Brickman has been a leader in the commercial landscape industry for some time now, and a new focus is on the horizon. Industry best practices are often around thanks to the management team at Brickman, and they always strive to improve. To put it plainly, Brickman has efficiency, quality, and customer service down pat. Having mastered these things, it seemed time to move on to a new initiative.
As a company, Brickman launched a sustainability initiative a couple of years ago that set the tone for future expectations. Essentially, they want to become a leader in all aspects of the GREEN industry, and sustainability is a huge part of that. The sales team, branch managers, and regional managers were all equipped with Toyota Prius‘ tagged with a new slogan, “Plant friendly. Planet friendly.” This is one huge step in the right direction to save fuel and other energy costs. Now that the corporate goal has been set, it is up to each region, branch, and employee to make a difference.
At branch 743 where I work, things are starting to change. We have recently started an in-depth recycling program aimed to reduce our impact on landfills and save us money in the long run. Until now we have only recycled office paper, and we were not too enthusiastic about that. That is all going to change!
Flip the switch!
It may seem like a small step, but we think these signs will make a big difference. Most of the time when someone leaves the room they leave the light on for the next person. Although it may be considerate, it is time to change the way we think. Artificial light represents over 15% of total energy costs in an office–so we can waste less and save money!
The next step in our recycling program is to equip each team member in the office with their own recycling bin. A lot of people simply will not recycle unless it is easy to do, and this takes all of the effort out of it. For most people, the bin is strategically located next to their desk so it is closer to them than the trash can.
We placed a larger bin in the front office because there tends to be more paper waste generated there. This bin alone can hold up to 100 pounds of wasted paper! We can collect paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, plastics # 1-7, and even some electronics in the bins mentioned above. We are lucky to be able to co-mingle our recycling–a lot of places still do not allow it.
This is all exciting, but it gets even better. This year we will have easy-to-carry recycling totes in each of our trucks. Each week the supervisor will report to me at our routine safety meeting and I will weigh everything they have collected. At the end of the month I will tally up the totals and reward the winning crew with a lunch on me. As mentioned earlier, it can be hard to get people on board with recycling. However, we feel that all of our employees will enjoy the competition and work hard to do their part.
Everything that is collected will be combined into two large pallet boxes. Aluminum and plastics will be in one, and paper and cardboard in the other. Any electronics, batteries, etc will be collected separately. We have contracted RecycleForce
to pick up the recycling once a month, but it is likely that we will need them more than that. Please check out RecycleForce to see the great things they are accomplishing around the Indianapolis area. Check out the slide show to see what the other bins look like.
In our first 3 days of doing this, we filled up one bin half-way (that’s approximately 200 pounds of waste!). We are now two weeks into the initiative, and we are averaging around 80 pounds collected per week. My expectation is that we will need another pallet and also a more frequent pick up. That is great news!
Our recycling program will not only be a good deed for the earth, it will also help us to save on our waste management expenses. Each week we pay for our dumpster to be emptied twice. We have now reduced that to one time a week, which will save us nearly $70 per month. The only thing better than saving money, is saving money and going green at the same time!
Brickman is well on its way to becoming a leader in sustainable landscape practices. We are all working hard to make sure that our practices are “Plant friendly. Planet friendly.” Check out the Brickman website to see other ways we are conserving energy, reducing waste, and lessening our carbon footprint in our everyday practices.
Brickman Group: http://brickmangroup.com