OLATHE, Kan. -- Johnson County recognized seven businesses Thursday as Certified Green Partners for their efforts to reduce waste and conserve resources.
One of the winners has helped keep hundreds of tons of granite out of the landfill.
By having the program, the county hopes to increase recycling and save money.
Go Green Granite takes trimmings from granite countertop installations and turns them into attractive wall tile or pavestones, instead of sending them to the landfill.
The business is being recognized for repurposing what otherwise would be a waste product and turning that into a profitable enterprise.
"People are realizing that our resources are limited," owner Joe Ward said. "We've been, for centuries, digging holes and putting in landfills, wasting the material. Granite is not going to be made. What we take out is not going to be replaced, so we need to reuse everything we can and stop the waste."
Without efforts like this, Ward says 30 to 40 percent of new granite goes to the trash dump. Once we exhaust our supply, it's gone forever.
Johnson County hopes to improve energy efficiency and decrease costs for businesses through the voluntary effort to help make our community more sustainable.