Totem Ocean Trailer Express, a major shipper that serves Alaska, has won recognition from the Washington State Recycling Association, claiming that organization’s 2008 Recycler of the Year Award. Nine other companies, institutions and individuals also received awards.
TOTE was honored in the category of “Recycling Achievement” for implementing a companywide recycling program that includes dock workers, ship crews, and office staff.
A privately owned shipping company serving Alaska’s freight and cargo market since 1975, TOTE operates a fleet of five roll-on/roll-off cargo ships offering twice-weekly service between ports in Tacoma and Anchorage.
In May 2007, TOTE began its recycling initiative by putting comprehensive recycling programs in its two Washington State offices. A month later, the shipper expanded the effort to include its maintenance, stevedoring and longshore operations at the Port of Tacoma.
The company collected wood, cardboard, paper, plastic, steel, tin, and beverage containers, and then expanded the program to include its vessels. During the first year of the program, TOTE reduced its landfill waste by 88 percent and cut its solid waste costs by 60 percent — thousands of dollars every month.
Formed in 1976, Washington’s recycling association represents a diverse recycling community that articulates its mission as providing leadership and education that fosters the expansion, diversity and economic vitality of recycling as part of sustainable resource management.