Greif and its subsidiary, Soterra, were awarded an Environmental Stewardship Award by the Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP) on April 4 in Mobile, Alabama. Greif and Soterra coordinated the donation and delivery of 200 new 55 gallon plastic drums that will be used as rain barrels in the Mobile area. Greif and Soterra are also helping to outfit and install the drums as rain barrels at homes and businesses in Mobile.
In partnership with Greif, the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP), and Alabama Power, Soterra is working to minimize the negative impact that comes with heavy rainfall that often occurs in the Mobile area through the rain barrel initiative. Excessive storm water runoff can lead to water pollution which can have serious adverse effects on human health and the environment.
“This project helps spread PEP’s message regarding environmental responsibility to the community,” said Andy Callahan, manager of sales and service at Soterra. “People who previously were not talking about water conservation or environmental protection are now discussing the benefits of rain water collection. This initiative also supports Greif’s commitment to caring for our environment and the communities in which we operate through sustainability.”
Each barrel will be outfitted with a rain barrel conversion kit to help capture, store and put the rainwater to good use. The rainwater collected in these barrels can be used for irrigation purposes, helping local growers, homeowners, and businesses minimize costs and water usage by approximately 260,000 gallons* annually.
Soterra employees, along with the volunteers from Alabama Power and MBNEP, outfitted and installed six barrels at three homes at the end of January 2019. The plan is to install the remaining barrels in Toulmins Spring Branch Watershed in 2019, bringing the total to 100 homes.
*A rain barrel will save about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Greif donated the drums in bulk and do not sell small quantities of its rigid products.
Photo (L-R): Reid Harvey (Greif Recycling), David Johns (Soterra), Andy Callahan (Soterra), Barry Miller (Greif Recycling), Charmayne Watson (Greif Recycling)