Putting Hazardous Waste in its Place

Putting Hazardous Waste in its Place

Tom’s employee Paul Christian uses paid volunteer time to make a difference

Three or so times a year, Paul Christian joins a cast of volunteers in Saco, Maine, to help minimize the environmental impact of the 1.6 million tons of household hazardous waste produced each year in the US.

“Old paint cans, cleansers, bug spray bottles, medicines … The containers, when empty, are seldom really empty,” says Christian.

The word is out for residents of Saco and neighboring towns. Christian vividly recalls the most recent collection event. “A long line of vehicles snaked down the street and around the back of the building.”

“Sometimes people come with one little can and some have a whole truck full.”

Both matter. Because advances in technology have greatly improved the ability to treat or dispose of hazardous waste in a way that prevents it from harming people or the environment. So, every item collected makes a difference.

“In Saco, we’ve also painted messages on the pavement near storm drains. The goal is to make people think before dumping hazardous waste into water that drains right into Saco Bay.”

Christian, who is Accounts Payable Coordinator for Tom’s, says his decision to join the company in 2005 was very much influenced by their commitment to goodness — “the whole idea of caring for people, each other, our consumers, our vendors, our world. Those are things I value, and I know Tom’s does, too.”

Tom’s encourages its employees to use five percent of their paid time volunteering at nonprofit organizations of their choice.