D2E: Central Coast Business Celebrates 50 Years of Being Green
Santa Maria - A Central Coast company is celebrating 50 years of being green. Each year, "Larrabee Recycling" diverts about 2 million pounds of aluminum glass and plastic from the landfills.
"Its part of the community that people don't like to think about, they think they put their stuff on the curb, and it goes away to a magic place and then we don't have to deal with it," says Michael Larrabee.
That happens to be about the same amount of material "Central Coast Distributing" sends out annually.
"So its kind of a wash. We have zero impact on landfill theoretically."
The family-owned beer distribution company opened back in 1961. Shortly after, they established the recycling center.
Larrabee explains, "If you were a beer distributor, you had to be a recycler, to be a Coors distributor"
Three generations later, the program is still going strong.
"We're committed to recycling, and in good times and bad. When the markets all crashed and we could sell scrap aluminum for anything, we lost money on every load. We're committed for the long run."
The Larrabees are also committing to cutting down on their energy use. They recently added solar panels to their operation, which they explain will save them a lot of money on electricity in the long run.
"We're into lessening our impact. We put in two systems. They've taken our bill that would run about $72 thousand a year, and I think we're going to go down to about one hundred dollars so its quite a bit of savings."
The Larrabee's plan to do business the same way for the next fifty years...and beyond.
"I like even more that I'm part of my community, and by me doing my share and trying to reduce waste, trying to keep things out of the landfill and being an active part in my community, its that much more to feel good about."
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