Pacific Gas and Electric Co. recognized for environmental stewardship and waste reduction

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 10, 2003 — Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has received an award from the California Integrated Waste Management Board’s Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP) for its environmentally friendly waste management programs; including an efficient recycling program at the utility’s downtown San Francisco office complex and a program to replace wooden reels with steel reels that has saved about 14,000 trees.

Now in its 11th year, the WRAP awards recognize businesses that develop innovative and aggressive programs to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. Businesses are evaluated on a number of programs, including waste prevention, materials reuse, recycling, recycled-product procurement, and employee education.

“It’s great to see how creative and innovative California businesses can be when it comes to reducing waste,” said Linda Moulton-Patterson, Chair of the Integrated Waste Management Board. “On behalf of the State of California, we are pleased to recognize the outstanding efforts of these organizations to reduce, reuse, recycle, and buy recycled-content products as part of their environmentally preferable business practices.”

“Winning this year’s WRAP award, and being recognized by the State as a leader in waste reduction, is a testament to our on-going commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Bob Harris, PG&E’s vice president of environmental affairs. “Our steel reel program has saved approximately 2.5 million pounds of wood and our downtown office complex recycling program efficiently recycles 70 percent of its entire waste stream.”

PG&E’s steel reel program replaces wooden reels used for transporting electric cable with steel reels. Before transitioning to the steel reel program in 1998, PG&E used approximately 2,000 wooden reels a year. Each wooden reel, constructed primarily of pine, contained about 390 board-feet of wood. These wooden reels cannot be re-used since the weight of the electric cable damages the wood. Since steel reels can be re-used, the company estimates it has saved 2.5 million pounds or 1.5 million board-feet of wood, which is the equivalent of about 14,000 trees.

Through its recycling program, PG&E’s two downtown office buildings recycle approximately 70 percent of their total waste stream. From June 2002 through May 2003, the utility’s downtown offices combined to recycle the following:
High-Grade Paper 81.92 tons
Mixed Paper 106.62 tons
Cardboard 52.54 tons
Bottles and Cans 10.58 tons

For its recycling efforts, PG&E was named the 2002 Commercial Recycler of the Year for large buildings by the Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco and San Francisco’s Department of the Environment.

In addition to benefiting the environment, recycling also saves power. For example:

— The energy saved from recycling one aluminum can will operate a television set for three hours.

— The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle will light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.

— Making paper from recycled paper uses 30 to 50 percent less energy than making paper from trees, results in 74 percent less air pollution and 35 percent less water pollution.

For more information about the California Integrated Waste Management Board please visit its web site at

For more information about Pacific Gas and Electric Company, please visit

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