DALLAS -- In an expansion of its recycling initiatives, Gaedeke Group has implemented an ewaste disposal program for its seven-building, 1.2 million-sf portfolio in Dallas/Fort Worth. Its office buildings in other markets are implementing similar programs.
Gaedeke is using Earth Day 2010 to introduce the program throughout the Texas portfolio after test driving it nearly eight months as part of One McKinney Plaza's renovation and LEED Existing Building certification process with the U.S. Green Building Council.
Dan S. Yates, Gaedeke's regional manager and green programs officer, has contracted with two ewaste disposal companies in the metroplex to pick up discarded electronics from bins on an asneeded basis. One McKinney Plaza's bin has been emptied once this week and a second pickup is scheduled at the Uptown high rise before week's end.
Gaedeke's recycling programs have received overwhelming support from tenants. Yates estimates nearly 70% of the tenant base has taken advantage of the e-waste program since its launch. Tenants also are permitted to bring e-waste from their homes.
"We have a commitment to become a better steward of the environment and establishing our leadership in energy and sustainability," Yates emphasizes. "We like to think of every day as Earth Day at our buildings."
Dallas-based Gaedeke is very much of an energy conscious company. The company has completed lighting retrofits and installed variable frequency drives on its equipment as well as performing many other energy-saving initiatives over the past decade. Other environmentally conscious efforts include green cleaning of offices and common areas, desk-side recycling containers and light bulb recycling.
Many electronic devices contain lead, nickel, cadmium and mercury, which could present risks to human health and the environment if end-of-life use is mismanaged. Gaedeke's property managers are tracking e-waste disposal at buildings by maintaining a list of discarded items, approximate weights and locations of facilities used for recycling. Adding e-waste bins at all buildings is the next logical step, according to Yates.
The Environmental Protection Agency has found more than 100 million pounds of materials from electronics are processed annually by recyclers. Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent of electricity used annually by 3,657 homes in the U.S. More than 1,000 municipalities now offer computer and electronics collections as part of household hazardous waste collections, special events or other arrangements, including the City of Dallas.
As part of Thursday's Earth Day commemoration, Gaedeke's property managers are handing out pamphlets about Dallas' e-waste recycling event. The pickups are slated for Saturday from 10 a.m.
to 4 p.m. at four locations in the city.