In 2014, the waste diversion rate at McCormick Place hit 63% up from 0% before SAVOR…Chicago began its work at McCormick Place. This success is a reflection on our robust back of the house recycling program that captures everything from paper, aluminum, wood and grease as well as a front-of-the house recycling and guest education program called the “Green Angels,” which is has helped to significantly increase diversion rates.
Active during every show in the West and South Food Courts, guests follow Green Angels footprints to sorting stations where Green Angels staff guide them on what is recyclable and what is compostable. The result is a diversion rate that increased 63% with the help of Green Angels, which equates to tons of trash diverted from landfills. Green Angels is a great example of environmental stewardship and our mission to help build environmental awareness for the millions of people who pass through McCormick Place.
Other waste reduction initiatives include:
- On-site vermicomposting – SAVOR…Chicago set up on-site composting at McCormick Place, adding thousands of Red Wiggler worms to our composting facility to speed the process.
- Fewer toxic chemicals – SAVOR…Chicago has incorporated revolutionary ECA (Electric Chemically Activated) technology that combines salt, water, and electricity into its operations to replace the use of toxic chemicals in ware washing, sanitizing and floor cleaning. The 23rd Street Café & Market operational plan incorporates lake conservation into the daily operation by producing Green Seal Certified™ chemicals onsite using ECA technology to replace standard cleaning supplies with a solution that is 100% effective, 99.9% water and completely safe for team members and customers. In addition, we have put in action a preventative maintenance program to ensure that equipment runs efficiently.
- Bio diesel creation – Food grease is recycled into bio-diesel fuel.
- Local food donation – While SAVOR…Chicago works very hard to avoid having too much food, its surplus is donated to local charities including the Pacific Garden Mission. More than three tons of food has been donated to local charities since SAVOR… began its work at McCormick Place. In addition to donating leftover food, the SAVOR…Chicago team also donates their time, helping to serve thousands of individuals.