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Girl Scouts Hayden 15 copyGeorge J. Hayden Electric and Communications is helping two members of a Hazleton Girl Scout Junior troop turn waste materials into bronze.

Girl Scout Juniors Jade Cahalane and Claudette Orona of Girl Scout Junior Troop 30358 of Hazleton researched and developed a new company recycling program for Hayden Electric’s office in Hazleton. The Girl Scout Juniors selected this as their Bronze Award project. The Bronze Award is the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can receive for implementing a sustainable project that benefits her community.

Hayden Electric President George F. Hayden said, “We’re really excited to have these girls spearhead this new recycling program at our offices to go with the recycling we have been doing for more than a decade with materials used in the field. As a company with decades of award-winning experience with safety and other projects, we’re excited to help them achieve their Bronze Award.”

In 2010, Hayden Electric was awarded the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce Green Business of the Year Award. Hayden recycles all metals, including scrap copper and scrap aluminum, lamps, ballasts and many other items from all of its job sites, Hayden said. The company installed solar panels on the office roof several years ago that produce a third of the building’s energy supply. The offices and warehouse are also completely outfitted with fluorescent and LED lights and motion-sensored lights to conserve energy. Bill Englehardt, Service Department Manager, gave the Girl Scouts a tour of the warehouse to show them how the lamps and ballasts were recycled.

The two Girl Scouts made a presentation before the company’s management team about the benefits of recycling. Bins will be placed throughout the Hayden Electric office to collect plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper, newspaper and cardboard. Recycling bins in the company’s copy rooms alone will help save 1,300 pounds of paper per year from ending up in landfills. Soda tab containers were also placed near the recycling bins. The tabs will be donated to Ronald McDonald House in Danville to help pay for expenses at the facility, which is a home away from home for families of children who are hospitalized in the area.

During the presentation, Cahalane and Orona shared information on what items can be made from recycled waste material, why people should recycle and how long items take to decompose. The girls stated that aluminum cans can be recycled into soda cans, pie plates, license plates and aluminum foil, while glass can be turned into jars, bottles, jewelry, dishes, glasses and mugs.

The benefits of recycling include protecting the environment, saving trees and conserving energy. Among the many facts they shared, Cahalane and Orona stated that recycling one glass jar saves enough electricity to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours and recycling one ton of paper saves 7,000 gallons of water and enough energy to heat a home for six months. The girls said it takes hundreds of years, and in some cases a million years, for cans, plastic bottles, styrofoam and glass to decompose.

As part of its newest recycling initiative, Hayden Electric will eliminate the use of all styrofoam products in its office and supply biodegradeable drinking containers and ceramic mugs for its employees and visitors, Hayden said.

The Girl Scout Juniors will complete the recycling program under the guidance of troop leader Chris Michel, accounting manager at Hayden Electric. During the presentation, Michel praised the Hayden Electric staff for helping the girls work toward their Bronze Award.

“The girls have been working very hard for the last few months on this project,” Michel said. “I’d like to thank everyone at Hayden Electric for being willing to work on this project with them.”

In addition to its Green Business of the Year Award, Hayden Electric was twice named one of the Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania in the medium-sized company division and has received more than 20 project Awards of Excellence from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and more than 10 ABC STEP Safety Awards.