Cardboard and wood notoriously take up a lot of space in our landfills. Meridian Yard Operations Manager Andy Jenness has been finding new ways to limit and manage waste, reducing the amount of trash that makes its way to the dumpster.

“My previous work experience was with helping build recycle programs. Where I came from in Portland, we turned our warehouse into a certified green company because of our efforts,” he said.

The Meridian campus recently installed a new baler. The machine compacts cardboard into bales, which are then picked up by Western Recycling roughly every eight weeks. Wood pallets are being recycled by Tree Top Recycling; instead of being thrown away, the old pallets are chipped and used for mulch.

“This is keeping both the cardboard and pallets out of the landfill and allowing them to be used for other things,” Andy explained.

In addition to the recycling initiatives, Western States are also reducing the frequency of trash pick-ups. Instead of emptying 5 dumpsters’ worth of material up to three times per week, Republic Services will pick up four 6 yard dumpsters once per week.

Moving forward, Andy says Western States is looking for similar opportunities at other stores to help cut down on waste materials in landfills.

“Finding ways to reduce our overall environmental impact here at Western States helps us and all of our business partners to be successful,” he said.

The new cardboard baler in Meridian will help reduce the number of recyclable materials ending up in the landfill.