The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) honored Consumers Energy’s appliance recycling program (ARP) and J.R. Whiting plant recently with Neighborhood Environmental Partner (NEP) awards.
The award recognizes facilities in Michigan that partner with community organizations to improve the environment by implementing ongoing environmental projects.
The Appliance Recycling Program was honored for a partnership with the Holland Board of Public Works (Holland BPW), Zeeland Board of Public Works, Grand Haven Board of Light, Franklin Energy and Power, and Louis Padnos Iron & Metal Company to collect window air conditioners, dehumidifiers, refrigerators and freezers in the greater western lakeshore area. Consumers Energy will pick up a qualifying old fridge or freezer for free and give a $50 rebate through Dec. 31.
“We partnered with these utilities to ensure every customer had the opportunity to recycle their old, inefficient appliances,” said Anne Saliers, Conservation Programs Manager for Holland BPW. “This was truly a win-win situation: we got these devices off the grid, customers received an incentive check and the appliance will be properly recycled.”
The drop-off events were held in Grand Haven and Holland.
“This is a positive recognition by the MDEQ regarding our collaborative environmental citizenship in Michigan,” said Sandy Wymer, Consumers Energy’s Energy Efficiency Program Manager. “We want to ensure the people of Michigan recycle their appliances responsibly, no matter who they have as an electric utility.”
The J.R. Whiting plant received the NEP award for the eighth year in a row for partnerships with Ann Arbor Public Schools and the Lotus Garden Club of Monroe, among others.
They hosted 55 students from Ann Arbor for a beach cleanup along the shores of Lake Erie as well as environmental education. Employees and volunteers were also recognized for the ongoing care and support of the American Lotus population on the property. More than 70 participants came out to view the one-time endangered flowers located throughout the plant’s intake waters.
“We believe we are doing the right thing for our environment and this award shows that the MDEQ shares that belief,” said Frank Rand, Environmental and Chemistry Lead at Whiting. “We feel it is important to leave our environment in a better condition than we found it.”
Whiting is the only facility in Michigan that has been awarded the NEP every year that MDEQ has offered it.