Green But Not Giant

You would expect the largest waste companies to embrace sustainability. It’s a way to shine up a reputation and attract and keep customers. But you might not expect the same effort from medium-sized and smaller waste companies that must focus constantly on controlling rising costs and battling tough competitors.

According to an article in Waste Age's April issue, medium-sized and smaller waste companies are indeed implementing comprehensive green operations. As customers demand more recycling, composting and other green services, the waste industry is becoming less and less a straightforward trash-collecting industry and more and more a service industry that helps people make their homes and businesses sustainable. Waste companies that want that kind of business are going to have to show their own sustainable credentials.

The article looks at an example in Recology, formerly Norcal Waste Systems,which has a long and well-documented green history. In recent years, the company has helped San Francisco recycle and compost its way to a landfill diversion rate of 78 percent — the highest in North America.

Based in Colerain Township, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, Rumpke Consolidated Companies Inc. also offers a host of sustainable services, including residential, commercial and industrial recycling, material recovery facilities (MRFs), composting, record keeping for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification of customer construction projects and waste disposal.

Customers want to deal with waste companies that can manage waste and other materials in ways that satisfy today’s regulatory requirements and community responsibilities. Green apostles are leading the way....