Wednesday, 7 May, 2008 0:30 AM
2008 Brownfields Conference:
GM & WM Fighting the Good Fight in Michigan's Economy
When thought of the word "cafe", we think of mocha, java,
and Starbucks. However, CAFE is short for Corporate Average Fuel
Economy that regulates gas for the federal government. "It's
not the engine; it depends on the size of the car," said Robin
Richey of General Motors. "The heavier the car, the more gas
it needs; the lighter the car, the less gas it needs."
Richey is one of the representatives for GM for this year's Brownfields
Conference, which began yesterday afternoon at Cobo Center. Employed
with GM for 23 years, Richey has spend the last eight as Senior
Environmental Manager that is responsible for managing all waste
contracts as well as all 56 facilities in the United States -- including
Waste Management (WM), who has them as one of its clients.
"[It's] more of a will call," states Mike Wood of the
Wixom office. "[We go] through a waste profile with GM."
WM deals different types of waste such as "Type 2", also
known as "special waste" like filter cake, waste water,
and process discharge. Other clients of WM include Ford and private
corporations that has waste contamination that must be dealt with.
Their municipals in Michigan have the task of taking out trash in
the neighborhoods from garbage cans, depending on the neighborhood
and the size of it, the estimate is between $6-10 per household.
Addressing brownfields -- abandoned or underutilized properties
stigmatized by past commercial or industrial uses -- is a test for
communities of every shape and form. By focusing on redevelopment,
properties are put back into productive use while helping keep undeveloped
lands in a natural state.
But according to John Bradburn of GM, who participates in community
activities, this is a "social commitment". "These
people are neighbors, employees, friends, and family," he responds.
to help people and communities -- because it is the right thing