ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD: TAM recognized for excellence
First commercial organics composting operation in the county
Bennington Banner, 7/2/15- By Chris Mays
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The garbage industry can get a bum rap when it comes to protecting the environment. But that’s not the case with the local TAM, Inc., which just received a 2015 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.
“In the last five to six years, we’ve put a lot of energy and resources into making sure we’re as environmentally conscious as we can be and really it’s become a passion for us to figure out how to lessen our impact,” said Trevor Mance, owner. “We handle this material and we have the opportunity to do different things with it rather than just throw it away.” TAM was recognized for being the first commercial organics composting operation in Bennington County with “innovative” educational programs for customers and schools, a press release stated. Since 1993, the awards offered a way to recognize efforts and actions of Vermonters to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution and promote environmental sustainability.
Mance and his crew looked hard at how to address organics and compost. And they’ve considered different recycling technologies.
TAM manages the Shaftsbury Transfer Station and owns another facility there. It also has a recycling center in Pownal and a composting facility in Bennington. Matt Proft, who had a farm in Dorset where composting was done, joined TAM. Mance said Proft shares the same passion for the environment. He also incorporates education. “He’s trying to get the next generations trained,” said Mance. “It’s also just a great science lesson to go up to our facility and see how nature breaks this stuff down.”
Local schools and businesses are known to take the tour. Equinox Village employees attended an adult education workshop there while Bennington College, Winhall’s Mountain School and Pownal Elementary School brought students. During the awards presentation, Mance said he learned over 200 applications were submitted and only 13 awards were given out. Schools will be recognized separately Aug. 6 at a Vermont Principals Association summer leadership conference in Killington.
Protecting the environment was a passion that grew out of outdoor activities introduced to Mance early on.
“We felt pretty honored by getting one of these,” he said. “My father is a forester and we grew up hunting and fishing and trapping in the woods of Vermont. That same kind of passion is held by a lot of the employees, too. I couldn’t do it without their hard work and commitment for taking on these projects.”
Mance looks at the recognition as a good victory, for himself and his employees. And the future’s looking good. “Currently we are on track to compost 1,500 tons per year of food waste,” Mance said. “On the construction side of things, we’re very excited to offer recycling for hard-to- recycle items like vinyl siding.” Also, TAM now has compost available for sale.
Other award recipients included Central Vermont Medical Center, General Electric Aviation, IBM, Mountain Meadow Farm, Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District, Lewis Creek Association, University of Vermont Extension, the city of Montpelier, Mount Holly and Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District. Lake Region High School, Thetford Elementary and Burlington School District were among the educational institutes given awards.
“There’s a lot of great projects going on in Vermont,” Mance added. “We’re making great strides in this state.”
Contact Chris Mays at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-447-7567, ext. 111.