Putnamville facility reportedly leading the way in sustainability

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

PUTNAMVILLE -- Greenprison.org, a division of Correctional Security Network, hosted a Corrections National Sustainability Symposium in Indianapolis, where the Putnamville Correctional Facility was cited as the Indiana prison leading the way in sustainability.

"Sustainability makes sense for Indiana," IDOC Commissioner Bruce Lemmon said. "Gov. Daniels has charged the department to measure effectiveness and efficiencies, and sustainability has given us a great starting point. Implementing programs that make better use of our resources has played a significant role in reducing our budget."

Concluding the symposium, Commissioner Lemmon and more than 70 symposium attendees and correctional executive staff attendees toured the Putnamville Correctional Facility where staff showcased facility achievements in sustainability.

Guests had the opportunity to view firsthand how each process worked and how partnering with outside agencies, such as Johnson Controls, has enhanced sustainability efforts.

Tour highlights included the offender housing units recycling program, the Shifting Gears program (a facility-based bicycle recycling program partnered with Bicycle Garage of Indy), the facility's biomass-boiler system that uses wood chips as fuel to heat the facility and the facility's water supply, the compost and recycling areas that have saved the facility thousands of dollars each year due to decreased waste hauling fees and by selling recycled materials, i.e., plastic, paper, copper, etc. to companies, and the wind turbine that generates enough energy to power the facility's Training Department.

"It's an honor to be recognized as one of the leaders in corrections sustainability. Our achievements are attributed to the commitment and support of the Department and the dedication of staff and offenders who work daily to reduce consumption and conserve resources. We will continue to work toward environmental conservation and a sustainable future," Putnamville Supt. Stanley Knight said.

Putnamville is one of four Indiana prisons (Pendleton Correctional Facility, Westville Correctional Facility, Indiana State Prison) that use Bio-Mass boilers.

The boiler has already saved PCF more than $1 million per year. Other facility sustainable initiatives include a conservation water system that has saved 300,000 gallons of water per year, energy-saving lighting and a wildflower program that grows flowers for the Department of Transportation to plant along Indiana roadways for beautification and to deter erosion.

In 2010, the Putnamville Correctional Facility received the Organization of the Year award from the Hoosier Environmental Council for green initiatives.

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