Reusing and recycling is one of the many steps we take to help provide future generations with a cleaner, safer environment. We realize the importance of environmental cleanliness and conservation, and have established several recycling practices to reduce our carbon footprint and protect climate change. (Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated by a person, business, or other type or organization.)
One of our practices is supporting the goals of Maryland’s Smart, Green and Growing initiative and using effective recycling programs throughout the community. We remain committed to recycling no less than fifty percent of solid waste each year. For example, we reuse asphalt when possible on our projects, and recycle materials from construction projects.
SHA formed a task force in 2009 to help identify ways to improve our statewide recycling program. Our task force, known to many as a network of “recycling champions”, includes members from the University of Maryland, the Maryland Department of the Environment, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Working with the local construction industry is another important step we take as part of our recycling practices. This partnership helps to generate ideas on environmentally safe ways of recycling pavement for future highway projects. For example, we have worked with a local contractor that produces 100 percent recycled crushed graded aggregate base. (This is a product typically applied to roadways prior to paving.) Over 13,000 tons of natural aggregate have been saved though this program.
In addition to reusing and recycling pavement materials, we are also focusing on reducing emissions and waste from our machinery and equipment. By reducing emissions and waste, we lessen the overall output of substances into the air that could lead to climate change. We are moving forward with using a five percent blend of bio-diesel fuel in equipment as well as recovering and recycling motor oil, filters, and batteries to meet our goals of saving the environment, one step at a time.
We continue to partner with our fellow state agencies, the construction community, and others to successfully implement our recycling practices and keep Maryland healthy and beautiful.