Last Saturday Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading nonprofit helping to sustain environmentally vibrant communities, recognized 2014’s “America Recycles Day,” which takes place annually on Nov. 15 throughout the country.

In its 17th year, America Recycles Day educates people and communities about the importance of recycling throughout their local area. The goal is to use environmentally conscientious efforts to help proselytize a few of the occasional recyclers into nature-friendly, everyday activists.

Spearheading many of these efforts on the local front is Trey Bennett, local franchise owner for the past six years of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Bennett has recently received a healthy dose of media attention because of the uniqueness of his business model.

With two trucks serving mainly Mobile, plans are in the works to purchase a third distinctly emblazoned blue, green and white rig to better serve the Eastern Shore. It doesn’t hurt that the company has seen a 61 percent growth in revenue since the beginning of the year.

“America Recycles Day was created to raise awareness nationally and regionally about keeping hazardous materials out of local landfills,” Bennett said. “Our company takes material that is not yet at the end of its useful life to charities in the area that can be reused in the community. Other items are taken to EPA certified centers to be recycled instead of simply being dumped in a landfill. TVs, for example, are dismantled where all of the lead and mercury is separated and disposed of properly. Paper, plastics, metal and electronics are all recycled if possible,” he said.

According to Bennett, the waste disposal industry has suffered negative PR over the decades due largely to turning a blind eye to environmentalism — careless dumping practices being one of the bigger criticisms. As a local example, mercury from old cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions traditionally left in area landfills has the potential to eventually filter into the Dog River watershed to be consumed by local wildlife.

An eco-friendly buzzword that’s in heavy use today is “waste diversion” as recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is defined as the prevention and reduction of generated waste through source reduction, recycling, reuse or composting.

Waste diversion generates a host of environmental, financial and social benefits including the conservation of energy to reduce disposal costs and the burden on landfills. In 2009, the EPA set a new nationwide solid waste diversion rate for all federal agencies of 50 percent by 2015.

According to Bennett, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? has an established waste diversion rate of 60 percent, meaning that more than half of the items picked up from estate jobs, commercial properties and individual residences for eventual disposal will never see a landfill.

“I’m a lifelong Mobilian and love living here. What we do saves people a lot of trouble but it also helps preserve the local environment. As an avid outdoor sportsman, I’m protective of our unique ecosystem on the Gulf Coast. Preserving our way of life means a lot to me,” he said.

Commercial Real Estate Moves

ArcPro, Inc. recently purchased two commercial lots on Hamilton Boulevard in Theodore. Bob Cooper of BHHS Cooper and Co., Inc. Commercial Division represented the buyer and Edmund Zoghby of Roberts Brothers, Inc. worked for the seller.

The well-known 4,800-square-foot Grand Buffet restaurant in Daphne at the Jubilee Square Shopping Center was recently put up for sale for $99,000. The eatery is fully equipped and had been in continuous operation for over 10 years according to Harry Johnson of Baldwin Rental Properties.

Two acres of property located at the intersection of State Highway 158 and Shelton Beach Road were purchased for $690,000 by an out-of-town developer. Plans for the site are to construct a new Fairfield Inn & Suites Hotel in the area according to John Peebles of NAI Mobile, who represented the seller. Tim Herrington of Herrington Realty worked for the buyer.

Per court records, speculators out of Florida acquired The Homewood Suites by Hilton located at 530 Providence Park E. for $7.4 million. Surety Land Title managed the transaction. The hotel has more than 80 units and features both single and double bedroom suites.

HBA installs 2015 officers

The Home Builders Association of Metro Mobile (HBAMM), a trade association of approximately 620 company members related to the building industry and an advocate for Mobile’s housing and building industry in the Mobile and Baldwin county areas, recently installed new officers for 2015.

Paul Hildesheim, HBAMM president, is a graduate of Southwest State Technical College. He and his wife, Mellanie, own Gallery Homes.

Cullen Jacobs opened RCJ Construction in 2001 and attended the University of South Alabama. Jacobs will serve on the HBAMM Board of Directors as first vice president.

Larry Giardina with Surety Land Title is an emeritus member of the HBAMM Board of Directors, having served for more than 20 years. This year, Giardina is the treasurer for the association.

Robbie Mullen is a graduate from the University of Alabama and founded Robert Mullen Builders, Inc. in Mobile. He will serve HBAMM as second vice president and as Parade of Homes chairman.

Jim Ivy is the owner of Infinity Homes and attended the University of South Alabama. Ivy will serve as the secretary of the association.

Take 5 opening second store in Mobile

Take 5 Oil Change is hosting the grand opening of its second location in Mobile on Friday, Nov. 21 from 1-5 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21. Refreshments and prizes will be offered both days.

According to a press release, the new store at 3949 Airport Blvd. will implement the company’s first four-bay oil change facility. “Having a four-bay location makes certain that the people of Mobile will experience a high quality oil change in a short amount of time,” Pete Frey, president of Take 5 Oil Change said.

The company is also celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014 with their first shop established in Metairie, Louisiana. Currently it operates in 35 locations covering south Louisiana, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, North and South Carolina and coastal Alabama.