METRO CELEBRATES EARTH MONTH WITH UNVEILING OF NEW CARDBOARD BALER

Transit system renews commitment with new employee sustainability policy

CINCINNATI – Metro and its more than 50,000 daily passengers are going even greener this Earth Month with the addition of a new cardboard baler.

The new baler system, which allows the organization to bundle and recycle the more than 40 cardboard boxes received at its garages each day, was purchased in part through a grant from the Ohio EPA. The baler will help Metro reduce pick-up service costs and potentially earn the organization more than $1,200 in revenue generated by the sale of the recycled cardboard each year.

“Environmental stewardship is important to our customers and the community, and we have made enormous strides towards reducing our environmental footprint and becoming a more sustainable organization,” said Metro CEO & General Manager Dwight A. Ferrell. “As we continue to look for ways to reduce our operational costs, we are finding that in many ways going green is helping us to save green.”

Metro celebrated the addition of the baler and Metro’s sustainability accomplishments this morning at an event attended by Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, Ohio EPA Assistant Chief of the SW District Office Russ Brown and Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services Director Holly Christmann.

Green is more than a motto at Metro
In 2015, Metro entered a national transit environmental commitment with the American Public Transit Association that officially committed Metro to a core set of sustainability actions. To better align the transit system with those goals, today Metro’s CEO Dwight A. Ferrell and Sustainability and Outreach Manager Kim Lahman signed a new employee sustainability policy focusing on how employees can help the organization reduce its environmental footprint.

Sustainability accomplishments include:
- Operates 27 hybrid buses, which help reduce emissions by more than 90%
- Diverted nearly 80,000 pounds of waste from landfills (the weight of three buses)
- Recycled more than 45 tons of  scrap metal, producing $14K in revenue
- Developed recycling program that reduced trash pick-ups by 51% - saving the organization almost $10K annually
- Uses rainwater to wash buses, burns waste oil to heat garages, and recycles engine fluids such as refrigerant, coolant and transmission fluids

Awards and recognition:
- Achieved bronze level recognition in sustainability commitment from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
- Awarded Achievement Level recognition from the Ohio EPA
- Received the 2016 Recycling at Work Program of the Year award from Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District.
- Recipient of the 2012 Cincinnati Earth Day Environmental Award
- Metro is a non-profit, tax-funded public service of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, providing about 15 million rides per year.
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