Cville Business Group to Host Seminar on Waste Reduction

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Trash is a hot topic in this region with the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors recently agreeing to hold off on closing the Ivy landfill. Now, a group in Charlottesville is taking up the issue and teaching people to reduce their waste.

The Better Business Challenge is hosting an upcoming "Lunch n' Learn" called "Trim Your Waste." The panelists are Charlottesville business owners who have done just that.

Woodard Properties manages a variety of properties in Charlottesville. During the last Better Business Challenge, the staff decided to go paperless.

"Our primary source of waste was paper," said Crys Clements, Woodard's digital marketing and community relations manager. "We have a lot of customers and a lot of leases so we went through a lot of paper."

The staff switched over to an electronic signing system, called Echosign, to convert everything to electronic documents which can simply be emailed for signatures.

"It's very convenient because no one needs to come here. We love it when people come here, but you can also just email everything to everyone, which is great," Clements said.

Clements said going paperless has saved the company about 2,000 sheets of paper a month and about $3,000 worth of toner a year.

"We process numerous applications, dozens of leases, 10-12 pages each, and countless other documents requiring the use of hundreds of sheets of paper daily," said Clements.

This time around, the staff has chosen to compost. At the beginning of the year, they set up compost bins in the leasing office. Starting this week, the student properties Woodard owns near University of Virginia’s corner will all have access to compost bins - in addition to recycling.

"Our core purpose at Woodard Properties is to improve living and working in Charlottesville, and I think that our participation in the Better Business Challenge and just our efforts to be a more sustainable business is one of the biggest ways we can do that," said Clements.

If all 450 residents from the 137 participating units and apartments in the 14th Street area use the compost bins, Clements said as much as 60,000 pounds of waste per year could be saved from the landfill.

With the average residence generating about eight pounds of compostables per week, she said it can add up to the equivalent of 20, 8-yard dumpsters.

Woodard Properties is one of several businesses sharing their ideas at the coming “Lunch n’ Learn” taking place Thursday at 11 a.m. at CitySpace.

For registration information and more on the Charlottesville Better Business Challenge, click here. 

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