Metro's sustainability efforts reducing carbon footprint, saving money

Metro's Boiler, Which Uses Used Oil To Heat The Facility During The Winter

The organization that helps the Tri-State get around and go green took a look at their greenhouse gas emissions plus their water, trash, energy use two years ago to see where they could save money and lower their impact on the environment.

"We looked at different indicators that show what we do as an organization to create a carbon footprint. What we starting doing was implimenting programs to start impacting and reduce our carbon footprint," explained Kim Lahman, Metro's Outreach and Sustainability Manager.

Metro recently used a grant to purchase a cardboard baler that takes the 40 boxes they gather each day and converts them into bales and additional revenue instead of additional landfill waste.

Lahman said, "Rather than taking a trash hauler to come and take our cardboard and pay for that delivery, we now have a chance to sell that cardboard."

Metro also found ways to minimize waste and save money from the 1,080 oil changes they average each year.

"What we're able to do is take that used oil and pipe it up to our boiler so in the winter, we can heat our entire facility for temperatures up from 38 degrees," said Lahman.

Metro's sustainability efforts extend even into the world of meteorology. They collect rainwater off of the roof in Queensgate, take it down drains, and then use it to wash the buses.

Lahman explained, "We take that rain water after it has gone through the cycle of rinsing, and it goes back into a reclamation area."

That recycling of water saves Metro thousands of dollars each year. Even more money is saved by selling the used nuts, bolts, and other pieces of metal from the maintenance area for cash instead of sending it to a landfill.

"Last year, we made $14,000 dollars in collecting our used pieces of metal," said Lahman.

Metro's efforts are award-winning and honorable, but Layman says their more cost-saving and sustainability left to be done.

Lahman said, "Our belief and our commitment in reducing our impact on the environment just keeps us motivated to continuing on. There's so much more that can be done."

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