Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland Diverts 357 Thousand Pounds of Trash

March 14, 2018
Collecting honey at at the onsite farm.

Collecting some of the 2,000 pounds of honey produced annually. Credit:SMG/Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland

The Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland and the Global Center for Health Innovation, managed by SMG, diverted a total of 357,274 pounds of materials from the landfill during the past year, including 75,880 pounds of cardboard, 46,440 pounds of wood pallets, 18,480 pounds of mixed plastic, 14,780 pounds of mixed fibers, 10,000 pounds of glass and nearly 9,000 pounds of bulk and shredded paper. These efforts diverted 49.1 percent of materials from the landfill as part of the building’s overall Reduce, Reuse and Recycle program.

Water refill stations are located throughout the facility and, based on usage, track the amount of water used in refillable containers, amounting to the diversion of the equivalent of 23,005 plastic water bottles from the landfill.

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 16 colonies of honey bees generating more than 2,000 pounds of honey annually, egg-laying hens that provide fresh eggs daily accounting for up to a quarter of the facility’s monthly shelled egg use, a variety of raised beds that feature seasonal greens, herbs, and vegetables, and three Mangalista heritage breed pigs.

During the year, Levy recycled nearly 25,000 pounds of food trimmings and waste in 2017, including 13,500 pounds of leftovers to the Keating Center through the Cleveland Food Bank, repurposing over 9,000 pounds as food for the chickens and pigs, and recycling 1,650 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.

The Huntington Convention Center uses Grind2Energy, Emerson’s food waste recycling system, to enable food waste to be converted into energy. Through Grind2Energy’s innovative process, food waste is ground on-site using an industrial-strength InSinkErator grinder, which is then converted into a slurry. The quasar energy group, a full waste-to-energy company, transports this material to a local anaerobic digestion facilities to extract methane for energy production and to produce a nutrient-rich soil amendment. The Grind2Energy system created 37.8 tons of slurry to convert to power. The slurry created enough natural gas to heat 18 homes for one month, electricity to power 12 homes for one month, 4,583 pounds of nutrient-rich fertilizer, and eliminated greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 52,675 automobile miles.

The Huntington Convention Center donated 26,980 pounds of recycled materials to local organizations as part of the facility’s Sustainability Donation Program, a new initiative that provides clients, exhibitors, and contractors a simple solution to reduce the amount of waste generated from an event.

About the Facility
The Huntington Convention Center and Global Center, managed by SMG, provides 225,000 sf of exhibit space, a 32,000-sf Grand Ballroom, 35 meeting and breakout rooms, a robust technology package, an expansive truck loading dock, and a 12.5-acre green roof with spectacular views of Lake Erie. The attached 600-room Hilton Cleveland Downtown Hotel features a 32-story tower filled with guest rooms, meeting space, ballrooms and multiple dining and entertainment options.

For more information about SMG visit

Back To Top