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Pontiac Correctional Center Sustainability 

 
Pontiac Correctional Center's sustainability efforts are robust and stem from its diverse recycling program. The facility recycles traditional materials such as paper and metal but also such items as wooden pallets and vegetable oil.

Baled cardboard and pallets ready to be picked up and recycled
All steel cans from kitchens are crushed and bailed by the institution’s recycling program. All cardboard from packaging and general deliveries is collected and bailed. Whole and shredded sheets of used paper, paper envelopes and all plain paper are also bailed by the institutions recycling program. All plastic containers such as soda bottles, soap bottles, eating utensils, bleach bottles, and other like bottles are collected and recycled. These bails of recyclable commodities are sold to recycling centers and profits from this program are returned to the general revenue fund (GRF).

The facility has a small fleet of vehicles which causes an accumulation of items to be appropriately disposed of, or recycled, through the vehicle’s lifecycle. All used motor oil is collected and sent to a local garage to be used as heating oil. All automotive type batteries are retained and sent to the local recycling center and all tires from the automotive shop are sent to the State Garage to be recycled.

Some of the more unique items Pontiac has found recycling solutions for are florescent bulbs, pallets and vegetable oil. All spent florescent light bulbs are collected to be recycled and all florescent fixtures that burn out are replaced with T-8 fixture energy saving lighting. Wooden Pallets are returned to shippers as they are requested. All extra and broken pallets are picked up and recycled by outside vendors at no expense to the institution. All vegetable oil used in food service kitchens is collected in tanks and sent to Menard Illinois Correctional Industries for recycling into bio-fuel motor fuel which is used in Correctional Industries delivery trucks.

One of the gardens and a water wagon used to transport the rain water in the rain barrels
Pontiac Correctional Center Print Shop has a print on demand policy for documents and logs that are subject to change at any given time. Pontiac Correctional Center has a print policy for documents to be double sided in order to reduce the amount of paper being used for any document. Inter- Departmental Envelopes are reused within the departments and printed as to address the envelope multiple times before recycling.

Energy and water savings has been an effort Pontiac is addressing in several ways. All incandescent light bulbs are converted to compact florescent bulbs when a replacement is needed. All florescent bulbs are converted to T-8 energy saving florescent bulbs when the fixture is replaced.The vending machines with compressors scattered throughout the institution use $20.00 worth of electricity in a 30 day period. We have reduced the amount of machines by 50% thus reducing the energy usage for vending by 50%.

Pontiac has begun harvesting rain water in barrels to use in the gardens. The Maintenance Department has created water wagons to transport the water to the needed areas. Additionally automatic flush valves have been placed in some areas in order to reduce the water usage.
One of the 25 trees donated from the Pontiac Correctional Center employees, which were planted along the bike trail

The facility has created approximately 3 acres of gardens in areas inside the wall and at the Medium Security Unit. The plants are started in the facility greenhouses and then are transfered out to the gardens. As the vegetables have been harvested they are served during meals. In addition to the sustainable gardening practice of using rain barrels to water plants, the facility has begun composting all vegetable based food scraps and the by products of the food prep areas. There is a compost bin for dry food and landscape waste, as well as a trench composting program where the facility burys wet food waste in rows along side of current vegetable rows, so that next year the vegetables can be planted over the composting rows.

As a part of the Illinois Green Government Initiative Pontiac Correctional Center planted 25 oak trees on June 8, 2012, which were donated by employees. These trees were planted next to the community bicycle path and walkway that is adjacent to the institution’s east lawn.