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Regional Sustainability Forum With Shelby County Corrections

Sustainability Forum Exhibitors pictured with Director James Coleman,

Shelby County Corrections (front row 3rd from left) and Tommy Norris

President of (far right)

On January 15 GreenPrisons along with the Memphis City Jail hosted the first regional Sustainability Forum. This unique event drew correctional practitioners from around the region as well as participants from other agencies of local and state government to hear from a variety of companies with a history of working with correctional agencies.

With the focus on sustainable presenters focused on brief presentations and one on one conversations on such topics as composting, solar thermal water heating, ozone laundriry processing, heat and energy conservation, financing through the use of energy service companies (ESCO’s), and The event was held on the grounds of the Shelby County Law Enforcement Training Academy and was kicked off By Shelby CountyMayor Mark Luttral ( a retired Federal Bureau of Prisons Warden) and James Coleman Director of Corrections.

The event was well attended by local media including two local television outlets and two newspapers.

Director Coleman, determined to build on his existing sustainability initiatives, spearheaded by Facilities Manager Bailey Waits, saw the Forum as an opportunity to explore new cost saving technologies as he addresses the needs of the physical plant. “We’re trying to get a bigger bang for the taxpayers and then be environmentally effective,” Coleman told a reporter for the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Executives of Solar America Solutions one of the sponsors of the Forum had the opportunity to talk about the value of solar thermal hot water with representatives of Johnson Controls. Solar America has the largest solar thermal operation in the country now under construction in Ohio at the Ross Correctional Institution.

Eskill Erickson of the Big Hanna composter explains the technology of “in-vessel” composting to Paul Young, Sustainability Manager for the city of Memphis and Shelby County Tennessee. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction was the first to install this technology widely used in Europe to eliminate all food waste from the waste stream. Ralph Daniels of Ozone Laundry Systems provided a brief overview of their detergent free, water saving ozone laundry technology to participants. The system is in over 150 federal, state and local correctional institutions.