"Reduce, reuse, recycle" — it's a mantra Chris Tuohey and his staff at Sand Creek Station Golf Course take to heart.
The Sand Creek staff regularly collect materials for recycling, look for ways to prevent pollution, and try to purchase materials made from recycled goods. Their efforts earned them a special award from the Environmental Protection Agency, presented during the Tuesday morning City Commission meeting.
EPA Region 7 presented the city with a WasteWise Waste Reduction Award, honoring the city for working to reduce waste and recycle materials at the city-owned Sand Creek Station Golf Course.
"I think it's all our commitment and call to arms to support the environment as much as we can," said Tuohey, general manager of Sand Creek Station. "... This is an initiative that's not pushed from the company level. It's something the staff really embraced. It's something we're proud of."
The City of Newton and its local partners, Sand Creek Station Golf Course and Kemper Sports, joined EPA’s WasteWise program in 2009. Kemper Sports manages the golf course and facility operations, including water conservation, habitat management, energy usage, recycling, staff education and training.
In 2012, the City of Newton diverted approximately 24 tons of waste from landfills through waste prevention and recycling programs at the golf course. Golf course staff purchased more than three tons of recycled products and reduced other costs, which resulted in $32,000 in savings.
Marcus Rivas, pollution prevention and sustainability coordinator for EPA Region 7, commended Sand Creek Station for their efforts to bring the recycling process full circle, by both recycling and purchasing recycled products.
“That’s actually closing the loop," he said. "That’s what we’re looking for.”
The recycling program at the golf course includes the collection of aluminum cans, branches, cardboard boxes, fats, oil, greases, food, glass, light bulbs, mixed paper, phonebooks, plastics, tires and yard trimmings.
WasteWise helps organizations and businesses apply sustainable materials management practices to reduce municipal and select industrial wastes. WasteWise participants can join as partners, endorsers or both.
At their meeting, commissioners also:
- Approved a memorandum of understanding between the Kansas Logistics Park Development Authority and the Port Authority of Kansas City, similar to an agreement signed with the Tulsa Port of Catoosa in 2011. Joint projects between the organizations could include a marketing campaign to generate new shipping ventures; data sharing; and training programs.
- Approved a licensing process for all temporary shelters in the city, which will provide a database of locations and contact information.
- Appointed Willis Heck to the Newton Recreation Commission and Duane Miles to the Harvey County Planning Commission. Commissioner Glen Davis said he did not want to appoint former city commissioner Heck to the Rec Commission. He said he did not think Heck supported the mission of the Rec Center and thought the nomination was a political move. Mayor Jim Nickel said he felt Heck was qualified to serve on the board, and Commissioner Racquel Thiesen said it was a good idea to have a representation of a variety of voices on the Rec Commission.