Project Merit: Sustainability & Resource Protection


Through its member companies, the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE; Dalton, GA;, a non-profit organization committed to diverting post-consumer carpet from America's landfills and finding market-based solutions for the recycling and reuse of post-consumer carpet, for diverting over 1.3 billion pounds of carpet from the landfills since 2002, thereby reducing GHG emissions by 1.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. According to CARE, carpet recyclers reported that they employed over 1,100 people in 2008 alone to collect, separate, and further process post-consumer carpet. Post-consumer carpet (PCC) is recycled back into hundreds of styles of carpet, and carpet cushion containing over 90% PCC are now available. PCC is also used in a wide range of consumer products, from automobile parts to other plastic household items. CARE is now a model for other voluntary recycling organizations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

MWH Global (Broomfield, CO; for providing design and construction management services for the new 180 mgd raw sewage Durham Influent Pump Station (IPS) in Tigard, Oregon, in a manner that optimized construction cost and pumping efficiency. As the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified pump station in the U.S., the IPS uses alternative energy and efficient design. The most innovative aspect of the LEED Silver IPS is a process that uses excess gas from a nearby digester complex to power heating and cooling systems. The IPS uses hot water heated with the digester gas, a processed digested sludge by-product, in its heating coils. In addition, energy-efficient variable frequency drives (VFDs) only use the energy needed control the large, raw sewage pumps instead of constant speed motors. Air-handling units use plant-effluent water in cooling coils to keep the VFDs below the maximum temperature. The coils use non-potable, recycled water produced during wastewater treatment. In an independent energy study, Thornton Energy Consulting revealed that energy usage was reduced by 48% compared with conventional designs, while water usage was reduced by 34%.

PERC Water Corp. (Cost Mesa, CA; for deploying energy-saving technology at the Santa Paula California Water Recycling Facility. The technologies they are employing helps control and minimize power consumption costs while maintaining quality and efficiency. As a result of an innovative lighting design, including natural lighting, LED lamps, mercury vapor exterior lights, and other measures, the facility will exceed California's Title 24 energy-efficiency requirements. As membrane scouring and aeration account for nearly half of the facility's power consumption, PERC Water is employing the most energy-efficient air production and usage systems on the market. A PERC-developed SCADA system will gather, display, track, and store live data generated by the facility, consistently updating the operators on the exact status and measurements of all of the facility's processes. As a result of the energy saving measures, the city will save up to 15% in its wastewater treatment power consumption costs.