In 2009, HMS’ Ohio Warehouse had a one-yard dumpster picked up every single day. This started our team thinking; much of what we put into the garbage; aluminum cans, cardboard, paper, plastic bottles, shrink-wrap and scrap pieces of wood was recyclable. Our Warehouse Team set a lofty goal to become a “zero waste”
facility— meaning that we would do our absolute best to reduce our waste production and create a legacy that we would all be proud of.
The first step was simple: we used our HMS wastebaskets as recycling bins to encourage employees to start reducing waste. This made it easy for employees to do the right thing, and they did.
We partnered with a local recycling company that provided a bailer to compact all cardboard, paper and plastic materials into neat, storable bundles until ready to be hauled away. We were starting to make a difference; our once daily trash pickups decreased to bi-weekly.
HMS soon realized a unique opportunity to eliminate our reliance on wooden pallets and plastic shrink-wrap by using carton clamps. These clamps provide palletless handling of goods by simultaneously squeezing multiple cartons, all with the goal of being a pallet-free/shrink-wrap-free operation by 2015.
As always, we are striving to do our best and will continue to look for new ways to improve operations while reducing waste. We challenge your organization to try and do the same.