By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — The Ken-Ton Chamber of Commerce held an installation and awards cocktail party Wednesday night at the Village Square Events and Catering.
The chamber presented two Green Globe awards for advancing environmentally friendly policies to Kenmore Mercy Hospital and GM Powertrain.
Tonawanda Engine has been recycling its scrap metal and converting waste into energy, and in 2012, the plant saved enough electricity to provide 10,300 homes with electricity for one year.
”The plant is landfill-free, recycling, reusing or converting to energy all waste from daily operations since 2006,” a statement from GM reads.
Last year, the plant recycled enough cardboard to save 8,900 trees and enough scrap metal to make nearly 5,000 automobiles.
The plant has also installed multiple electric-vehicle charging stations in its employee parking lots last year, and has plans to install electric-vehicle solar charging canopies in 2013.
“The two major reasons we picked the GM Tonawanda Engine plant are because it recycles or reuses 95 percent of its production waste, with the remaining converted to energy; combined with other employee contributions. They’ve demonstrated that it’s a plant-wide effort,” executive director of the chamber, Tracey Lukasik, said.
Kenmore Mercy Hospital also received the Green Globe award Wednesday.
The hospital formed a Green Team committee three years ago and since then has begun several recycling and sustainability programs. In 2012, the hospital recycled more than 28 percent of its waste — amounting to 528 tons.
Recent accomplishments include a drug take-back program that properly disposed of 1,538 pounds of unwanted medication and the hospital’s meatless Mondays in the cafeteria.
“We are dedicated to maintaining a link between the health of each individual and the health of the environment,” said Kathy McAlpine, food services manager and chair of the hospital’s Green Team committee.
The hospital also donates coffee grounds and fresh vegetable scraps to a compost facility, sells fryer grease to a local company and has eliminated use of water bottles and styrofoam.
“Kenmore Mercy Hospital is a model to the Kenmore-Tonawanda community of how facilities can develop and implement programs to decrease their carbon footprint,” said Lukasik said.
The service to community award was presented to Mike Ham, of Kenwood Photography. Ham has been in business for 33 years and has dedicated much of his time to community events.
Ham has been on the commerce board of directors for five years and is also on the publications and publicity committee of the Kenmore Village Improvement Society.
”I do the photography for most of their events,” he said. “Like for the Santa Claus event and most other community events...I provide the images to them and they put them on their website and their Facebook accounts.”
Ham also services the community for doing local business head shots that are updating their websites and publications.
The officers and board of the Ken-Ton Chamber of Commerce and Kenmore Merchants Association were also sworn in Wednesday:
Ken-Ton Chamber of Commerce, Executive Board:
• Adele Kelly AAA of WNY – president
• Gary Link, Evans Bank — past president
• Bob Gilmour, John W Danforth — government affairs chairperson
• Ruth Cody, secretary
Ken-Ton Chamber of Commerce, directors:
• Mike Ham, Kenwood Photography
• Rich Schinas, GM Powertrain
• Guy Centola, Rollin Sound
• Mark Tramont, AuNaturel
• Rebecca Poynton, Freelance writer
• David Ivancic, New England Financial
• Sara Baczynski, NOCO Energy
• Darren Gress, Univera Healthcare
• Joe Emminger, Town of Tonawanda Councilman
• Darlene Donohue, The Ken Ton Bee
• Bill Yunke, Liberty Cab
Ken-Ton Merchants Association:
• Robert Bolt, Mikes Subs — president
• Marcia Brogan, Niagara National — vice president
• Jennifer Vitale- Jovi’s Restaurant — secretary
• Nick Sinatra- Sinatra & Co Real Estate
• Cyndee Billoni-Colvin Cleaners, treasurer
• John Dengler- Dengler, Roberts, Perna Funeral Home
• Rudy DiMarco, Key Bank Kenmore
• Tom Giambra - Austins Hair DesignContact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150