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Two Chamber members receive awards for environmental excellence

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that MillerCoors Shenandoah Brewery and Dave’s Downtown Taverna are winners of the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards. The awards were presented last week at the 2011 Environment Virginia Symposium in Lexington.

MillerCoors received a Gold Medal for its outstanding recycling and sustainability program. Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling presented the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award to the brewery for its use of innovative programs designed to educate employees about recycling and to promote an increased focus on sustainability initiatives. The programs have resulted in the achievement of “Zero to Landfill” with 100% recycling reached during 2010.

“The Green Team has truly led the way by taking a hands-on approach and elevating our focus on recycling and the environment,” said Amy Michtich, Shenandoah Brewery Vice-President. “This award represents not only their passion for environmental stewardship, but all of our team members’ commitment to ensure we are a responsible corporate citizen in the local community.”

Examples of the recycling and sustainability initiatives at the brewery during 2010 include:

Recycling blitzes held across the brewery with a focus in reducing cross-contamination

Development of a chemical handling guide; new employee training plan and a new score card to measure results

Employee Awareness and Education Campaigns

Development and installation of new can-densified pallet guides

Modification of two choppers through the addition of plexi-glass to prevent contamination and encourage desired behaviors

New labeling of hoppers throughout packaging to reduce instances of cross contamination

Shenandoah Green Team Member Lesa Duncan indicated the team will continue to pursue additional opportunities for improvement during 2011.

Dave’s Taverna was honored with a bronze award for its innovative waste oil reuse. The popular restaurant is a renovated Civil War era building with seating for 425 patrons.  In keeping with previous environmentally conscious efforts, owner Dave Miller initiated a project to determine whether used fryer oil could be used to heat and provide hot water for his home. Existing technology used for burning used motor oil was adapted for the used fryer oil. The project involved experimenting with different types of vegetable oils, modifying a commercial boiler for use in a home, and developing a system for filtering, storing and transferring the fryer oil.

Results from the project include reducing waste vegetable oil by 2,600 gallons per year and the corresponding elimination for 2,600 gallons of fuel oil per year, as well as reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of 20 metric tons per year. Annual cost savings are estimated at $8,500 per year.

“The Chamber is very proud that two of our member businesses were singled out by the Governor’s office for leading edge environmental programs, “says Frank Tamberrino, president of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce. “These awards show that environmental stewardship and business success can be achieved at the same time.”

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