Bigelow Tea Co. makes every effort to stay out of the trash.
The Fairfield-based maker of specialty teas recently attained "Zero Waste to Landfill" status from Zero Waste International Alliance by diverting at least 90 per cent of its waste from landfills, according to a news release.
"We set the bar high then challenged company employees to meet it," Cindi Bigelow, president, said in the statement. "And meet it they did by finding ways to reduce, reuse and recycle everything -- from materials used daily in the manufacturing process to the cups, plates and utensils used in all three cafeterias."
Each plant in Fairfield, Louisville, Ky., and Boise, Idaho, diverts at least 92 percent of waste "through aggressive recycling, raw material reduction, reuse, composting methods," the release states. This was accomplished in a concerted effort by plant managers Jim Gildea, Steve Keys and Tony Greer as well as Bigelow Green Teams, company employees and the firm's composting partners.
The Fairfield facility diverts all of its trash through composting, recycling and by sending the remains to a local trash-to-energy plants, the release states. The Kentucky factory diverts 95 percent of its waste materials through composting and recycling, while the Boise plant diverts 92 percent through the same methods.
Bigelow's other environmental efforts include a five-year savings of nearly 6.5 million killowatt hours of electricity by installing 900 solar panels and other initiatives, 800,000 gallons water and 1.7 million cubic feet natural gas.
The third-generation family business employs more than 300 people and produces over 1.6 billion tea bags annually, the release states.