Timberland Employees Dive into Dumpsters for Earth Week

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Timberland Employees Dive into Dumpsters for Earth Week

Timberland employees, including president Stewart Whitney (third from left), participated in The Dumpster Dive, one in a series of activities to celebrate Timberland’s first annual Earth Week to drive awareness and eco-conscious behavior among employees.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 3:30pm

CONTENT: Multimedia with summary

Yesterday morning eight intrepid Timberland volunteers, including president Stewart Whitney, dove into a dumpster and sorted through the contents to identify key strategies for Timberland to reduce waste at its global headquarters in Stratham, N.H. Wearing polypropylene coveralls, gloves and protective eyewear, the volunteers sorted through 13 trash bags from the dumpster and assigned their contents to piles of recyclable waste, compostable waste, reusable waste and trash bound for the landfill. 

“Of the 13 trash bags we sorted, only three bags worth of trash actually needed to go to the landfill,” said Ben Bowers, Timberland’s environmental stewardship manager, and organizer of the Dumpster Dive and all of Timberland’s Earth Week events. In the sorted trash, the team found four bags worth of compostable items, two bags worth of recyclable plastics (mostly food containers), and four bags worth of recyclable paper waste. There were also a number of reusable items including mugs, a few odd shoes (which can be donated through Soles4Souls), a courier bag with a broken strap (which an employee fixed on-site and is now proud to carry), a table and a merchandising fixture.

“This was an exciting but also disturbing exercise,” said Gail Knowles, online imagery specialist and volunteer dumpster diver. “As I sorted trash into the piles it became painfully clear that when you work with this many people, if each one tosses just one tissue into a trash can each day, it really adds up. All of those napkins and tissues could be composted and become amazing soil. Instead, they’re getting sealed up into plastic bags to sit in a landfill for decades.”   

“The good news is that we could cut our landfill waste by 75% if employees merely sorted their trash and composted compostable items and recycled recyclable items,” said Bowers. “We already have an extensive infrastructure in place to support employee recycling and composting. Now we just need to re-educate employees so they choose the right stream for their waste.”

The Dumpster Dive was one in a series of activities to celebrate Timberland’s first annual Earth Week to drive awareness and eco-conscious behavior among employees. Timberland has already made good progress in its diversion efforts, and in 2014 diverted 65% of its waste from landfill. The Dumpster Dive serves as an important reminder for employees as the company works toward diverting 95% of its waste by 2020.

Other activities in the Earth Week line-up of events include:

  • A “Turn In Your Trash Can” campaign to see if employees can live without their trash cans for a week (or permanently). Employees are encouraged to think twice before tossing something in the trash and to recycle or compost all they can. Any waste destined for a landfill can be discarded at centralized trash receptacles. 
  • $25 bike tune-ups to promote cycling vs. driving to work or around town.
  • A lunch and learn event with Timberland’s composting partner, Mr. Fox, so employees can learn about what happens to their food scraps from work and how they can make amazing compost at home.
  • Timberland’s Annual Greener Living Fair at which local vendors promote their products and services that help employees live greener lives. Timberland’s six Earth Day service partner organizations will also be at the fair helping employees choose how they want to serve at Timberland’s 18th annual Earth Day service event on May 12.
  • An Earth Day patio party including fun, games and prizes with a special menu prepared just for the event.  


Keywords: Environment & Climate Change | Earth Week | Recycling | Timberland | earth day

CONTENT: Multimedia with summary