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Happy Earth Day, GOFER!

April 20, 2016   By Jessica Yourko in Environmental Stewardship
This Friday, for the 46 th time, we will once again celebrate a movement that was conceived to generate passion and motivate people to action.  On April 22, we will celebrate Earth Day.

Earth Day began in 1970 as a way to bring an increased awareness to the importance of environmental protection.  Twenty million Americans took to the streets, coast to coast, to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in more than 193 countries.

In 1990, to commemorate the 20 th anniversary of Earth Day, Santee Cooper began the Give Oil For Energy Recovery (GOFER) pilot program.  Within two days, nearly 700 hundred gallons of used motor oil were collected in Horry and Berkeley counties. Sadly, prior to this effort and through the decades, hundreds of thousands if not millions of gallons of used motor oil was soaked up into the soil, wetlands, and waterways in South Carolina because of the lack of easily... Continue Reading >>

Striving for Zero Waste

March 02, 2016   By Susan Mungo in Environmental Stewardship

Santee Cooper fly ash was used in the construction of the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston. (Photo by Jim Huff/Santee Cooper)

I love to watch DIY shows that repurpose old, broken, or otherwise unusable items into something that looks so cool everybody wants one. The experts always amaze me with their creativity. They make me believe that turning some old, discarded item into a work of art, or at least into something useful, takes just a little effort and some imagination. They don't waste or throw away anything, not even an old wooden pallet.

At Santee Cooper, we try to put some of those same principles and practices to work. Our goal is to be a zero-waste business, and we practice single-stream recycling at all of our facilities to help us get there. Single-stream recycling is a system where all recyclables (i.e. newspaper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum, junk mail, etc.) are placed in a single bin or cart for recycling.

We also have two recycling facilities where used utility poles, wire, scrap metal, insulators, light fixtures and other materials are examined, refurbished... Continue Reading >>

Of Birds, Interns, GOFERs and Landfills: the Fall 2015 issue of PowerSource magazine

November 11, 2015   By Kevin F. Langston in Environmental Stewardship

Photo by Jim Huff

The fall PowerSource has become our environmentally themed issue where shine a light on the people and programs helping to advance our ambition to be good stewards of the environment.

One of the bedrocks of our environmental outreach has been the Environmental Intern Program , which celebrated its 25th anniversary this summer. More than 250 South Carolina undergraduates have participated in this unique summer internship, which exposes them to the challenges and opportunities that come with providing affordable, reliable, and environmentally responsible power across South Carolina.

Also celebrating 25 years is Santee Cooper's Give Oil for Energy Recovery (or GOFER) program. In that time, GOFER has collected 30 million gallons of used oil and safely converted it to enough Santee Cooper electricity to power every average-sized home in South Carolina for 10 days.

Santee Cooper recently celebrated yet another environmental milestone when... Continue Reading >>

Don't dump it, GOFER it!

August 05, 2015   By Susan Mungo in Environmental Stewardship
On July 30, Santee Cooper's GOFER program turned 25. When you think of a gopher you may picture the cute one from Winnie the Pooh or the dancing rascal in "Caddyshack."  At Santee Cooper, our GOFER is cute and can occasionally be seen in parades or at local festivals. But the most impressive thing about our GOFER is what it has represented and accomplished in its 25 years of existence.

GOFER , which stands for Give Oil For Energy Recovery, is Santee Cooper's used oil collection and recovery program and South Carolina's largest used-oil collection program for do-it-yourselfers. So this GOFER is not only good looking and talented, this GOFER is also innovative and resourceful.

GOFER collects and then utilizes that used oil as an energy source, taking this waste product and using it to make electricity. The majority of the oil collected is used as supplemental fuel at Winyah Generating Station.

Our GOFER fleet consists of four... Continue Reading >>

End the Holidays on a Green Note

January 05, 2015   By Kevin F. Langston in Environmental Stewardship
Driving home last week after a brief vacation, I was bummed by the half-dozen or so Christmas trees I saw discarded along the roads and highways. It was obvious their owners had no interest in disposing of them properly and decided to let it become someone else's problem.

According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service , 33 million real Christmas trees are purchased annually in the U.S. (versus 9.5 million artificial trees). Imagine the scrap heap of spruces, pines, and firs we'd have if we all were so careless with our Christmas tree.

Santee Cooper says we can do better, which is why we've partnered with Horry County Solid Waste Authority for the Grinding of the Greens. We're asking Horry County residents to take an extra step and end the holidays on a green note.

Simply remove all lights and decorations and place your tree on the curb or bring your tree to one of the designated collection sites. The trees then will be... Continue Reading >>