O & W Inc. maintains commitment to clean energy initiatives that protect Michigan’s air, land, and Great Lakes
Ypsilanti, Mich. – Independent, family-owned beer distributor O & W Inc. today announced it recycled a company record of nearly 104 million cans and glass bottles in 2022. The new record, an 8.5% increase from 2021, makes O & W Inc. one of the largest recyclers in southeast Michigan. The company’s announcement coincides with Crush a Can Day, celebrated on Sept. 27.
“Crush a Can Day provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate our continued commitment to best business practices that help reduce our carbon footprint and protect our air, land, and Great Lakes,” said Kit Wanty-Lambert, president of O & W Inc. “As an employee-first company, we are proud of our continued innovations that promote responsible energy use and reduce pollution. We take pride in optimizing our energy resilience, which benefits everyone by preserving jobs, helping our company save money, protecting our natural resources, and contributing to our local economy.”
In addition to cans and bottles brought back from retail, O & W Inc. is committed to recycling 100% of the cardboard, plastic, and paper within its facility. In 2021, O & W Inc. invested in a new solar array system on its warehouse in Ypsilanti, complete with 420 new panels producing 200,000 kilowatt hours of electricity. Since its installation, the distributor has seen savings of $20,000 and $23,000 in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
“Our renewable energy investment is just part of our commitment to conservation and diversification in our warehouse, on the road, and in the marketplace,” said Isabel Wanty, vice president of operations at O & W Inc. “As an independent, local beer distributor helping to promote growth, choices, and competition, we are thrilled to bring several environmentally friendly products to consumers across southeast Michigan. Expanding our portfolio to include ethically sourced, sustainably packed products is part of our ongoing efforts to preserve the environment for future generations.”
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.
O&W Inc.’s solar array system on its warehouse in Ypsilanti, complete with 420 new panels producing 200,000 kilowatt hours of electricity.