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North Carolina
Michael F. Easley, Governor           Theodis Beck, Secretary

For Immediate Release
October 19, 2001
Contact: Pamela Walker
             (919) 716-3733

Blanket Recovery Project and waste-eating worms among
Correction's exhibits at environmental fair 

RALEIGH A number of exhibits ranging from donated fabrics being recycled for use as school supplies to worms eating waste material will represent the Department of Correction during the N.C. Green 2001 Expo, which showcases environmental sustainability efforts by state agencies.

In addition to the Department of Correction, more than 15 other state agencies will exhibit projects Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Halifax Mall between the Legislative and Archdale buildings in downtown Raleigh. More than 60 hands-on exhibits of environmental stewardship, efficiency and cost-saving projects will be highlighted.

Among the Department of Correction projects that will be exhibited are:

Title: Blanket Recovery Project
Agency: Southern Correctional Institution, Troy
Contact: Mike McIntyre, (910) 572-3784

Inmates use old inmate uniforms and textile scraps from Chatham Mills to produce blankets for the Red Cross, emergency management and rescue missions. Inmates also produce other items upon request, including chemotherapy caps for cancer patients, finger puppets for school children, stuffed animals, kindergarten mats, hats, school supply caddies and paint smocks. In 2000, inmates produced nearly 12,000 blankets for Hurricane Floyd victims and other disaster relief efforts.

Title: Waste Reduction - Vermicomposting
Agency: Sampson Correctional Institution, Clinton
Contact: Supt. Lafayette Hall, (910) 592-2151

In operation more than two years, a vermicomposting project and other waste reduction initiatives at Sampson Correctional Institution have produced spectacular results. Sampson has reduced its waste by 86%. 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, are dumped into bins containing worms. As microbes break down the food, the worms eat the microbes, transforming the waste into composting material. The prison also recycles aluminum cans, plastic, steel cans, paper, cardboard and cooking grease. Sampson won the Governor’s Exceptional Steward Award in April 2000 for its solid waste recycling and vermicomposting programs.

Title: Tool Repair Program
Agency: Caswell Correctional Center, Yanceyville
Contact: Supt. Raymond Smith, (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 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: Container Re-use
Agency: Correction Enterprises, Johnston Paint Plant
Contact: Steve Jacobson, (919) 989-8696

The container re-use project increases the life span of the 30-gallon steel drums that the Department of Transportation Traffic Service Division uses for packaging and shipping of traffic paint. Before the project, 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, which eliminates the emissions produced by burning out the drums (recycling). The liner also increased the life span of the drum as well as reduced the overall cost incurred through the packaging of traffic marking materials. 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: Sign Reclamation
Agency: Correction Enterprises
Contact: Chuck Congleton, (919) 716-3600

Correction Enterprises’ sign reclamation plant in Carthage has demonstrated great success with a high-pressure water stripper used to remove old coverings from reusable highway signs. Previous methods required dry belt sanding which left waste that entered the water system and could generate hazardous waste.

Title: Inmate Art Exhibit
Agency: Brown Creek Correctional Institution
Contact: Sgt. Kenneth Diggs, (704) 694-2622

Brown Creek has been involved in an aggressive recycling program since 1996. To get the inmates involved, the facility conducts annual art contests. The artwork submitted is required to have a recycling theme.

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