Multiple Miami Valley businesses, schools, communities receive environmental awards

OHIO — Six southwest Ohio businesses, organizations, communities, and schools will receive awards for encouraging environmental excellence, according to a spokesperson from the Environmental Protection Agency.

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The winners in Southwest Ohio are from Clermont, Hamilton, Logan, Miami, Montgomery, and Warren counties.

Ohio EPA Director Anne Vogel is celebrating 48 businesses and organizations in Ohio that work to protect the environment and commit to environmental stewardship.

“Ohio is the heart of sustainability, and we’re committed to recognizing those at the forefront of innovation and stewardship. We’re excited to reward companies that are helping children grow up in a safe environment and partnering to support the communities they call home. Their work inspires all of us to do more, and we are proud to share in their success,” Vogel said.

The EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) program uses four levels to recognize businesses and programs. Those include achievement, silver, gold, and platinum levels, the spokesperson said.

The agency’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence in Education (E4) program recognizes K-12 public and private schools. They are recognized on three levels, which are root, branch, and leaf.

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This year’s statewide E3 award winner is the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the spokesperson said.

This department operates its own composting facility, which has composted 34.9 tons of food waste.

All Department of Corrections facilities in Ohio had decreased energy consumption last year and have reduced water usage by 22%, saving over 400 million gallons of water, the spokesperson said.

The Southwest Ohio award winners include:

Clermont County’s Arch Materials received an achievement level because they constructed a 1.46 MW solar field near their facility, the spokesperson said.

The City of Cincinnati received a silver level because greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 37.8% over the last 15 years. The city is on track to meet decarbonization commitments of 80% reduction by 2050, the spokesperson said.

The City of Dayton received a gold level for operating a sustainability plan that has 115 projects. The city prioritizes redevelopment of the brownfield and superfund sites by turning the former Valleycrest Landfill into a community solar farm, the spokesperson said.

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Warren County’s Harris Products Group received a silver level as its process line was redesigned, which yielded a 55,000-pound reduction in scrap waste. The company additionally updated its compressed air system which reduced the demand for electricity by 300,000 kWh annually and an 85% landfill diversion rate, the spokesperson said.

Logan County’s Honda East Liberty Automotive Plant received a platinum level for its extensive recycling program. From April 2021 to March 202, the company recycled over 2.5 million tons of cardboard, 3.7 million tons of wood, 53,000 pounds of styrofoam, and 19,000 pounds of copper, the spokesperson said.

Miami County’s Upper Valley Career Center received an E4 branch level as it utilizes 187 acres of natural landscape to teach its students. The facility converts natural waste and manure from the vet science program to mulch and fertilizer. The cafeteria uses reusable service ware and all lighting in the school is LED, the spokesperson said.