Ypsilanti, MI – Local distributor O&W Inc. today celebrated its longtime commitment to recycling and environmental sustainability on Earth Day, including serving as one of the largest recyclers in the region and investing in energy savings programs.
“Our company and hardworking employees believe we must do everything we can to preserve our lakes, air and land for future generations, and that’s why we invest so much in recycling and conservation,” said Kit Wanty-Lambert, O&W Inc. President. “Recycling and environmental sustainability are responsible practices, as well as good business practices that help our company save money, protect resources and contribute to the local economy.”
O&W participated in recycling 95,287,240 cans and glass bottles in 2021. In addition to cans and bottles brought back from retail, the company is committed to recycling 100% of the cardboard, plastic and paper within its facility. In 2021, O&W invested in a new solar array system on their warehouse in Ypsilanti, complete with 420 new panels producing 200,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and realizing savings of $20,000 annually. O&W’s additional renewable energy investment is just part of the distributor’s goal to leave the environment and industry in better shape than they found it through greener choices.
Each day, Michiganders return as many as 10 million cans and bottles. Michigan’s beer distributors reclaim and recycle nearly 3.4 billion beverage containers each year, thereby conserving resources, reducing pollution, and protecting our Great Lakes.
Michigan’s beer and wine distributors became the state’s major recyclers after the 1978 passage of the bottle bill, which gives 10 cents back when people return cans and bottles to retailers. Distributors initiate the chain of deposits, collecting the 10-cent-per-container deposit at the front end, refunding the deposit when containers are properly returned by retailers and recycling the materials at the end of the process. Because of the system, Michigan has the nation’s highest return rate for recycling cans and bottles.