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NTA Convention Breaks Record at World’s Greenest Convention Center

December 16, 2008

The 2008 NTA Annual Convention, held Nov. 15-19 in Pittsburgh, set a record for the amount of materials that were recycled from a single show at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The center is the first and largest certified green convention center in the world.


Officials at the convention center reported that everyone who attended the NTA Convention helped to recycle 9.435 tons of material. The figure includes nearly 3.465 tons of composted materials, 3 tons of cardboard and 2.97 tons of bottles, cans and loose paper. Additionally, 123,500 gallons of water was reclaimed. In addition to being the highest amount recycled from one event, the total represents 49 percent of all the recycling for the convention center.


"These numbers reflect a true partnership" says Mark J. Leahy, general manager of the convention center. "It is amazing what can be achieved when an association and a facility work so closely together to lessen the impact on the environment."


The 2008 Annual Convention was NTA’s first green convention, as part of the association’s ongoing efforts to support sustainability. In 2007, NTA adopted a new strategic plan, in which the NTA Board of Directors officially recognized sustainable travel as part of its core values. That commitment was applied to NTA’s largest annual event, the NTA Annual Convention, through a wide range of initiatives including an altered transportation schedule and the use of recyclable materials.


"Delegates of the 2008 NTA Convention should be commended for their tremendous efforts," said NTA Chairman and CEO Michele Michalewicz, CTP. "The conscious effort to be more environmentally responsible made a huge impact, as evident in these astounding numbers. We learned a lot from this first effort and look forward to applying those lessons to future NTA events."


As this was NTA’s first green Convention, the association wanted to confirm that these record numbers were not just a reflection of the amount of trash generated by the Convention. However, convention center officials said that was not the case and instead attributed the record total to two factors. First, attendees were very conscious to place recyclable items in the bins around the center. And second, the composting total was much higher than other shows because NTA has more food events and larger ones than other shows.

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