Celebrating America Recycles Day

Every November 15th is America Recycles Day, when communities across the country celebrate the value of recycling and encourage their citizens to take action. Local efforts this year were led by Keep Evansville Beautiful (KEB), Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve (WWNP) and Habitat for Humanity with a focus on educating the region’s young people to ensure that we continue to recycle more in the future than we do today.

The events started a day early as KEB kicked off their 2006-07 educational programs on the 14th with a great event that gathered more than 100 teachers, students, and resource providers at the Coliseum in downtown Evansville. Teachers were able to meet with the leaders from agencies such as the Soil & Water Conservation District, the Mesker Park Zoo, and the Solid Waste Management District to learn what types of programs each agency could offer to classrooms and how they might be able to offer environmental education to their students. Each school received their KEB resource bag with supplies for picking up trash and planting bulbs in addition to educational materials that are valuable to the classroom.
The 15th found Habitat for Humanity sponsoring the CanU Battle event as a contest between the University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana to see who could bring in more aluminum cans. While the weather wasn’t cooperative, it didn’t dampen the spirit of those recycling and raising money that will help fund the House that Aluminum Built as part of Operation Home Again.

As the rain dried up in the afternoon, students from Vanderburgh and Warrick County High Schools gathered to compete in the area’s 1st Annual Recycling Olympics sponsored by KEB, WWNP and Alcoa. Teams participated in four events: Can Crushing; Can Tossing; Can Relay; and Recyclable Sorting. Ultimately the team representing FJ Reitz Science Classes won the first prize of $150 for use in supporting their school programs.

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Alcoa Finds Reuse Option for 1700 Tons of waste

Warrick's environmental department has started off 2007 on the right foot by finding a reuse option for approximately 1700 tons of biological sludge that is generated by a wastewater treatment plant in Warrick's finishing department. The treatment plant removes soaps, oils, greases and water-based coatings from wastewater. This takes the plant one step closer to reaching Alcoa's goal of reducing landfilled waste by 50% from the baseline year 2000.

Warrick Operations will be working with a farmer in Spencer County who has been permitted by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to apply biological sludge as a soil conditioner to his land. Through this method of improving the soil, he has seen a 3-4% increase in crop yield and continues to educate other farmers about the opportunity to use what was formerly a waste product in this beneficial way.

Since 2001, Warrick Operations has either eliminated or found reuse options for approximately 12,000 tons of waste that was previously entering the landfill. Alcoa employees from across the plant are actively involved in seeking ways to reduce our waste from changing the way we do business to working with suppliers to reduce packaging waste. After the initial 50% required reduction that takes effect at the end of 2007, Alcoa has set an ultimate goal of having a 100% elimination of landfilled waste the year 2010.

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Ivy Tech Students Benefit from Alcoa Equipment

Alcoa employees in the ingot plant recently created a positive opportunity for Ivy Tech students as they donated nine pieces of equipment no longer in use, including a drill press, band saw, plasma cutter and power box. The donation ensured that the materials will continue to be put to good use and kept them out of the trash bin.

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Ann Whitty Receives Honorary Degree

Ann Whitty, vice president and general manager, Alcoa Rigid Packaging, received an honorary professional degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla, her alma mater, during UMR's commencement ceremonies held on December 16, 2006. An honorary degree is granted to those who exemplify the ideals of the University through their significant leadership and business achievements.

Ann graduated from UMR in 1979 with a degree in electrical engineering. She later received an MBA degree from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. Ann joined Alcoa in Davenport as an electrical engineer, progressing through a series of engineering management positions including Engineering Manager, before moving to Perth, Australia in 1999 as general manager of Engineering at Alcoa World Alumina. Later, Ann became Wagerup Refinery Manager. In 2003, she returned to the U.S. as director of Manufacturing Texas Operations for Alcoa Mill Products. In 2005, Ann was named vice president and general manager of Alcoa Warrick Operations before assuming her present position in 2006.

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Power Plant Construction Update

Eighteen months ago, Alcoa announced a $400 Million project to install scrubbers on all four operating units at the Warrick Power Plant. The project is creating hundreds of construction jobs in the region and, when completed, will make a tremendously positive impact on our local environment. Recent work has included pouring the concrete for the Unit 4 chimney foundation and the initial assembly of the Unit 2 scrubber module.

In just over 8 hours on December 16, workers poured more than 2000 cubic yards of concrete to complete the foundation for the Unit 4 Chimney. In the photos below, you can see the work progress in the shadow of the already-constructed chimney for Units 1, 2 and 3. The pour required 43 concrete trucks to deliver the material and more than 45 employees to ensure proper curing of the concrete.

Work is also underway to erect the Unit 2 absorber vessel. This is where the actual "scrubbing" of the emissions will occur for Unit 2. It will ultimately be a steel vessel more than 40 feet in diameter and 70 feet tall. Unit 2 will be the first scrubber online when it is activated in the first quarter of 2008.

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Alcoans Give Generously to United Way

Employees from across Warrick Operations have pledged a total of $230,332 to the United Way during this year's campaign. This is a 19% increase over the pledges from the previous year. The generous giving of Alcoans will assist the United Way in providing services across the region bringing agencies and people together to provide a circle of care for those looking to better the lives of themselves and their families.

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