Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) is pumped from HMA’s three cafeteria lines into bins which are transported to Project Green for conversion into biodiesel. Pictured: Project Director Tony Haywood; Photo by Bob Crisp Project Green Director Tony Haywood and Work Experience Student Worker David Mumford, Foley, pump biodiesel, converted from HMA’s Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO), into a tank to be mixed with traditional diesel at 20 percent. The fuel will be used by Nexeo Solutions, HMA’s environmental subcontractor. Photo by Bob Crisp
Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind’s (AIDB) E.H. Gentry Facility has added Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (HMA) as a new partner to the school’s biodiesel production program, Project Green.
Under the new partnership beginning September 5, AIDB will collect about 19,200 pounds of Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) annually at HMA, which will be transformed into biofuel for HMA’s internal use.
Project Green is a public education, student training and internal production program operated by AIDB to encourage recycling of a wide variety of materials. Project Green staff and student workers will collect the WVO from three HMA cafeteria locations, in coordination with Eurest Dining Services – Compass Group USA.
The WVO will be converted to biodiesel and delivered to HMA, which will mix the biofuel at a 20 percent ratio with traditional diesel and provide the fuel to Nexeo Solutions, HMA’s environmental subcontractor. The partnership will save Honda an estimated $6,000 annually in WVO pickup costs and diesel fuel charges.
“This new program to convert waste vegetable oil from Honda’s cafeterias represents a further expansion of Honda’s environmental commitment to ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle,’” said Davis Ajaegbu, project coordinator for HMA. “We are exceptionally pleased to partner with AIDB to expand and advance this important environmental program.”
HMA is the first zero-waste-to-landfill auto plant in North America and the first state automaker to partner with AIDB’s Project Green. In addition to conducting an annual Recycle Day where HMA Associates can bring in nontraditional recyclable materials, HMA reports that annually, the Lincoln-based plant recycles approximately 80 million pounds of scrap metal; four million pounds of cardboard; 500,000 pounds of plastic; and 20,000 pounds of aluminum cans.
“Not one to seek public recognition, HMA works tirelessly behind the scenes to altruistically give back to the communities where its Associates live and work,” explained AIDB President Dr. John Mascia. “Each HMA representative is service-oriented, committed to continuous improvement. Not only will this philosophy and partnership serve as a training mechanism for our students in E. H. Gentry Facility’s Blind, Deaf and General Services tracks, but it will encourage others to analyze how they can minimize their ‘footprint’ on the environment while bringing further exposure to the benefits of alternative fuels.”
Project Green is part of a larger initiative within AIDB called Going Green which, to date, includes grant awards from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) State Energy Program to retrofit and replace T12 lighting with T8s as well as to replace six antiquated energy-draining HVAC units. Other grant funding from ADECA was used to directly support Project Green job creation.
Additional steps, such as ensuring cafeteria appliances within AIDB carry the Energy Star TM designation along with Energy Star TM washers, dryers and dishwashers in AIDB’s dormitories complement internal Going Green efforts. Too, through Work Experience Programs, all three K-12 units involve students in recycling paper, cans and boxes, strategically placing receptacles on campus.
“These initiatives serve as excellent teaching tools,” continued Dr. Mascia. “Including WVO pick-up from HMA, student work experience components may incorporate tours to local school groups, presentations to civic groups and public awareness campaigns in addition to the actual biodiesel production process which reinforces classroom concepts related to chemistry and mathematics.”
Project Green provides free WVO pick-up to local businesses, with clean containers provided after each collection. To learn more or to become a Project Green partner, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Project Director Tony Haywood at email@example.com/256.761.3424.
Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (www.aidb.org)
Now more than 150 years strong, AIDB’s mission is to provide superior comprehensive education and service programs for individuals who are deaf, blind and multidisabled and their families. This commitment to excellence is carried out through three schools, serving children, three to 21 (Alabama School for the Deaf, Alabama School for the Blind, Helen Keller School of Alabama); an education/rehabilitation adult program (E.H. Gentry Facility); and a manufacturing complex (Alabama Industries for the Blind). In Fiscal Year 2010-2011 AIDB served more than 20,500 individuals through five Talladega campuses and statewide Regional Centers located in Birmingham, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Talladega, Tuscumbia and Tuscaloosa.
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC (www.hondalabama.com)
Honda’s $2 billion facility in Lincoln, has the capacity to produce more than 340,000 Odyssey minivans, Pilot sport utility vehicles, Ridgeline pick-up trucks, Acura MDX SUVs and V-6 engines every year thanks to its dedicated team of more than 4,000 associates.
Through extensive collaboration, AIDB is Alabama’s first educational entity to initiate a biodiesel public education, training and production program, Project Green. Housed within AIDB’s E.H. Gentry Facility, Project Green has the capacity to produce 55 gallons of biodiesel per day, benefiting local businesses and city infrastructures within a 120-mile radius while providing alternative fuels’ education to Alabama school systems and to schools for the deaf and blind in Appalachian States. Training students with sensory and/or multiple disabilities in the acquisition and production of biodiesel, Project Green’s primary purpose is to educate the external public on alternative fuels benefits.
Project Green financial supporters include the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries; Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs Energy Division; Alabama Representative Steve Hurst; Appalachian Regional Commission; Coosa Valley Resource Conservation & Development Council and Congressman Mike Rogers (3rd Congressional District, 2010 Congressional U.S. Department of Energy Appropriation).
Project Green has also garnered verbal and technical support from former Alabama Governor Bob Riley; Alabama Department of Environmental Management; Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition, Birmingham; Auburn University; Calhoun County Sheriff Department; City of Hoover; City of Talladega; Environmental Protection Agency, Atlanta, Region IV; Executive Visions Inc., Birmingham; Fincher’s Restaurants with locations in Alpine and Childersburg; Five Star Event Catering, Barber Motorsports, Leeds; Frazier, Barnes & Associates, LLC, a Biodiesel Services Group, Memphis, TN; Green Earth Technologies, Celebration, Florida; National Energy Education Development (NEED); Southeast Diesel Collaborative; SouthernEco, LLC, Montgomery; Talladega Superspeedway, Lincoln; Timber Ridge Golf Club, Talladega; The Red Door Kitchen, Talladega; and AIDB Students and Staff.