How do you turn a gym floor into a dresser? Try junk removal service.
Not too long ago Santa Ana College came to E-Cycle Environmental with an interesting junk removal service situation. They were in the process of renovating their gymnasium and part of the process involved installing an entirely new gym floor. Due to Santa Ana’s sustainability program, they could not just use any junk removal service. They needed to divert as much of the renovation from landfill as possible.
Santa Ana had already met with numerous junk removal companies and no one could figure out how to divert all the wood from landfill. One problem was the sheer quantity of wood—100,000 lbs—that a junk hauler would need to move.
Handling the wooden floors was relatively easy for E-Cycle because they had the machinery. They operate 24-foot box trucks and flatbeds (more than twice as big as their competitors) and also deliver forklifts and other industrial machinery to jobs that need it.
The biggest challenge was where to take all that wood. There was a lot of it and the waste-to-energy plant was not accepting wood at the time. One might think that it would be super easy to recycle hardwood floors but it’s not because of the nails that reside in it. Also, the amount of work to chip it up and to make it into something else can cost much more than taking it to a landfill. Price is always a definite factor, especially for a job this big.
E-Cycle Environmental decided to “peel back the onion” and research what type of wood came from the gymnasium floor. It turned out the gymnasium was built in the 1950’s. During that time period gymnasiums were actually constructed out of a really high quality wood, maple. For the uneducated in wood types, maple is high quality while pine wood is low quality. The absolute worst kind of wood is compressed wood.
Santa Ana College was in luck because E-Cycle Environmental follows EPA’s doctrine of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Once E-Cycle knew the wood was maple, they contacted their downstream partner that specialized in making furniture out of refurbished maple wood. Their partner was ecstatic to learn about the 100,000 lbs of maple that was now available.
It was a great win-win for everyone. E-Cycle Environmental won the junk removal service contract, Santa Ana College reached their sustainability program goal and also saved a lot of money because there were no disposal fees due to the fact that all the wood was going to be reused. Finally, the maple wood renovation company increased their inventory 10 fold!
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