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Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland Diverts 357 Thousand Pounds of Trash in 2017
The Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland and the Global Center for Health Innovation, managed by SMG, diverted a total of 357,274 pounds of materials from the landfill during the past year, including 75,880 pounds of cardboard, 46,440 pounds of wood pallets, 18,480 pounds of mixed plastic, 14,780 pounds of mixed fibers, 10,000 pounds of glass, and nearly 9,000 pounds of bulk and shredded paper. These efforts diverted 49.1 percent of materials from the landfill as part of the building’s overall Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle program.
As a member of the Cleveland 2030 District, a movement to create high-performance building districts throughout Greater Cleveland with the goal of dramatically reducing the environmental impacts of building construction and operations, the facility reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 1.26 percent in 2017, equivalent to taking 19 automobiles off the road for a year, and reduced its usage of electricity, water, and district steam heat.
“We are continuing to grow our efforts to increase the percentage of trash being diverted from the landfill and recycled by further sorting and employee training,” said Anastasia Volsko, Director of Operations. “In December, we held employee training to educate our front line employees on how to properly sort and recycle the most common items we encounter on a regular basis. We are also working with the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District to improve our training programs and reduce our impact on the environment.”
Water refill stations are located throughout the facility and, based on usage, track the amount of water used in refillable containers, amounting to the diversion of the equivalent of 23,005 plastic water bottles from the landfill.
Situated on the property is a working farm to help produce food in-house for catering purposes. Operated by the Levy and SMG team, the farm is home to 16 colonies of honey bees generating more than 2,000 pounds of honey annually, egg-laying hens that provide fresh eggs daily accounting for up to a quarter of the facility’s monthly shelled egg use, a variety of raised beds that feature seasonal greens, herbs, and vegetables, and three Mangalista heritage breed pigs.
During the year, Levy recycled nearly 25,000 pounds of food trimmings and waste in 2017, including 13,500 pounds of leftovers to the Keating Center through the Cleveland Food Bank, repurposing over 9,000 pounds as food for the chickens and pigs, and recycling 1,650 pounds of cooking oil. The one-at-a-time napkin dispensers reduce napkin waste by 56 percent and the facility utilizes eco-friendly, biodegradable and compostable plates, box lunches, cups, and flatware products.
Levy partners with Chef’s Garden in Huron, a local, family-owned 300-acre vegetable farm, to purchase produce from a source committed to sustainable agriculture utilizing practices that replenish nutrients depleted from the soil and growing crops through natural means. Wherever possible, Levy purchases food products that are sustainably raised and responsibly sourced, including antibiotic-free poultry from Gerber Farms in Kidron, cage-free eggs, A2 all-natural dairy products from Fresh Fork Market as well as certified humane, hormone-antibiotic-free pork from Ohio City Provisions Pork-Chop Shop at the West Side Market.
The Huntington Convention Center uses Grind2Energy™, Emerson’s food waste recycling system, to enable food waste to be converted into energy. Through Grind2Energy’s innovative process, food waste is ground on-site using an industrial-strength InSinkErator® grinder, which is then converted into a slurry. The quasar energy group, a full waste-to-energy company, transports this material to a local anaerobic digestion facilities to extract methane for energy production and to produce a nutrient-rich soil amendment. The Grind2Energy™ system created 37.8 tons of slurry to convert to power. The slurry created enough natural gas to heat 18 homes for one month, electricity to power 12 homes for one month, 4,583 pounds of nutrient-rich fertilizer, and eliminated greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 52,675 automobile miles.
The Huntington Convention Center donated 26,980 pounds of recycled materials to local organizations as part of the facility’s Sustainability Donation Program, a new initiative that provides clients, exhibitors, and contractors a simple solution to reduce the amount of waste generated from an event. Donated products included leftover carpeting, insulation, gardening equipment, fertilizer, pre-prepared food, building materials, stain, waterproofing, drywall, tools, children’s furniture, paint, landscaping brick, drywall and trim and were shared with local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity Restore, Edward Keating Center, and Karamu House. The facility also provides a biannual donation from the building’s lost and found to the Salvation Army, including clothing, coats, gloves, umbrellas, and cold-weather gear.
About the facility
The Huntington Convention Center and Global Center, managed by SMG, provides 225,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 32,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom, 35 meeting and breakout rooms, a robust technology package, an expansive truck loading dock, and a 12.5-acre green roof with spectacular views of Lake Erie. The attached 600-room Hilton Cleveland Downtown Hotel features a 32-story tower filled with guest rooms, meeting space, ballrooms, and multiple dining and entertainment options. For more information visit www.clevelandconventions.com and www.theglobalcenter.com.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary and founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming; construction and design consulting; and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide. For more information visit www.smgworld.com.
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