TOPEKA-- Workers at the Department of Social and
Rehabilitation Services Records Center have turned thousands of outdated or
unneeded documents into a profit for the agency and in doing so earned the 2011
“Kansas Green Team Continuous Improvement Award” from the Kansas Department of
Health and Environment.
In 2010, the Records Center
brought in $5,269 by shredding old papers and sending them to be recycled.
During the first eight months of 2011, they recycled $5,735 worth of shredded
paper. That is quite a difference from when the Records Center had to pay an
outside state contractor $1,000 to haul away 400 boxes of old documents in
Credit for the remarkable
turnaround goes to an industrial Allegheny brand shredder that can destroy up to
100 papers at one time. Previously, the records center used an older shredder
that only consumed three papers at a time, which led to a huge backlog of
documents scheduled for destruction.
Records technician Jerry Meredith
saw the need for a more efficient system, and compiled a spreadsheet
demonstrating how the purchase of a faster and stronger shredder could benefit
the agency. The new machine arrived in April 2010 at a cost of $18,000, and has
earned about $14,000 so far. Meredith estimates it will pay for itself by the
middle of 2012.
“We can keep up with the destroy
cycle now,” Meredith said. “It’s much more economical to do the shredding
The shredding crew now destroys
about five mail carts of loose shredding per week plus numerous loads of boxes
of old records files and takes them by the truckload to the recycling center,
which buys the recyclable paper at the going rate. So far this year, the Records
Center has recycled 54 tons of shredded documents.
“This type of ingenuity makes me
so proud of our workers. They saw a problem and used creativity to solve it in a
way that’s good for the environment and good for the agency,” said SRS Secretary
Rob Siedlecki. “Congratulations to the Records Center on their Green Team
The Records Center also recycles
cardboard. In addition, they recirculate rubber bands, binder clips and other
office supplies back into the agency.
The Kansas Green Team Continuous
Improvement Award was awarded jointly to: Jerry Meredith, Sandy Powell, Rick
Kesselring, Lalo Ramirez, and Chuck Lake.
The KDHE announced the Records
Center won the award last Friday. The Green Team awards are designed to
recognize those who make a difference by incorporating environmentally
responsible practice into daily routines at work and at school.
The SRS Records Center is located
at 406 SE Jefferson.