Dumpster diving — and how much water does a Zamboni drink?

Having been a dedicated recycler since the 1960s, and feeling that it is important to be an example for others when it comes to the environment, it is with great pride that I report the efforts of the Schulz Complex to protect our environment.

The Museum proudly displays this certificate from the Sonoma Green Business Program. Certificates are given to businesses who have demonstrated energy and water conservation, waste reduction and pollution prevention efforts.

Over the past couple of years the museum has reduced its energy usage by an average of 15% through changes in our lighting and by improving our HVAC (heating and air conditioning) effectiveness.

We have reduced our water usage by carefully monitoring our landscape, even though we were very conscious when we planned the landscaping 12 years ago to use native plants and others with low water needs.

We passed our “trash audit” with flying colors – this after a team of students from a local college went through our dumpsters for several days to ascertain that our staff and the general public were recycling appropriately.

Are you wondering what the Zamboni machine has to do with Green Business?

Well, a lot. Across the street, the Ice Arena has been going through the same exercise for more than two years. An entirely new refrigeration and HVAC system and a complete lighting retrofit around the complex has reduced energy usage by over 8%. And over the past year, the arena has ramped up composting of kitchen waste, redirecting over 500 pounds of waste from the landfill. We have also completed a carefully engineered water recycling system for ice maintenance that has slashed our water usage by more than 55%.

So how much water DOES a Zamboni “drink?” Find the answer below the next picture…

I was amazed to discover that it takes close to 3,000 gallons to resurface the ice every day. The ice is resurfaced 10 to 12 times a day and uses 200 to 275 gallons each time. The ice-making water comes out below where the drive is seated on the Zamboni and is spread out over the ice, creating a smooth surface for skaters.

A lot of thought and engineering has gone into our efforts to be good environmental citizens. I wanted you all to know and be proud along with me!

                                                                                                              —Jean Schulz

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