An issue that many manufacturers must deal with, particularly in the Western United States, is franchise agreements between local municipalities and local refuse service companies. These agreements establish pricing and terms, and require affected businesses to contract exclusively with the designated service company. An advantage to this is price control but WTS has found that the focus is mostly on general disposal, and little is done to encourage or address recycling. In many cases the business does have an option to independently contract with a new company for recycling only.
A client of WTS’s on the west coast has historically generated potentially recyclable items and the franchised refuse service company did not provide a viable recycling option. Thus, the recyclable items were being disposed of at a local landfill. WTS researched the local marketplace and partnered with another local service company that could provide an extensive recycling program. WTS and our partner underwent an on-site research project, commonly referred to as a Dumpster Dive, and went forward in introducing a thorough recycling program on site. The recycling company actually replaced trash containers on site with recycling containers. Recycling containers are now picked up on a regular basis and items such as paper, plastic, wood, and cardboard that were formally landfilled are processed at a local recycling facility.
Since starting this process at WTS’s client’s site, they are now recycling ~85% of the material on a monthly basis that previously went to landfill, reaping both environmental and economic benefits.