Did you know you can recycle more than just cans, bottles, and plastic food containers? Fluorescent light bulbs, dry cell batteries, and even circuit boards can be recycled—you simply have to find a service that accommodates these materials.
That’s what Juan Maldonado, facility manager at Logan’s Gap Wind, did. In recognition of the team’s efforts, the facility has been nominated for the Pattern Energy Environmental Stewardship Award, which recognizes outstanding stewardship and conservation achievements across the company’s operating fleet.
Collect, Send, Recycle
“I was looking for somewhere to recycle light bulbs. We have light bulbs ranging in size from eighteen inches up to three feet long, so we were trying to find a way to recycle them,” he says.
He came across a local service—Lampmaster Recycling—that provides ready-to-ship containers for collecting recyclable items.
“You can order the container online, and they’ll send you an empty box. You fill it up, and once it reaches its limit, you tape it up and send it off,” says Juan.
The Logan’s Gap team has been recycling these items, including lighting ballast and small electronics, since 2018. That year alone, they sent off over 45 pounds of e-waste.
Anything that Lampmaster can’t take is recycled in other ways.
“We also recycle scrap metal and large batteries from the turbines. We take them down to the scrap yard and receive some money back from it,” he explains.
Recycling for Education
The facility also supports a local school through its recycling efforts.
“I read in a newsletter that my daughter’s school was collecting cardboard for recycling because they receive some benefits from that. We get a lot of cardboard from parts being shipped in, so instead of throwing it away, we take the boxes apart and stack them all up. Once we get a good amount, we take it down to the recycling center, and the school gets the credit,” he explains.
“I read in a newsletter that my daughter’s school was collecting cardboard for recycling because they receive some benefits from that. We get a lot of cardboard from parts being shipped in, so instead of throwing it all away, we take the boxes apart and stack it all up. Once we get a good amount, we take it down to the recycling center and the school gets the credit,” he explains.
The team has started contributing other recyclable materials to the program as well.
“We’ve started sending water bottles, too, because we buy pallets of water for all the technicians,” explains Site Logistics Coordinator Wendy Lesley.
The school has seen tremendous support from the community and students’ families.
“By the end of the school year, they gathered nearly 70,000 pounds of recyclable items. Their goal was 60,000 pounds, and they easily surpassed that,” Juan says.
“We also opened it up to the employees here. If they want to bring anything to recycle, Juan will take it to the recycling center. This helps encourage recycling at home and work as well,” Wendy says.
Importance of Giving Back
While there are no state regulations to recycle all of these materials, Juan and Wendy say it just makes sense.
“We’re in renewable energy, so we want to recycle as much as we can and keep the environment as clean as we can,” says Juan.
“One of our big things is that we need to be able to do our part by giving back through clean initiatives. These are just a few things we can do to help the community and the environment,” Wendy says.