James B. Hunt, Jr., Governor
Theodis Beck, Secretary
Tracy Little, Director of Public Information (919) 733-4926

May 12, 2000

Correction Exhibits Projects at Environmental Fair;
Sampson Correctional Institution Wins Exceptional Steward Award

Despite rain and unseasonably cool temperatures, Correction employees braved the elements to display exhibits of the department’s environmental sustainability efforts during Clean and Green 2000 held April 28 in Raleigh.

The Correction exhibits were among the best attended at the five-hour event, which culminated with the presentation of the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Waste Reduction. Once again, Correction was among the recipients with Sampson Correctional Institution winning the Exceptional Steward Award. Sampson was recognized for its 86-percent reduction of waste at the facility through its vermicomposting project and other initiatives.

Other projects displayed included an in-vessel composting unit from Brown Creek Correctional Institution; industrial packaging of steel drums from Correction Enterprises paint plant at Johnston Correctional institution; computer models used in energy assessments by Central Engineering; a tool repair and reuse project at Caswell Correctional Center; and a blanket recovery and distribution project at Southern Correctional Institution.

Sampson Correctional Institution Superintendent Steve Muller (middle) and Sampson Program Assistant Tyrone Owens accept the Exceptional Steward Award from Robin Smith, Assistant Secretary for Environmental Protection in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Projects featured at the Environmental fair were:

Title: Waste Reduction - Vermicomposting
Agency: Sampson Correctional Institution
Contact: Steve Muller, Superintendent, (910) 592-2151

In operation just under a year, a vermicomposting project and other waste reduction initiatives at Sampson Correctional Institution have produced spectacular results. Sampson has reduced its waste by a phenomenal 86 percent. The success at Sampson is a result of a coordinated and comprehensive examination of waste production and a thorough review of possible alternatives. The vermicomposting project helps eliminate kitchen waste from being dumped in the trash. The kitchen waste and shredded paper, along with lint from the prison laundry, is dumped into bins containing worms. As microbes break down the food, the worms eat the microbes, transforming the waste into composting material.

Waste goes in; fertilizer comes out. Sampson Correctional Institution's Vermicomposting system converts food and paper waste into compost.

Title: Waste Reduction-In-Vessel Composting
Agency: Brown Creek Correctional Institution
Contact: Rick Jackson, Superintendent, (704) 694-2622

Recipient of the 1998 Governor's Award for Excellence in Waste Reduction, Brown Creek removes tons of waste from the waste stream each month. The institution is currently disposing of an average of nine tons of garbage per month, compared to an average 27.75 tons per month in FY 96-97. New to Brown Creek's effort for the year 2000 is a cooperative venture with RKB Enterprises for the operation of an in-vessel composting unit to compost food residuals. The system has the capability to process 900 pounds of food waste per day, converting the material to a fine compost that will be used in the institution's two greenhouses and on the facility property.

Title: Industrial Packaging
Agency: Correction Enterprises Paint Plant
Contact: Mark Lenhart, Paint Plant Director, (919) 989-8696

This project involves reducing the amount of steel to be recycled. The steel was generated by 30-gallon steel drums that were no longer suitable for packaging and shipping of traffic paint to the Department of Transportation Traffic Service Division. The average life span of a drum was five cycles, after which it was cleaned, crushed and sold as scrap metal. The process was made sustainable through the utilization of drum liners and elimination of the emissions produced by burning out the drums (recycling). The increased life span of the drums was estimated to decrease the amount of steel scrap produced by an estimated 90% and cut packaging costs by 50%.

Title: Energy Assessments
Agency: Throughout the Department of Correction
Contact: Rod Rabold, Central Engineering, (919) 716-3400

Utility Monitoring Program - DOC is developing a database program that will automatically review utility billing at all facilities. This program will identify facilities that have unexpected increases in utility usage from month to month or from previous years, and ensure that the proper utility rate is being used to charge the account. The database will be used to compare energy usage at facilities per some unit of measure to help managers determine which units are less energy efficient.

Title: Tool Repair Program
Agency: Caswell Correctional Center
Contact: J. Haynes, Superintendent, (336) 694-4531

In cooperation with the Department of Transportation and Piedmont Community College, inmates at Caswell Correctional Center repair electrical and pneumatic tools rather than have the tools replaced at taxpayer expense. Inmates complete a five- to six-month training program and receive a certificate from Piedmont Community College for their participation in the course. Tools in need of repair are sent to Caswell where inmates, under the supervision of community college and security staff, repair them for reuse. For calendar year 1999, cost savings are estimated at $63,875.

Title: Blanket Recovery and Distribution Project
Agency: Southern Correctional Institution
Contact: Dorothy Ledford, Inmate Work Coordinator, (919) 733-3226

Chatham Manufacturing Industries in Elkin donates bales of blanket waste material. The bales contain material that is usable, but cannot be sold because of color fades, stitching errors, etc. Inmates at Southern Correctional Institution recover usable blankets from the bales and prepare them for distribution at no cost to non-profit emergency relief and rescue agencies. The blankets are clean, fire-retardant and 100% cotton or poly-blends.

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