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Local pizza pub saving money, environment through sustainability and recycling

A Recyling Container At Mac's Pizza Pub in Clifton

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - "In addition to saving money, if I can reduce my carbon footprint, again, it's a no brainer. More people should be doing this, and a lot of this was just easy," said Mac Ryan, the owner of Mac's Pizza Pub.

While looking at construction projects several years ago, the owner of Mac's Pizza Pub found he could reuse and recycle without affecting his bottom line.

Ryan explained, "So many of these decisions are just no-brainers, so from a business point of view if I can do the right thing and it doesn't cost me anything, I would have no excuse not to."

With the help of Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District, Ryan installed recycling bins throughout his pubs and made it easy for his employees to get in the habit of recycling.

"It was getting the lids with the holes in them. This is the universal 'this is a recycling container' [sign]. It's a busy bar at night, so once we got those on top, everything just clicked overnight," said Ryan.

An energy audit that followed revealed he also needed to rethink his lighting.

Ryan said, "When I realized that I had 130 lights that were 60 degrees hotter than the LED counterparts in the middle of summer, I'm cranking my A/C to offset my light bulb heat."

That energy drain was costing him thousands of dollars each month.

"If my average bill is $3,000 a month, multiply that by 12 months, and that's $36,000 a year. Take 15% off the top of that, and do whatever you want with it. That's a significant savings," said Ryan.

Ryan shared his insights on recycling with other restaurants on his block and then worked with them to better manage their disposals, free up parking for customers, and teach others to do the right thing.

"All of those businesses are recycling. Think about all of the glass, the cardboard, the bottles, and the cans they receive and distribute. To think that all of that is now being recycled, whereas 6 or 7 years ago, it was going out in the garbage. That makes a huge impact," explained Joy Landry, the Public Relations Specialist of Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services.

That impact is environmental, but it's also making Ryan a happier person.

"If I can mitigate or minimize my business, at least I can sleep better at night," said Ryan.

Additional improvements included installing energy-efficient refrigerators, installing kitchen fans that reduce energy use, featuring local, draught beer that requires less transportation and has a lower carbon footprint, and turning on TVs only when the pub is open. Ryan not only feels his efforts are minimizing his business' carbon footprint and reduce pollution in the air we breathe; he's also hoping to teach by example.

Ryan explained, "I have children that I want to leave a better planet to. But also, they come into the restaurant all of the same; they see how their father tries to run his operation. They are starting to understand why I do that or why we do it at all of our location. At the end of the day, it's an inherent desire to leave the world a slightly better place."

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