CLEVELAND, OH — SMG, the convention center and facility management firm hired by the Cuyahoga County Convention Facilities Development Corporation to manage operations for the Global Center for Health Innovation and the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland, recently completed its annual RRR (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) report for the LEED Gold-certified facility. According to the report, the facility recycled more than 55.6 percent of trash during the past year. Levy Restaurants, the facility’s exclusive food and beverage provider, donated more than 12,500 meals from leftover food to the Cleveland Food Bank. This food donation program allows SMG and the Cleveland Food Bank to turn leftovers and surplus food into thousands of nutritious meals for those in need through the Ed Keating Center. SMG also donated more than a thousand leftover pens and notepads to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District following the 2016 Republican National Convention.
In 2016, the Huntington Convention Center hosted 237 events accounting for 441,000 visitors. The events consisted of conventions, tradeshows, banquets, meetings, special events, public shows and sporting events. The building was busy throughout the year, including 61 consecutive occupied days following the Republican National Convention. In addition, the Global Center hosted 290 meetings, nearly all of which were healthcare-related events, mostly private and held in the tenant partner suites. These events generated 685,689 total pounds of trash (342.84 tons) with the aggressive RRR program recycling 381,009 pounds of trash (190.50 tons).
Situated on the property is a working farm to help produce food in-house for catering purposes. Operated by the Levy and SMG team, the farm is home to between 500-800 thousand honey bees in 13 hives generating more than 2,000 pounds of honey annually, 29 chickens that provide about two dozen eggs daily accounting for a quarter of the facility’s total annual shelled egg use, a variety of raised beds that feature seasonal greens, herbs, and vegetables, and three Mangalista heritage breed pigs.
During the RNC, SMG and Levy arranged with a local farmer to rent a family of goats to naturally manicure and eat all of the weeds around the farm. With the planting of milkweed, the primary food source for monarch butterflies, the Huntington Convention Center also serves as a butterfly way station along the migratory route from Canada to Mexico.
During the year, Levy recycled 37,832 pounds of food waste, including donating 10,000 pounds of leftovers to the Cleveland Food Bank, recycling 26,832 pounds for farm food scraps (our pigs eat about 15 gallons of food scraps per day), and recycling 1,000 pounds of cooking oil. The one-at-a-time napkin dispensers reduce napkin waste by 56 percent, and the facility utilizes eco-friendly, biodegradable and compostable plates, box lunches, cups, and flatware products.