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How TDEC is Leading by Example

Green Cube (3)

TDEC has eight Environmental Field Offices (EFOs) throughout the state, and each oversees a particular region of the state. At each EFO, OPSP has implemented a three-pronged Sustainable Workplace program to promote sustainable practices.

First, OPSP created informational signage that addresses environmental issues of concern determined by surveying staff. Because most EFO buildings are leased by a private entity, the only control over energy consumption, water use, and food waste are in individual practices by TDEC employees. Therefore, signage topics were designed to show employees what they can do to address these issues on a personal level in which they could apply at home and in the workplace. The signage created discusses the benefits of water conservation, reducing energy consumption, and reducing food waste.

Second, OPSP worked with EFO management to implement and improve upon previous education and outreach activities in local communities. EFOs participate in a yearly stream clean up event within their community, and OPSP will begin measuring and tracking the amount of materials that are recovered from the streams. Each November, OPSP partners with the field offices to host a clothing drive to collect gently used clothing and toiletries for Operation Stand Down of Tennessee. All items are collected, measured, and donated by OPSP to benefit the veterans of Tennessee. The new donation activity will begin summer of 2019 in which EFOs can donate unwanted, lightly used office supplies to OPSP. OPSP will record all items collected from each EFO and coordinate the donation to local schools and/or non-profits.

The final part of this program was the installation of “Green Cubes” at each EFO. OPSP created a Green Cube kit to use as a reference and provided the materials and training to the EFO staff necessary to operate the Green Cube.  The Green Cube consists of five labeled containers to collect, recycle, and/or repurpose items that are traditionally difficult to recycle: electronics, batteries, ink toner, office supplies, and items that are unwanted but still have a useful purpose. In addition to the containers, a separate area was designated as a book exchange for employees to share and trade reading material. After installing the containers and signage, OPSP provided the EFO with a Standard Operating Procedure document for Green Cube maintenance and guidelines to improve Green Cube utilization by EFO staff.

Support Local

TDEC chooses to support local non-profits, businesses, and organizations when searching for outside vendors and uses for their miscellaneous recyclables. A list of local organizations supported through TDEC’s Green Cube collections is listed below.

Organization Items Donated
Operation Stand Down of TN Clothing, Toiletries
McKays Used Book Stores Books, CDs, Plastic Bags
Turnip Green Creative Reuse Office Supplies, Miscellaneous Items
Wands for Wildlife Clean Mascara Wands
Tri-Star Recycling CDs, Ink Cartridges, Small Electronics

Items Accepted

Below are some of the items collected in our Green Cubes across the state. We also accept miscellaneous items in our “free section” of the Green Cube to try to find a home for items that are no longer wanted but still have a useful purpose. Items such as picture frames, notebooks, thermoses, phone cases, craft supplies, and gift boxes are all great examples of items that could easily be re-homed.

State Facility Utility Management

TDEC’s Office of Energy Programs administers the State Facility Utility Management (SFUM) program, which seeks to support state agencies in optimizing utility savings. SFUM is currently focused on implementation of a utility data management platform designed to centralize utility consumption and cost data for all State-owned and managed facilities and execution of a number of state energy efficiency projects.

This Page Last Updated: September 26, 2019 at 11:00 AM