Courtesy photo

Celebrating Cal-Waste’s 2020 Sacramento Area Sustainable BusinessКAward (left to right) are Jose Casillas, Leesa Klotz, MaryBeth Ospital, Dave Vaccarezza and Casey Vaccarezza.

During a ceremony held on Sept. 14 in the Sacramento County Supervisors Chambers, Cal-Waste Recovery Systems was recognized by the Sacramento Area Sustainable Business (SASB) for its efforts to reduce pollution in the community and the surrounding Sacramento area.

SASB is an extension of the Business Environmental Resource Center (BERC), a free, confidential, non-regulatory, and business retention resource established by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors in 1993 in response to local business requests for expanded environmental compliance assistance.

Clark Whitten, the Division Director of BERC and avid supporter of the SASB, combines private sector, government, and regulatory experience to ensure a wide array of technical consultants are available to local businesses needing to address planning and building issues, hazardous materials, solid waste, air quality and water quality.

“We assist and promote businesses that take voluntary actions to prevent pollution and conserve resources,” Whitten said. “Our goal is to help businesses do the right thing concerning sustainable practices with confidential and free assistance. Often it is the small things that any business can do that make a big difference: programmable thermostats, repairing water leaks, replacing light fixtures, and more – actions that are attainable. Quickly, business owners realize that doing the right thing feels good and saves money.”

However, it is not just the small changes that BERC and SASB strive for. They encourage and assist all local businesses, large and small, in taking steps to prevent pollution and to conserve resources on a broader scale.

This year’s honor is the second SASB Business of the Year award given to Cal-Waste Recovery Systems for its clean business practices, its focus on reducing the volume of materials going to the landfill, and increasing environmental sustainability. It is the ongoing creation of efficiencies in day-to-day operations that have made the greatest impact.

“Three years ago, Cal-Waste made a big change in our daily collection operation, switching our trucks to split body vehicles,” Casey Vaccarezza, co-owner and operations director for Cal-Waste said. “This had a huge environmental impact on our community as our trucks only go down the street one time collecting both commodities. This equated to less traffic, fuel, and emissions for our community. Changes big or small make drastic impact to our environment, and we constantly look from them in our day-to-day operation.”

SASB recognized Cal-Waste’s best practices and voluntary technical improvement through the expansion of the high-volume Material Recovery Facility that includes new methods of sorting recyclable materials to meet the ever-changing standards and mandates laid out by local and state jurisdictions. These efficiencies ensured the highest level of recyclable material was captured and diverted from local landfills.

“We have always strived to do what is right for the environment and our company,” Vaccarezza said. “We aren’t afraid to experiment with new technologies. It started with moving from horse and carriage to compaction trucks, and now we’re using hybrid vehicles and programmable high-speed optical sorting machines. Using technologies to move our industry forward is a great example of us setting the standard for the waste industry.”

When asked how Cal-Waste has become an example to other businesses in helping our environment, Vaccarezza quickly responded, “If a garbage processing company can find a way to be environmentally conscious, I believe any business can.”

Cal-Waste’s Outreach and Education Program exemplifies this belief in all areas of communication and education to customers and schools that live and work in the communities they serve.

According to Cal-Waste, all it takes are a few small environmentally conscious changes to your operation, to make a huge impact. Simple recycle and organics containers in your lunch/break room, carpooling with a co-worker or riding a bike, turning off the light or faucet all add up to make big changes for our environment. Above it all, these best practices help ensure the longevity of resources and keep opportunities available for the local job force.

“We are happy to share this award with our community because they are the true recyclers,” said Dave Vaccarezza, Casey’s father and third generation owner of Cal-Waste. “Like SASB, Cal-Waste Recovery Systems is committed to take voluntary actions to prevent pollution and conserve resources. Sustainable business practices have been and will remain an integral part of our culture and mission.”

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