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Tweet 0 LikeTue, 11/01/2005 - 12:00am Problem/SolutionOutsourcing Cleans UpProblem: Trash is big business--billion dollar in fact. And schoolsgenerate tons of it. So, when coBy: Karen PasacretaDistrict Administration, Nov 2005Problem: It may be dirty, dingy and dusty, ragged, rottenand rusty, but trash is big business--billion dollar in fact.And schools generate tons of it. So, when costs beganpiling up for the Roseville (Calif.) Joint Union HighSchool District the district decided it needed to clean up.With compactors frequently breaking down, Rosevillelooked into a lease-maintenance service program andwhat it found out about its own budget wasnt pretty: the8,000-student district was knee-deep in operatingexpenses. The franchise waste hauling companyRoseville had used was picking up the compactorsregardless of their full capacity to the tune of $300 a"visit." The district was paying thousands of unnecessarydollars. In stepped Dave Hawkyard, owner of Compact-It, Inc., a privately held waste removal and recyclingequipment company. He said he could save the districtup to 40 percent. And he wasnt just talking trash.Solution: The Roseville Joint Union High School district had four, large 30-yardcompactors that were more than 10 years old and in constant need of repair. BrianGruchow, director of maintenance and operations for the district, looked for a way tosolve this problem and stumbled on Compact-It. Founded in 2001, this Roseville-basedcompany sells, rents and leases waste removal and recycling equipment as well asmaintaining that equipment. After a free assessment, Roseville found not only was thedistrict overpaying on waste haulers but it also didnt need to own the compactors. Theycould be leased."Due to the very expensive cost of newcompactors," says Gruchow, "their highmaintenance and repair cost, and theirsomewhat short useful life of eight to 10 years,it wasnt feasible to purchase and own theseexpensive compactors." With rentals of$2,100 per month for each compactor,Roseville ended up saving 20 percent to 30percent, on average.The savings dont end thereHawkyard, who had been employed by a largefranchise, knew a lot about trash and how totailor systems to suit his customers needs. Hedesigned a three-fold system for Roseville.First, Compact-It installed brand-new trashcompactors on the four high school campuses."A new compactor usually reduces the bill byaround half," said Hawkyard. They compressbetter allowing more trash to fill the baler.Second, trash compactor fullness monitorswere installed, indicating when the deviceswere ready to be emptied. "This device sendsour office a fax telling us the compactor arefull," said Gruchow. "We then call the waste
company to have them pick up only fullcompactors, not half-full." Immediately thedistricts waste hauling was reduced to two tothree pick-ups a month, cutting the monthlybill from $4,500 to $3,000. Roseville also hadcart tippers installed so the custodians didnthave to hand unload their trash carts.But that still wasnt it. Using Hawkyards recommendations, the district figured out away to make money while saving at the same time. Since approximately 30 percent to40 percent of its waste was actually cardboard, the district began removing thecardboard from the garbage thrown into its own baler, thus further reducing theamount of trash hauled to the landfill. Then the district called on GreenFiber, arecycling company that buys and recycles the cardboard for a cash return. Trashbecame a business for Roseville too, bringing in about $350 a month.According to Gruchow, most schools have not fully realized the savings potential inwaste. "In education our goal is to put as much money as we can into the classroom," hesays. "You do everything you can to reduce your costs so you fully increase the quality ofservice to your customers, which are your kids."Hawkyard couldnt agree more. He says he believes education budgets get unnecessarilyslashed for more high-profile projects. "I am for the underdog. These poor schools donthave that much money anymore. The [large] garbage companies say, Well this is whatyoure going to pay, and I say, Heres another solution. "Karen Pasacreta is a freelance writer based in Milford, Conn.DA ArchiveLog in or register to post comments Email this page