By Veronica Sandate Craker
The City of Richland honored U.S. Linen & Uniform with its 2012 Green Business of the Year Award during a ceremony at City Hall in early October.
Kadlec Regional Medical Center’s “All-in-one” recycling program was named as the Green Project of the Year and the Native Plant Restoration project was presented with the Green Program of the Year award. And Badger Mountain Elementary students who gave up their recess to run the school’s recycling program received the honorable mention award.
This year a Fan Favorite award, voted on by audience members, was presented to Northwest Food Hub.
The 2011 Green Business of the Year winner Darin Warnick, owner of Greenies in Richland, spoke to the crowd about the responsibility businesses and residents have to care for the Tri-Cities.
“Looking at the nominees, there’s a church, a hospital and individuals. That’s what it takes to make a difference,” Warnick said. “It’s (not all) of us kind of working by ourselves. It’s all of us working together to make a difference and that’s what it takes. It takes a community.”
Rick Snyder, U.S. Linen and Uniform general manager, repeated those sentiments after collecting his award.
“It pays for itself,” he said. “It helps cut down on the carbon emissions. So it’s a win-win for everybody to do that.”
Snyder’s company put in a filtration system that removes waste out of the water that is discharged during cleaning.
“We take out 95 percent of the waste,” Snyder said. “We reuse our water, so since January 2011, we have saved 18 million gallons of water and we saved 25 percent of our natural gas by recycling water.”
Gail Everett, Richland’s environmental education coordinator and Gary Ballew, economic development manager presented the awards. The ceremony was aired live on Richland Cable Channel 13. It will be shown throughout October. For more information about the city’s Green Awards visit www.cirichland.wa.us.