Recycling costs that allow companies to create a sustainable work environment can sometimes be restrictive for a large business especially when the production lines cannot stop. Without a proper waste management strategy in place, things can soon descend into chaos. It’s also quite easy to deposit materials into the trash which ultimately goes into landfills but this is both economically and environmentally not sustainable.
It is impossible to manage industrial waste the same way residential waste is managed. Trash pickups and waste companies do not accept most of the waste that is produced within the beverage industries. There is also the other challenge of controlling the cost of the collection system and maintaining high levels of collection services.
Waste Control has been working with these large businesses and has been making the case for a more sustainable way to manage waste while saving money as well. Here’s one such success story – How we helped Juneshine cut recycling costs in half and also tackle sustainability goals by making sure that the amount of waste that ends up in landfills remains under check.
Juneshine is a San Diego-based brand focused on creating honest alcohol for a healthier planet. Their humble beginnings started in a California garage brewing organic hard kombucha and have since expanded to include better-for-you canned cocktails called JuneShine Spirits.
Established in June 2018, Juneshine has released a range of ready-to-enjoy alcohol beverages across the country via wholesale, direct-to-consumer, and two tasting room locations in Southern California. Juneshine is a fast-growing category builder that tripled its revenue numbers between 2019 and 2020 and doubled the next year.
Juneshine’s range of products has seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years. They also have an array of celebrity ambassadors in their fray, including comedian Whitney Cummings and musician/DJ Diplo. Juneshine has raised multiple rounds of funding with the latest being $24 million in 2021.
What Was the Problem Juneshine Faced?
Being a young and fast-growing organization, Juneshine’s focus was entirely on building a supply chain on the business side that would enable them to grow their revenue and their footprint across the country. Managing their waste stream was not an immediate priority and they did not have processes in place to make sure that waste management was effective.
Juneshine is committed to sustainability and considers it one of the major pillars of its mission. However, not having the required technical know-how made it difficult to meet sustainability goals effectively.
There were a few pain points that were central to the initiative.
- How can Juneshine cut its recycling expenses?
- How can the amount of waste that ends up in landfills be reduced?
- Educate the Juneshine employees about waste management and segregation of waste.
- Putting processes in place that can make the chain from waste collection, segregation, and waste disposal smooth and efficient.
This called for a revamp of how waste management happens at Juneshine and how we can add value to their efforts to be a more sustainable manufacturer.
Tackling the Challenges
Managing and disposing of industrial waste is a very different challenge compared to residential service. You need specialized channels that can accept the large quantities of waste that will be produced regularly. You also need to ensure that the waste materials are segregated at the source and these can then be processed and transferred to the end-users that create other usable products. Hazardous waste is also an issue that requires special care and attention.
We tackled this at Juneshine by first analyzing the various types of waste that are being generated at the plant. This included a variety of solid wastes including cardboard, aluminum, LDPE plastics, and Polypropylene.
Each of these different recyclable materials have specific processes to deal with and to ensure that the materials were in fact recycled. We also had to find channels that required a specific buyer for these waste products to ensure that they can make their way to mills and plants in other geographies to be recycled.
Segregating at the source doesn’t only involve setting a process, it also involves getting people to follow it religiously. We worked closely with Juneshine on both these aspects. We helped them set the process based on the waste materials Juneshine had in-house.
Various waste commodities were source-separated, collected together, and then baled. Other materials were sorted to be recycled by other sources. Baled waste commodities were later shipped to appropriate processors or end-users.
The process also involved educating the employees at Juneshine on how to sort commodities in the plant so that the process was efficient. This large-scale education effort [about each individual recycling commodity,] helped in saving costs and reducing recycling cost overheads.
Waste to Cost Savings
The second half of our work with Juneshine involved finding ways to use the baled waste commodities and generate additional income. One of our biggest strengths is our ability to find waste commodity resellers who can pay above the market rates.
We focused on finding resellers from around the globe who were interested in the baled products. These resellers were from other geographies like Mexico, Vietnam, and India. Most of the time, these resellers are willing to pay a premium price for higher grade waste commodities due to the growing demand of upcycled products.
Unlike the other collection services, the waste we collect through our process is often available consistently and in bulk which means there is more money in the potential for added revenue. The resellers also enable us to cut costs and bring in some added revenue to further reduce disposal costs.
Local waste services often manage the sorting and the transportation part but since the drop-offs and recycling services they deal with will not have enough capacity to take in the waste in bulk, the quantities remain small and the overall costs go up.
But dealing with large-scale resellers allows us to deal with more cubic yards of waste and also negotiate better prices for the commodities. Since our relationships with resellers are also long-term and more stable, we can provide our services at lower monthly rates.
There are usually no additional charges that you incur on waste management, and the monthly charge is a steady expense that gives you a better handle on your recycling expenses.
What Was the Impact of the Changes?
The impact at Juneshine is both tangible and intangible. Our expertise in dealing with different kinds of waste commodities and all container sizes allowed the Juneshine team to focus on more important things and not worry about their waste stream.
The monthly service charge model plus the premium price we can negotiate for the baled waste meant that the recycling cost was cut in half. This is a great boost to the bottom line in a market that is struggling for margins.
More importantly, Juneshine is inching closer to being a zero-waste company every month! Sustainability is one of the key pillars and managing waste effectively has a huge role to play. As per California regulations, there is also a need to increase landfill diversion rates to preserve our natural resources (The amount of waste that is not ending up in landfills). Most of the residential garbage services and curbside pickups ultimately end up in landfills. Even organics. Industrial garbage collection services tend to have low recycling rates and in many cases does not address Food waste.
Waste Control’s approach is aimed at ensuring that the waste commodities find their way into some recycling facilities and can be used to produce something of value. The global reach and the larger capacity we can service allowed us to really impact cost and manage Juneshine’s waste stream more effectively.
Recycling is vital in the quest for more sustainable development. There is a global push for more recycling, and this has been going on for years now. While progress has been made, the fact remains that most industrial and residential waste finds its way into landfills.
Juneshine’s story is far too common. Manufacturers both old and new are struggling to find ways to deal with industrial waste and also cut recycling expenses. Our strengths lie exactly there.
Through both process and people interventions, we enabled Juneshine to sort, bale, and transport recyclable waste much more efficiently, while keeping costs in check. Waste Control’s effort toward meeting sustainability goals and reducing costs helped Juneshine focus on building its business and expanding its footprint.
Want to know how we can help your business accomplish your sustainability goals and how we can better manage the waste stream at your facility? Contact us today.