The client had a very specific need: it had an excess of beans, and it didn’t know what to do with them. The company wanted to meet ISO standards, so a landfill wouldn’t do.
Luckily, Waste Connections had recently unveiled a tool called Recycle 360, which tracks waste management in building projects. The product helped the client meet ISO standards while also freeing up time and creative energy, and with that the client devised a genius plan: convert the beans into hog feed, and give it to local farmers.
It was challenges such as this, at the local level, that inspired Waste Connections to create Recycle 360 in the first place—in cooperation with WasteCap Resource Solutions, a nonprofit organization that devises recycling and waste-reduction strategies. “What Recycle 360 has given to our local people is the initiative to go out there and find new ways to recycle and reuse to meet their goals,” says Steve Berry, a leader in corporate sales for Waste Connections. “That’s the real beauty of it—getting people to think outside the box.”
Recycle 360’s tracking tool makes it simple for companies to monitor metrics to satisfy local, LEED, and ISO standards as well as show their initiatives to clients or other building managers. The dashboard tracks numbers for internal review and can be shared or hyperlinked so that others can easily view and analyze it. Project managers who use it for sustainable jobs don’t have to go through invoices to see how they’re measuring up to LEED standards, and that frees them up to problem-solve more important things.
Waste Connections practices a decentralized business model, and its president, Steven Bouck, says this philosophy allows local markets to devise the best ways to manage waste. The business’s regional affiliates help client companies devise ways to sort, recycle, and dispose of excess, and they’ve always helped the companies track where waste goes in order to help with LEED certification. Recycle 360 is an innovative tool that simplifies this tracking process, and clients can employ the tool for multiple needs, whether Waste Connections is helping them monitor a construction project or the disposal of trash from an occupied building. “[Recycle 360] pulls it all together in one easy-to-use, easy-to-find place,” Bouck says.
The Recycle 360 dashboard tracks recycled material by weight, volume, and type and displays it in a simple graph. It also labels the haul tickets and destinations so that clients can see where their waste is going, and it allows users to set up project files that can be labeled by type, budget, size, and location. Using the tool, clients can list recycling initiatives for each of their projects and easily view improvements and backslides to keep a thumb on each project’s achievements in diverting waste from landfills.
From his position in corporate sales, Berry is leading the push to convince clients of just how much Recycle 360 will benefit their projects. That starts with education, Bouck says, about how the product can improve and simplify the green-building process. There are 200 sales representatives assigned to Recycle 360, and these salespeople are now including examples of the dashboard’s functions in sales meetings with contractors and builders.
When Rob Buxton, one of the salespeople, pitched Waste Connections for the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Recycle 360 was what settled the project manager’s decision. Buxton used photos of some of his company’s existing projects and personalized how Recycle 360—which was unlike anything the manager had ever seen before—would work for the PREMIER Center.
“What impressed [the project manager] was that we, as a hauler, would put together a waste-management plan for them and tailor it to their specific project,” Bouck says. “The icing on the cake was that we would provide them recycling numbers on a monthly basis so that they could provide them to their ultimate client: the City of Sioux Falls.”
“In some communities, you have certain resources available that others have to work harder to find. [Recycle 360] is a tool that allows you to track all of that.”
Steve Bouck, President
Waste Connections’ Recycle 360 product continues to wow potential and current clients, but to the company, it just makes good business sense. It’s the logical next step in carrying the disposal industry further into a new century. “The waste business is different everywhere,” Bouck says. “In some communities, you have certain resources available that others have to work harder to find. This is a tool that allows you to track all of that.”