Ok, so you own or run a Mall or Outler Center, or Shopping Center, or anything that has multiple stores. You want to recycle but can’t figure out a way to make it worth the effort. We have a solution just for you.
Up to now, you either had to bale the cardboard or if sold loose, you got very little money for the OCC. But there is a new trend that might just change your mind about recyling. Waste haulers are taking OCC in containers and baling it themselves before they sell it to the recycling mill. What has changed their minds? What else – MONEY! There is money to be made in recycled cardboard and waste haulers everywhere are realizing that by not properly servicing these untapped generators of cardboard, they are missing some of that money. So many have begun accepting cardboard in unbaled BUT COMPACTED form. What does that mean?
To make the pickup of the cardboard profitable, the OCC must be available in 3 – 5 ton “packages” meaning containers where the cardboard has been compacted. Commercial stationary compactors or even self-contained compactors are making there mark at these centers. Now many centers are placing these compactors near the back doors of the stores who generate this cardboard. That way the store owers can place the cardboard into a compactor, push a button and walk away. With individual store employees doing the work, expensive labor costs are removed from the equation making it profitable for the centers to have very good returns on their investment!
Stationary compactors like the one shown above, are bolted to the back lot where various sized containers can be attached which cover the open end. The roll off container is then emptied when ther are 4- 5 tons of compressed cardboard inside. With a locked access door and keyed operation, these compactors are safe to be left in public areas where no one can access the compactor to dispose of personal garbage and not one can get hurt by crawling inside. And returns on investments are proving to be 6 – 12 months! Hard to beat getting your investment back in less than a year, but that is being shown over and over again all over the country.
But how do you determine full loads of cardboard. Technology has improved to the point where fail safe detection of 3/4 and full loads to be sure that when the cardboard is hauled away, enough OCC is present to make it well worth the effort. Instead of getting less than 0ne ton loads in a typical open top roll off container, 4 or 5 ton loads are common in compaction containers. These new detection systems flash when 3/4 full or the lights remain on steady when full and have “no false reading” capabilities. You will know when you need to have these containers picked up saving money by requiring less “pulls” per year. For your consideration, below is a link to a brochure on just one of these systems.
Turn your cardboard into cash and impress the heck out of your boss!
Going Green Principles
By guest writer, Cindy L, Webmaster of all-recycling-facts.com
Wondering if there are any going green principles that you can adopt to live a green life?
First of all, it is important to understand the meaning of going green. It is not restricted to specific activities like recycling or buying eco friendly products. In fact, it extends to all the possible efforts and ways of living that protect or minimize harm to the natural environmental and is sustainable for the earth.
So that means that if you take a little and be creative, you can discover many ways of http://www.all-recycling-facts.com/eco-green-living.html
Nevertheless, there are 5 principles that you should bear in mind.
I will touch on my favorite principle which is to reduce consumption and waste.
With today’s culture of consumerism, goods (including amenities like electricity) are being produced, consumed and then discarded at rates that are unconceivable. In the process, our human population is using up earth’s resources and producing waste and pollution at rates that have become unsustainable. If we do not start doing something now to undo this upward trend, in no time, our earth would be unlivable.
In your going green efforts to live a more sustainable life, the principle of “Reduce Reuse Recycle” cannot be over-emphasized.
“Reduce”, “Reuse” and “Recycle”, or the three ‘R’s, have been aligned into a hierarchy to illustrate the most effective plan of action for waste management practices. Reducing consumption and waste production is the first and most effective step, followed by reusing, and finally recycling. In other words, it is not enough just to recycle.
It is important to reduce our consumption, for the world would then need to use less energy and resources, and in the process we would create less waste and pollution (whether in the manufacturing process, or through waste disposal).
We also need to reuse more, as reusing helps us reduce our consumption of new materials (that also consumes energy and creates pollution in the process of extraction), as well as reduce the waste that we create as an entire population.
And eventually, we also need to recycle, as recycling helps us divert valuable resources (that would otherwise have contributed to pollution) from the waste disposal systems and allows us to reuse the materials in unwanted items to make new items.
So, do you part for the earth today, and put the going green principle of “Reduce Reuse Recycle” into practice. Be conscious of what you consume – minimize your consumption and the carbon footprint you leave behind. Reuse whatever you can, and send the rest for recycling instead of for dumping. And encourage those around you to do the same!
You may not be able to do all the going green that the Earth needs, but the Earth needs all that YOU can do for her! Don’t underestimate your role. Start today.
The “Reduce Reuse Recycle” principle is just one of the principles for eco green living that you can adopt. Read about the remaining 4 http://www.all-recycling-facts.com/what-does-going-green-mean.html
<i>All-recycling-facts.com is a website that provides facts and tips on recycling, eco green living and living a sustainable life. Check it out and find out how you can do your part for the earth.<i>
Plastic Balers and recycling
A full 10% of all the plastics manufactured in the world today are floating in a huge biomass just off the coast of Hawaii! Shocking? – IT SHOULD BE! Unsalvageable and becoming larger every day, this biomass of water bottles, toys, packaging materials, eyeglass frames and just about any type of plastic products you can think of is collected by strong currents around the Pacific Ocean and swirled into a caustic pile of debris that will not decay for another 10,000 years or so. And all this “stuff” is being ingested by fish, birds and other wildlife in and around Hawaii. (Watch theYoutube video using the link below for more information) What can we do to slow down this growing mess? RECYCLE!
Dead Laysan Albatross Chick floating
Balers are readily available and recyclers are anxious to receive raw plastic material that can be sorted, shredded, and remanufactured into pellets that can be re-melted into extruded plastic bottles, toys, packaging materials, eyeglass frames, and just about any other type of plastic products you can think of. Balers generally compress discarded plastic into large 1,000 lb bales which can be tied off, stacked, and shipped to local recyclers who process this waste product into something usable. Generally the plastic is shredded and then melted into small pellets which can then be sold to manufacturers of plastic products for re-use. AND THERE IS NO LIMIT TO THIS RECYCLING CYCLE.! Plastic can be used over and over and over again which saves time and money and helps saves the planet in the process.
So what is the cost of all this recycling? NOTHING! Yes, I said NOTHING! Recycled plastic has a value and therefore has a positive net worth. Plastic manufacturers will pay for recycled plastic since it costs less than new plastic but looks and acts identically in the manufacturing process. Since there is a buyer for recycled plastic, recyclers will pay to receive the raw used plastic from waste haulers. Waste haulers in turn will pay for plastics from industrial or commercial firms who dispose of plastic they receive from their suppliers. The only catch to commercial or industrial firms who have a lot of plastic is that it must be baled.
But the value of the recycled plastic is far greater than the cost of the baler and in many cases the cost of the baler can be recouped in less than a year. With a shelf life of a baler generally surpassing 20 years, the net value of buying a baler is 10 to 20 times the initial cost of the baler. So recycling plastic pays for itself over and over and over again. Astute plant managers can add to their bottom line buy recycling!
So why don’t manufacturers recycle more? Many owners and plant managers don’t know about the value of recycling. Waste products have always been a part of the manufacturing or distribution process and the cost of disposing that “garbage” has long been a substantial traditional cost of running a business. So long in fact that many businesses simply ignore the problem and pay the price.
But to quote a recent presidential candidate “It’s time for a change.” It is time for people to wake up and see that we need significant change in our attitude toward waste products. Each of us holds a piece of the recycling puzzle and we all need to step up and put our piece into position. Many communities have established recycling programs for individuals, not enough has been done in the industrial and manufacturing markets. Recycling doesn’t cost, it pays!
Government can do a lot to help as well. Right now the only incentives that have been established for companies are negative incentives, i.e. higher landfill costs, etc. I am not calling for major tax credits for companies who recycle, but I am talking about someone, anyone out there in government talking about waste products and the handling of plastics in particular. Plastics are generally made of oil. By not throwing our waste “oil” away to end up floating in the Pacific Ocean (or any other ocean for that matter) we can save significant amounts of imported oil which are used to make new plastic.
It’s time for a change – please someone notice!
Earth Day and Conservatism
April 22, 1970 was the first designated Earth Day and was also the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Lenin, the Russian Marxist Revolutionary and Creator of the Soviet Communist Party. Coincidence? Some think not, which along with being sponsored by many “liberal organizations” across the globe as well as liberals across our country, created a polarization in the minds of conservatives for this new “holiday” celebrating Mother Earth and our duty to help protect her from destruction by her very children she helped sponsor – us. While rhetoric dominated early Earth Days, much of that rhetoric has disappeared recently and been replaced by much less controversial “Green” talk.
Even if you are the most conservative (a synonym for evil in liberal speak) person in the world, there has been a weakening of resolve to resist this 40 year old tradition which has become accepted by almost everyone. The newer “Green” talk has leaned more towards stewardship of our resources and drifted further from placing blame on mankind for killing his/her “mother”. While there is some polarization, the “holiday” has found more acceptance in our American Society than would have ever been thought possible 40 years ago. I am here to suggest that it is time for conservatives to “belly up to the bar” and embrace this yearly observation and take this celebration to a new level. I am also here to suggest that liberals make room for their new partners. Let us all, liberal, conservatives, progressives, or whatever you want to call yourself, amass arm in arm to help change our antiquated systems of energy production and use and let’s start with recycling.
Recycling has crept into our society slowly but is pervasive in our daily routines at home. “Honey, take out the garbage.” has slowly been replaced with “Honey, take out the recycling.”! We sort cans from bottles and cardboard from paper and place it on the curb for our recycling trucks to pick up and take to the recycling center. But that same attitude has not yet made much of a dent in our business lives. While there are exceptions to the rule, much of our recyclables end up in the same trash can at the end of the day. We throw our paper in with our cardboard boxes which are combined in with our plastic bottles and maybe, just maybe, we take out our aluminum cans, store them separately and call that recycling. I say it is time for a change and I further pronounce that it is time for conservatives to take the lead!
Why conservatives? Why not? Liberals and progressives are more mentally there. While I don’t think that translates into actions much of the time, at least they would come along if conservatives took the lead. Let’s take a look at two of the biggest traditions in America today – Christmas and Easter. Both come from pagan traditions that encompassed our Christian beliefs and intermingled until we have a hard time separating pagan from Christian.
To start, the dates for both are more pagan than Christian. The Bible never defines that actual date of Jesus’ birth, so what did we do, we made one up! And since we are making one up, why not bring in traditions that would bring in our non Christian friends. Let’s make Christmas near the winter solstice (return of the sun) just before the new year so that those who celebrate those traditions would join in with our celebration of Jesus’ birth. Why not incorporate the Yule log and the bringing inside a tree, mistletoe, and many other pagan rituals into this new holiday celebrating the birth of our savior. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. Does that even sound traditionally religious? Coloring eggs and even the word “Easter” come from pagan traditions that predate Christ.
What’s my point here? My point is that many beautiful and meaningful and very religious services have been held on these days to celebrate very religious historical events. Christians didn’t balk at who started what when. They co-opted the dates and took it over largely forgetting the past history! I say it is time for conservatives to do the same with Earth Day. Co-opt the day. Co-opt the traditions and push it further. Make Earth Day “RECYCLE DAY”! At work show everyone that conservatives are good stewards of the resources they are accused of exploiting for personal gain. Make Earth day a day when everyone finds ways to make this a better world for our heirs to inherit. Conservatives, make Earth Day yours and the rest of the world will fall in line.
Carpe Diem – SIEZE THE DAY (double-entendre intended) – Lenin would have been so proud!
Balers and Large Corportaion Recycling Programs
Someone once said “A lot can be accomplished if we all do a little.” Actually, I think that was me, but I can be profound sometimes. The truth is that we don’t have to commit thousands of dollars or hundreds of hours to make a difference. The same holds true for companies, organizations, and corporations. We can make a difference if we all do something!
To all the CEO’s, Company Presidents, Managers, Middle Managers and dedicated workers – GET INVOLVED! I was shocked recently when I traveled to a very large internationally known company to discuss recycling cardboard, Styrofoam and plastic that they are currently throwing into a dumpster (actually many, many dumpsters) to be hauled away. You would all know the name of the company and I will not divulge it here but I bring it up to make a point. While recycling is a growing industry, many companies completely ignore the trend!
Maybe they don’t see the value of recycling in both monetary and environmental terms. Maybe they are too busy in a very bad economy to consider the effects and benefits of recycling. Maybe someone has not taken the time to bring it to their attention. Whatever the reason, I believe that Corporate America does care! If I am right and if you care (which I believe you do), do a little research into your company’s recycling policies and make a suggestion to you superior that they do something to help.
To help you, here are some of the benefits of recycling:
- It usually doesn’t cost, it pays! Recycling of cardboard, plastic, Styrofoam, aluminum, carpet padding, shrink or stretch wrap, or even insulating material from the manufacture of appliances, car headboards, etc. has a value when baled and sold to recycling mills. Add to that the savings of not paying to have the stuff hauled away, and most balers can be paid for in less than a year. Recycle and save.
- Environmental savings can help your grandchildren! Recycling takes materials out of landfills that can and do pollute the very groundwater you, your children and your grandchildren are now drinking as well as the air we all breathe. Baby Boomers – most of you are in positions of authority. Take advantage of that position now before they send you “off to pasture”. Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush have all tried to establish a legacy – something to be remembered for – before they left office. Before you leave office, make a mark with your recycling ideas. Now is the time – Now is the place.
- Goodwill adds substantial value to the bottom line! If you want to directly add value to company stocks, there is substantial goodwill value to any company by recycling. Most of you already know that. I know you know because look at the advertising that comes out of your front office. Promoting a greener company pay big dividends. Don’t miss out on this. Recycle and let the world know you recycle.
I challenge you to make your mark towards the greening of America. The next time you pick up your 6 year old grandchild, know that you did your best to make his life better. You inherited a great place to live, work and thrive. Pass it on!
Perhaps it is our overindulgence of our children or our overspending on ourselves, but I prefer to think that the growing industry of sending used clothing overseas is a product of our generosity. Whatever the reason, many 501C (3) organizations are shipping truck loads of used clothing to Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe daily. So much so that many of the calls we get for balers today are to bale clothes for shipping overseas to markets like this used clothing market in Romania below.
Much of the clothing donated is surprising in either new or very lightly used condition. If your family is anything like mine, we spend a fortune at Christmas buying clothing we think our kids will like only to see it 8 months later sitting in their “get rid of” pile. Some with new tags indicating that it has never been worn! And again, if you are anything like me, there is little sense in arguing with your beloved benefactors about throwing clothing away that you would have been happy to own when you were their age! Does the phase “in one ear and out the other” ring a bell? In any event, it might make you feel better that you are giving this gift twice – once to your child and then once to someone else’s child. We are a generous people! Two gifts at only one price!
Many Salvation Army, Goodwill, and other used clothing recipients have so much used clothing that they ship it to needy people everywhere. The same baler that will bale cardboard, plastic, and non-ferrous materials can also be used to pack and ship clothing. Why bale? More lbs per cubic foot in a shipping container translates to cheaper shipping costs. The best way to pack and handle large shipments of clothes is to bale it into cubes. Easier stacking is a byproduct of baling the clothes adding to the amount that can be packed into a 20’ or 40’ shipping container.
The size of the bale depends largely upon where the bale is going. As with cardboard, plastic, and non-ferrous materials, the larger the bale – the less handling necessary to process the same amount of material. Therefore, 1,000 lb bales are usually the best – except for much of the clothing heading for Africa. Africa as well as some other third world countries lack the forklifts necessary to handle 1,000 lb bales. In that case, smaller 150 lb – 250 lb bales are required. Smaller bales require smaller balers. Believe it or not a growing industry of small clothing balers that not only bale the clothing, but wrap it in plastic has established itself in our present day economy. Unfortunately, there are few used clothing balers out there that are on the market which can be refurbished and sent to organizations who can then extend the life of these balers. Most who need a baler must buy new.
Several manufacturers make clothing balers which are similar to the picture above. If you are in need of a baler, it is best to contact dealers such as Quality Bilt to discuss further. We can help determine what baler is best for you and find the best valued baler on the market.
So don’t hesitate dropping those “old” clothes in a corner container or at the back door of your local Salvation Army or Goodwill Store. It just might make it to Africa long before you ever do!
Plastic Baler and recycling
It’s hard to touch or use anything today that isn’t made of plastic or at least doesn’t contain a significant amount of plastic. “Made of Plastic” when I was a kid meant cheap or inferior. Plastic today is not the same material that it was. It has come a long way and now many labels proudly proclaim that this item is “MADE OF PLASTIC”. In commercials cars run over tools made of plastic to show how durable it is. Or petite woman easily carry items with a strap over their shoulder to show how light and easily handled the item is. Plastic is easily molded into almost any shape and any color to fit almost any situation.
Peanut butter “jars” are no longer jars – they are plastic which is not only cheaper and lighter, but won’t break. Fruit juices, soda, water, jelly’s and jams, and various other liquids are stored and delivered in plastic bottles. Bread is wrapped in plastic to maintain freshness and plastic bags are everywhere. Practically every grocery store asks, “Paper or Plastic?” And at least the ones I stop at don’t even ask that anymore. You have to request some other form of bag or you will get a plastic bag to take home with you.
Every retail store that I frequent uses plastic bags that come in sizes made to fit the items that store sells. If you watch as people exit these stores, many of those bags don’t even make it to the car, but are discarded just outside the exit door of the store or left in the store supplied cart. Plastic bags are blowing across parking lots from coast to coast even as I write and you read this.
Bubble wrap (that fun toy that is included in almost every retail box marked fragile) shrink wrap, stretch wrap, DVD cases, plastic ties, garbage bags, newspaper bags, plastic buckets, plastic cups, knives, forks, spoons, plastic computer cases, plastic printers with plastic ink cartridges, and even the recycling bins that are made to hold all the other plastic are made of plastic. Impervious to water, air, and other contaminants this “miracle” product is light, colorful, safe and CHEAP!
And the good news is that every year, more and more of all this plastic is being recycled. Major campaigns by governments associations and organizations are encouraging reclaiming this widely used product and using it again and again. However, many businesses and industries have not caught on to the value (environmental AND monetary) of recycling their plastic. Much of the large industrial uses still send much of their plastic to the landfill. It is time to change and bring more of the “heavy users” into the fold.
Returns on investment studies – that capitalistic motivator – has shown to many, many companies that they are throwing away money every day! News flash to all you company types out there – MONEY SAVED IS MONEY EARNED! The bottom line is affected as much by cost savings as it is by income received. The problem is that management isn’t trained to think about that as much as they are on how to increase revenue. And to top that off, handling “garbage” is not sexy! That includes talking about how to handle the “garbage”. Warehouse managers and corporate types might never venture to the back of the building to watch the garbage truck pick up their profits and dump it into the waste management’s coffers via that dirty, smelly truck.
This is not an environmentalist’s attack on the corporate world as you might be thinking right now. I am an enviromentalist and a capitalist! I do believe in the profit motive as well as the enviromental movement. Therefore, this is an enviromental capitalist’s attack on other capitalists who need to become a little more enviromentalistic and spend a little time considering recycling their plastic to help the environment while helping the bottom line!
So, how do you get started? Go to the waste site on your property and see what is being hauled away every day. If you need help seeing the clear picture, ask someone for help. There are many companies (including mine) who will offer FREE, NO OBLIGATION WASTE AUDITS to determine where money can be saved and earned from your waste pile.
Yes, ultimately a baler will probably be necessary. Most recyclers will not give full value for plastic that is not baled into “mill size” bales (roughly 60” X 30” X 48” – 800 – 1,000 lb bales) but at the price of the waste plastic today, that baler can probably be paid for in less than a year and the benefits of that baler go on for 20, 25, or even 30 years after.
RECYCLING DOESN’T COST – IT PAYS!
Cardboard balers and savings
Cardboard is everywhere. Your new washer and dryer are packed in it as well as your cell phone and other electronic devices. In fact for many shipping situations, cardboard boxes are packed within cardboard boxes. My wife recently bought some pots and pans. Inside the big cardboard box which contained the entire shipment were two smaller cardboard boxes which each contained another 3 cardboard boxes. And inside the smallest boxes were more cardboard to protect the glass lids and handles. My kitchen was full of cardboard and you would have thought that we bought a whole new kitchen instead of a few new pots, pans and lids.
It’s not much different in my business life as well. Cardboard within cardboard within cardboard is not uncommon. What do you do with all that cardboard? Well, the good news is that most of that cardboard does end up at the recycling mill! Upwards of 70% of all the cardboard manufactured is recycled into – what else – more cardboard. But are you paying too much to have someone else make money on your cardboard? Many businesses are oblivious to the cost savings of recycling cardboard. Not only can you make money selling OCC (Old Corrugated Cardboard), but the savings of not paying to haul it away can be even greater! Let’s examine this a little closer.
Take a walk by your dumpster. Is it half or even ¾ full of cardboard? Most companies pay $300 each time a 40 yard roll-off container is picked up and that does not include the weight inside the container. Let’s just use the $300 figure to do some simple math. If your dumpster is being hauled away twice a week and it is half full of cardboard, that means that you are paying $300 per week plus weight to have your cardboard hauled away. Most of the time that cardboard is being separated by the waste hauler and sold to a recycling mill. So not only does the waste hauler collect money from your company to haul the cardboard away, he is making money selling it as well. It must be worthwhile for the waste hauler! Why else would he do it?
The next question is, why aren’t you saving and making that money? If you can save $300 per week and sell the cardboard for another $125 – $150, over a year’s time, that is over $22,000! Yes, I said $22,000!
To do it right does require an investment into a baler of $7,000 – $10,000 but that is once and would be paid for in less than 6 months. Spend $10,000 now for saving of $22,000 for the next 10, 15 or 20 years sounds like a “no brainer” to me!
See how a baler works on our home page. A video of our Quality Bilt 60HD vertical baler in on the top right of the page at www.qualitybilt.com
Every minute you lose is costing you and your company money. Don’t wait – act now!
What can you do to help?
Photo courtesy UK Department of Environment, Transport and Regions
Maybe you are sitting there reading this because you are wondering, “What can I do to help the recycling effort at work?” Maybe you already recycle your aluminum cans and plastic bottles at home but you are “just a low level” employee or maybe even an entry level new employee. You may feel powerless and don’t even want to approach management with your ideas on recycling. What can you do?
First of all, realize that a lot can be accomplished if we all do a little. Your company doesn’t need to be the largest recycler in the industry to make a difference! That is a very important point to make with your management team. The company doesn’t need to invest thousands of dollars to help in the stewardship of our natural resources. In fact, with a little investigation, your company probably would save enough money to pay for the recycling. What I am saying is “YES, they can be more environmentally responsible – FREE!”
Many companies have not examined their recycling program for years and would be surprised to discover that the savings realized from not paying the waste hauler to haul their cardboard, plastic, Styrofoam, aluminum, or copper is significant! Significant enough to more than pay for the equipment necessary to recycle! Many companies (like Quality Bilt) offer free no obligation waste audits to companies to determine what the savings would be if they would remove all the recyclables from the trash.
But let’s take a step backwards for just a second. There are reasons that most if not all of us would agree upon for recycling. You don’t have to be a fanatical environmentalist to believe that we have all been given an opportunity in this country that is rare in the world today. The United States has vast resources which helped establish us as one of the most economically powerful country in the world. There is a lot of common ground among all of us. Let’s consecrate on our common ground. I think we can all agree that there are significant reasons to recycle. But the problem is that we are polarized on one side or the other as to HOW MUCH we should do. We all agree that we should do something, so let’s resolve to do something THIS YEAR.
There are no steps that are too small to help. Take the first step and talk to your boss. Look at the trash that is being hauled away from your place of business and see the problem. You would be one of the few in your company that probably even notice. Garbage trucks come and go in our society so frequently that most don’t even notice them. We become desensitized to the problem and therefore don’t participate in the solution. I would bet good money that your boss, his boss, and even his boss wants to do something to help our environment but might not know what to do or where to start. Instead of being ostracized for pointing out the problem, you might be pleasantly surprised at the reception you get.
So how do you start? What are the small steps necessary to get something going?
- Look around and see what is currently being practiced by your company. It is usually necessary to see the problem before any actions are taken. Be the one to see the problem.
- Don’t think too big! The problem most have is that they want to change it all and they want to do it now! You boss might need a little time to be brought along. If you will forgive the analogy, you don’t ask to be taken to Ruth Chris’s Steak House on the first date. Don’t ask for a huge change but do ask for a change.
- Do a little research. Find someone who will come in and do a free, no obligation waste audit and don’t call a waste hauler. Waste haulers make their money on hauling waste. If you want an honest assessment, don’t call the people who are going to lose business by recommending you use them less.
- Look for fellow supporters who might help with the research. A good place to start might be the warehouse manager who knows how much of everything is being tossed. Ask what he feels might be done. Enlist his support and you add credibility to your argument.
- Approach your boss modestly without accusing anybody of anything. He (or she) has probably been too concerned about their part of the business and the economy that they haven’t noticed the problem or if they have, didn’t know what to do about it. Give solutions not accusations.
Finally, it you ARE THE BOSS, don’t wait for someone to come to you. If everyone affects small change, big changes happen.
Styrofoam (a trademark name owned by Dow Chemical) is pervasive in our country. It is everywhere! Anything from your couch to your ipod is packed in Styrofoam to protect it while being shipped from place to place. It looks like peanuts or can be molded into very large “corner protectors” to prevent movement or absorb shocks when shipped. It’s in the bottom of your vase or your artificial flower arrangement or found everywhere in your local grocery store in the form of plates, cups or as a base in frozen cakes or microwavable trays.
Styrofoam (or polystyrene) is a very unique plastic that is literally 98% air. It is a fantastic shipping material for several reasons. It is very light and does not add to the weight and therefore the shipping costs of numerous items. It is inexpensive and protects expensive electronics from damage if the package is accidentally dropped. It is easily molded into any shape necessary to fit almost any type of finished product. It can be molded into cups that insulate your coffee or into plates that resist leakage. It is a wonder product that has no equal and therefore has a bright future in our consumer society. But it has a very serious downside as well.
How do you get rid of the darn stuff when you are finished with it? Burn it and it smells and is toxic. While chloro fluora hydrocarbons were eliminated a decade ago, it is still not safe to burn. It is almost impossible to compact. Its’ durability is why it is so useful in the first place, but its’ durability is also why it is so hard to dispose of it. It weighs next to nothing which is also why no one wants to send it to be recycled. The cost of shipping the stuff is more than the value of the Styrofoam. Warehousing costs are higher than buying new each time you need it. AND IT TAKES AN ESTIMATED 50,000 YEARS TO DEGRADE!
So what is a responsible warehouse manager to do? Torn between the cost of disposal and the environmental issues, most choose to just throw it into the trash to be hauled away and thrown into the land fill. But that isn’t cheap either. Styrofoam fills roll of containers quickly and is expensive to haul away. Most give up and fatalistically think “it is what it is!”
Well, it isn’t what it is! There are Styrofoam recyclers who will buy back the Styrofoam and recycle it into eye glass frames, picture frames, or even bicycle helmets if you can just find a way to ship it inexpensively. Fill a truck with 5,000 lbs of Styrofoam and the cost per pound is prohibitive. But fill a truck with 30,000 or 40,000 lbs of Styrofoam and the cost per pound is well worth the shipping cost. But how to reduce the volume is the trick.
Styrofoam densifiers are the solution. New technology allows for the Styrofoam to be melted into “patties” which feel more like porcelain than Styrofoam. Densifiers reduce the volume up to 90 to 1 and make shipping affordable. See our short video (http://recycling.qualitybilt.com/viewitems/styrofoam-densifiers/styrofoam-densifiers-2?&bc=100%7C1005) to see how it is done.