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Shawnee Correctional Center Sustainability 



The Shawnee Correctional Center’s Sustainability Efforts began with the recycling program in December 2011, with the purpose of reducing waste costs.  The goal of the Shawnee Correctional Center recycling program is to effectively collect, process, store, and return to industry waste materials produced in the daily operations of the facility. This will be done in the safest, most efficient manner possible while constantly striving to improve the effectiveness of the program.  It has quickly grown into a successful, goal orientated program with huge potential. 

At this time, the Shawnee Correctional Center’s Recycling Program consists of the following:

Cardboard Recycling - we no longer allow cardboard to be placed in the trash.  It all goes to Industries where it is baled and stored until picked up by the Recycling Vendor.  We average one bale of cardboard per day, at approximately 1000 per bale – a significant reduction in waste going to the landfill!

Paper waste container used for collecting paper to be recycled
Paper Recycling – we just began collecting and recycling paper and it is turning out to be extremely successful as well.  We purchased some small desk-side recycling receptacles in order to make it easier for staff to keep their paper waste separate from their “trash”.  We accept either shredded or unshredded paper for baling, however anything “cross-shredded” is bagged and sold as bulk.

Metal Cans – we are in the process of beginning our collection and recycling of metal cans from the dietary unit.  Our intention is to bale these cans.   

Plastics – we placed blue “Plastics” barrels throughout the entire facility for staff and offenders to place plastic containers in.  This effort has resulted in removing a considerable amount of plastic material from the Compactor, thus reducing the amount of plastic going to the landfill.  During Earth Week, we conducted a

Plastic Recycling Barrel used for collecting recyclable plastics
contest between the wings of general population offenders, resulting in educating the offenders on plastic recycling, as well as adding a little competitiveness.  The winning wing collected almost 1000 plastic soda bottles by the end of the week.

Wooden Pallets – all wooden pallets are being used or collected for recycling. 

Electronics/ink and toner cartridges – in accordance with the recent legislation, all electronic items are being collected and recycled.  Also, all ink/toner cartridges are being collected and recycled.

We have recently partnered with the Vienna Correctional Center in an effort to assist them reduce waste and subsequently reduce waste removal costs.

Our future plans are to move our Recycling Center outside the fence, which will open up our program to also include community involvement, as well as provide recycling services for our employees.  Our future hope is to be able to grow into a program that includes a recycling center that can work with local municipalities that can benefit from our service, while at the same time reduce the amount of waste material going into the landfills. 


The Shawnee Correctional Center has also initiated a garden project at the main facility.  So far, we have planted tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers – but it’s our first year and we plan to expand as we can.   

The Shawnee Correctional Center satellite facility, the Hardin County Work Camp, has been growing fruit and vegetables for several years.  In past years, the HCWC’s garden has generated an enormous supply of fresh produce for the kitchen at HCWC and Shawnee, as well as fresh produce for the local senior citizen’s in Hardin County.

In 2011, the Hardin County Work Camp’s garden produced the following: 30 bushels zucchini, 68 gallons green beans, 820 water melons, 861 cantaloupes, 150 pounds of potatoes, 227 pumpkins, 28 bushels broccoli, 198 heads cabbage, 376 gallons tomatoes, 314 gallons bell peppers, 75 gallons cauliflower, 58 gallons hot peppers, 4836 ears sweet corn, 5 bushels onions, and 370 gallons cucumbers

                                       Photos of Hardin County Work Camp's Garden in 2011

Job Training

Earned Good Conduct Credits - Through our recycling efforts at Shawnee CC, we are in the process of hiring offenders that are good time eligible.  They will sign 90 day contracts (earning 45 days per contract) while at the same time learning about recycling, skills they can take with them when they return home to their communities.

Additional Sustainability Initiatives

Digital Bulletin Board – Shawnee recently launched a Digital Bulletin Board in an effort to conserve the amount of printed material that is disseminated via paper memos – the Digital Bulletin Board is updated daily with announcements, policy and procedure changes, security bulletins, upcoming important dates, and other important information.  The Digital Bulletin Board is located on the wall in our Roll Call Room, next to our Employee Commissary, where all staff can easily view it.

Online Cycle Training
– Shawnee is currently putting together an online method of conducting the AD/ID module for annual in-service training; this will reduce the facility's costs associated with paper usage, overtime, fuel, staff travel, and vehicle maintenance.  This is a pilot program with a lot of potential. 

Composting – we are currently researching the addition of composting to our sustainability efforts.  We intend to implement this by the end of 2012.