It’s May – spring is in the air and we at Green Girl Recycling have been very busy making changes to our business to remain competitive in this ever-changing recycling world.
It’s been a very rocky last six months in our industry. Many factors have not been helpful for the recycling bottom line. The quick list is: China buying fewer of our goods and more from Europe because of the value of our dollar rising and the Euro declining; the cost to make plastics went down with gas prices falling so recycled plastic isn’t as valuable as it was, say, a year ago; there was a huge shipping strike in CA which caused a backlog of recyclables moving onto ships; and the Boulder County MRF decided to not pay for recyclables starting in March of 2015.
I think the worst of all is that WM landed the contract in January to run the Larimer County MRF and is now CHARGING, yes I said charging haulers by the ton for them to process the recycling being brought into the facility. YIKES!
Pretty scary crap, right? Good thing we here at Green Girl are really passionate about what we do and have the ability to think outside of the box. This is where we jump to our Plan ‘B’ to stay competitive. We have revamped routes, slightly increased our business pickup rates, and purchased a bigger baler/conveyor at our warehouse. This new equipment will help us bale more materials ourselves. The goal is to shred more sensitive paper, process more office pack and cardboard grade material making up some of the revenue stream we just lost.
Now, installing a new baler/conveyor/shredder at the warehouse is no easy thing. To do this, we had to be strategic with our scheduling. Brandon, Israel, Matty, Matt and Julian still operated routes as normal. Jesus remained shredding and handling the electronics still being brought to our warehouse during the day. Julian took out a huge safety fence. Celio moved the vertical baler to a different location in the shop & carefully installed the new baler. Richard Hughes, our electrician, had his work cut out for him getting the whole system to cooperate. In all, it took over a week to get things really moving – and now it’s beginning to work. We are so excited to see it beginning to return on our investment and making our lives easier and faster.
The new baler is green-green-green. Not only is it actually painted green, it’s helping us recycle more! By using less man power energy to produce baled recyclables to sell, it’s making the business more green ($) on the back end to help us compensate for our loss. The end result? We get to stay viable as business through our partnership with you as we continue to be good stewards of our earth together.
Curious to see how it works? We invite you to come bring in some paper to shred and watch the magic happen!