisture],” says Paladino. “Recycle, Re-use, Repurpose is possible by using steel versus the non-recyclable materials used by most of our competitors. Our decision to use steel as our packaging choice came down to a commitment to the environment versus ‘low cost’ packaging alternatives.”

CBRC’s decision has thus far been a success, recently entering partnerships to be distributed in the Fair Trade Organic sections of regional Giant Food stores and Whole Foods’ entire Mid-Atlantic region.

Much like the life cycle of their steel cans, CBRC’s efforts at making a difference are continuous and consumers are definitely taking notice.

For more information on CBRC and their programs, visit their website. To learn more about the benefits of packaging with steel, as well as a locator to find recycling locations for CBRC’s steel packages and other steel products, visit SRI’s website.