To help meet the growing need for more environmentally responsible business practices, concerned area companies and agencies have united to form ReSource St. Louis, an organization dedicated to enhancing recycling efforts and materials reuse in the St. Louis region. The growing organization, which spans private and public, profit and non-profit, and large and small company sectors, strives to promote corporate citizenship and strengthen community resources in the following ways:
– Reduce the overall impact of construction practices on the local and global environment;
– Reduce dependence on landfills as the primary method of disposing of construction and demolition “waste”;
– Partner with like-minded manufacturing and construction companies to recycle construction materials cost effectively;
– Increase awareness of sustainable building operations and maintenance practices for the St. Louis region; and
– Create a successful business model that can be shared with other regions and organizations.
Roughly 12% of waste sent to landfills in the United States comes from construction and demolition projects even though three of the largest waste components on most job sites – cardboard, wood, and drywall (which make up 75% of job-site waste) — are fully recyclable. ReSource St. Louis member businesses work with partnered manufacturers to consolidate, recycle, and often share construction materials. The result is the diversion of tons of resources from area landfills.
ReSource St. Louis notes that this efficient use of local resources offers several distinct business advantages as well. Member organizations report decreased disposal costs, lower labor costs, and reduced expenditures for materials. Participation also assists those companies seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for their buildings and results in an improved corporate image within the community.
ReSource St. Louis has recently launched its new website: www.resourcestlouis.org. Developed with a grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District, and designed by Habañero, the site provides a searchable database for online construction materials and makes available other useful tools for sustainable buildings, such as methods to promote energy efficiency, improve air quality, reduce water consumption and implement sustainable operational practices. In addition, the site provides greater access for the many organizations and individuals that look to ReSource St. Louis for reuse and recycling information and offers a real-world example of the positive things that can happen when the private and public sector work in concert.
For Emily Andrews, Coordinator of the St. Louis Regional Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, the ReSource Web site represents an important step in the right direction. “This Web site makes it easier for companies to make the right and responsible decision to help protect the environment,” says Andrews. “It is exciting to see so many local corporations embracing this effort.”
ReSource St. Louis, originally founded as the St. Louis Sustainable Buildings Co-Op, is a coalition of local businesses and organizations committed to construction and operational processes that foster, support and promote conscientious management of the built environment. Local companies that have been integrally involved include Enterprise Rent-A-Car, HOK, Alberici Constructors, William Tao & Associates, and Maritz Corporation.