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Janette and Cory Eckerts, Local Business Owners, Help Environment

Janette and Cory Eckerts, Local Business Owners, Help Environment

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Bottom lines matter. Janette and Cory Eckert’s bottom line is doing the right things. They are committed to being energy efficient and have environmental consciousness as a core value. The Eckerts ownAlpine Ductless Heating & Air ConditioningIn Tumwater, they have decided that their core values should take the lead. Every employee is required to recycle every scrap. Although recycling is not required in large quantities, Eckerts make it a priority to keep recyclables out of landfills.

Olympia Federal Savings LogoRecycling has been a priority for the Eckerts since the beginning. The Eckerts celebrated 10 Years of their business practices in March 2022. Cory says that they knew they could either recycle, or throw away. Thurston County Solid WasteOffers business assessment services and guidance on businessplace recycling. The Eckerts reached back to Thurston CountyFor further assistance, who introduced them? DartA Tumwater Styrofoam recycling company. In-house recycling fits in with the Eckerts larger, energy efficiency, and conservation theme.

Cory states that the environment is one of our core values. Ductless was an easy choice. A ductless heatpump uses less electricity. Utility companies will offer you a rebate if you use less electricity. This is because it is cheaper to encourage you to conserve electricity than to try to make more. This is especially true if you are considering nuclear power or windmills. Conservation is responsible for 75% of all the new power generated in the last 10 and 40 years. Therefore, if you use less power, you have more power available for new subdivisions.

Alpine Ductless Heating and Air Conditioning co-owners Cory and Janette Eckert headshot
Janette Eckert, Alpine Ductless Heating and Air Conditioning’s co-owners, made recycling a priority right from the beginning. In March 2022, they celebrated ten years of business practices. Photo credit to Katelynn Wyrick

Eckerts environmental concerns over costs are real. Cory was asked if recycling is more expensive than throwing away scraps. He said that he has never calculated the actual costs and that the environmental impact outweighs the cost.

The Alpine workshop and warehouse is committed to reducing waste and conserving energy. Installers remove new heating and cooling units from their Styrofoam blocks. These units are then packed in large cardboard boxes. After unpackaging the new unit, the installer flips it over to make it a garbage bin. Routine allows for efficient and systematic sorting when employees return from work. Installers and repair technicians sort the collected materials from the previous days and arrange large recycling receptacles for this daily task.

Every scrap is placed in the designated bin. Each week, there are two cubic yards each of cardboard and four of Styrofoam. Businesses can recycle metal, and the Eckerts can send several hundred pounds per week to a recycler. Cory says that although we knew we could recycle metals, as we brought it in, we realized how much better we can do, which makes it easier for the metal recycler. They give us more money to keep it clean. Copper, steel and aluminum are all considered dirty metals until they are separated or made clean.

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Recycled motherboards made from mini-duct heating and air conditioning units are possible. Photo credit: Rebecca Sanchez

The entire heating and cooling system, as well as the fan motor and compressor inside, can be scrap metal. Cory explains that we will bring in any heat pump, old furnace, or duct work to tear down. We remove all the steel from the copper, aluminum, and other metals. We try to scrap it all ourselves so that we can get the maximum amount of money for it when we take it to a recycler. Scrap is taken from the piping and conduit between an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. All extra wiring, copper pipes stripped of their insulated covers, brass caps and connectors, as well as the metal housing of an outdoor unit, are recycled. Old motors can be dismantled and the oil from inside compressors drained out. This oil is then taken to the recycling center. Thurston County HazoHouseLacey. Even the blades from hole saws will be collected. The unit motherboards will be removed and sent to a recycle resource.

Recycling only one element is necessary Federal law requires that refrigerant gases be returned in the designated bottles and processed properly. Old refrigerants such as R22, which can damage the ozone layer, were banned. The newer R410A is more eco-friendly. Alpine uses the R32 even newer and was the first to use it in Washington state. Not all items are recyclable. Plastic covers for indoor units, plastic straps around cardboard boxes, and foam coverings around copper pipes do not have a recycling destination.

Recycling is an ideal partner for the equipment Cory and Janettes installs. Both strive to conserve energy. Cory believes that the company has conserved enough electricity to power approximately 1,100-1,300 homes. This is in addition to the 3,500 installations they have made. Alpines mini duct cooling and heating systems and their recycling practices reduce human impact and support reuse of viable material. For more information, please visit the Alpine Ductless Heating & Air Conditioning website.

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