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Case Study: Recovering Materials, Reducing Costs and Generating Value

As a recycling and solid waste disposal services provider we are constantly getting asked, “How can we reduce our handling and disposal costs?” Here is case study of a happy new customer.

Miller Recycling recently received a call from a warehouse manager of a large pharmaceutical distributor in Massachusetts. They had a problem handling the large volume of cardboard they were generating and were also concerned with the increasing costs associated with their trash disposal.

The company process was to bring in large quantities of product, and then distribute smaller lots, shipping throughout the northeast US. This process generated large amounts of cardboard and Styrofoam (EPS), as much of the product needed to be kept cold and was shipped in Styrofoam packaging.

Upon inspection we also identified a substantial amount of both stretch and shrink wrap, which was removed from each incoming pallet of product. Both the Styrofoam and wrap were being thrown away along with their general trash.

This company has over 200 employees, and operated two 8 hour shifts per day, 7 days per week, so the volumes generated and the costs where substantial.

We were able to immediately identify the first problem area – and that was the baling of their cardboard. They were using one 60” vertical baler – and had 2 employees on each shift dedicated to collecting and baling.  The facility’s warehouse was vast – and much of the employees’ time was spent transporting cardboard to the baler.

Our initial suggestion of adding balers to minimize the time associated with transporting setup boxes was not acceptable, as space was at a premium and inventory storage took priority over cardboard recycling. Instead we had the idea of eliminating baling completely, and installing a high density auger style compactor to replace their baler. This would free up floor space, as the compactor was placed on the exterior of their building. We also proposed installing conveyors to move boxes from the point of generation to the compactor. This would dramatically reduce or eliminate much of the labor associated with handling this material.

We then proposed using the baler for processing the stretch and shrink wrap only, and installing a Styrofoam extruder to chop and melt the EPS into ingots, which makes it marketable. This required no additional floor space, as it was installed in an area being used to stage their cardboard for baling.

By implementing these services and installing the required equipment – this company was able to reduce their disposal costs by over 40% and their hauling charges by 50%, as the bulk was Styrofoam (EPS) and shrink wrap. It also allowed them to generate income from the Styrofoam and wrap, and eliminate the majority of the labor costs associated with baling of their cardboard.

A facility assessment was provided at no cost to the company, yet the savings proved to be substantial. Contact Miller Recycling to see how we may be able to assist you.