At CPS Energy, we’re revved up about recycling

Today is America Recycles Day — but at CPS Energy, we’re committed to recycling 365 days a year.

CPS Energy employs a robust recycling program, turning trash and waste into valuable revenue for our company and our customers while protecting our environment. Our company and our conscientious employees take advantage of every possible opportunity to reduce, reuse and recycle. Because of our efforts, we’ve been recognized by the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) for demonstrating a strong commitment to the environment and recycling 92 percent of our disposable materials.

“Everything from scrap metal, tree trimming debris, concrete and asphalt, to fly ash and scrubber sludge generated at the utility’s coal-fired power plants has a place in CPS Energy’s recycling program,” says Chad Johnston, the utility’s manager of Reverse Logistics.

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“A product’s lifecycle is not just a raw material-to-sales journey anymore. Most products now have a reverse cycle, or reverse logistics, in which we’re taking the used material and then channeling, tagging, repairing, repackaging and reselling it.”

Last year alone, CPS Energy recycled 485,000 tons of material, or 970 million pounds. This included 3.2 million pounds of electrical equipment – the equivalent of about eight blue whales. Revenue generated from the sales of all recylable materials exceeded $4.7 million.

In addition to netting several million dollars, our diligent recycling practices resulted in a savings of more than $13 million in associated landfill fees, plus a complementary savings in landfill space. The revenue generated from recycling, combined with these savings, is yet another example of how CPS Energy is working to keep our customers’ energy bills cost-competitive.

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The list goes on and on, but here are a few other sustainable initiatives we have in place.

CPS Energy uses treated wastewater for cooling at our power plants, saving approximately 40,000 acre feet of precious Edwards Aquifer water each year.

We use and sell bottom ash and fly ash from coal generation – materials that go into making roads, bricks, concrete products and wall board, or drywall.

We incorporated a process for filtering and reusing drum loads of hydraulic oil.

We even purchase recycled office supplies, like paper, paper clips and toner cartridges.

At CPS Energy, we strive to be a leader in setting a ‘green footprint.’ We know that it’s the right thing to do for our environment, and in the process we are turning trash into cash that benefits our company and our customers.

CPS Energy 2012 recycling totals:

  • Fly ash – 519 million lbs. = 43,250 African elephants
  • Office paper – 239,275 lbs. = 171 brown bears
  • Oil filters – 38,025 lbs. = 4 elephant seals
  • Transformer oil – 152,500 gallons = enough to fill 17 semi-truck tankers
  • Lubricating oil – 28,000 gallons = enough to fill 56 Jacuzzis

Tracy Idell Hamilton

Tracy Idell Hamilton was part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.

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