Waste Reduction: The Environmental Impact of One Company’s Recycling Efforts

It started as a basic recycling program for the administrative offices of Warner Brothers Studios a decade ago, and now the company’s environmental program has ballooned. Led by a three-person staff dedicated to recycling and environmental initiatives, Warner Brothers now diverts 4,000 tons of set construction materials (seventeen tons a day) from California landfills each year and has implemented a green building program, eco-friendly landscaping, and an envi­r­onmental purchasing program. Furnishings, computers, office supplies, and other odds and ends the company no longer needs are donated to nonprofit organizations and schools, and leftover food from the cafeteria is given away on a daily basis.

The Burbank, California-based studio also has implemented an environmental education program for its approximately 5,000 employees. “A lot of our education is geared toward what employees can do at home–whether that’s carpooling, energy efficiency, or home composting,” explains Shelley Billik, director of recycling and environmental initiatives. “We want whatever they’re learning to be supported not just at work, but also at home.”