Working in conjunction with Channeled Resources who sources and qualifies label feedstock for energy companies; waste hauler Republic Services; and Convergen Energy, a waste converter and power company; DLS now has its label production waste turned into fuel pellets that are then used to power an electric utility plant.
The process began with DLS speaking with Channeled Resources who brought the fuel pellet option to the table and had a business relationship with Convergen Energy who specializes in renewable energy. The opportunity to reclaim the waste was there, but logistic challenges prevented DLS from getting the waste to Convergen’s fuel pellet manufacturing facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Republic Services solved that issue by providing a way to remove, bale and ship Diversified’s waste in trailer loads to Convergen in an economical fashion.
The pellets are burned as a substitute for coal, decreasing the need for the fossil fuel and reducing CO2 emissions by 40 percent.
“This would not have been possible without a real team effort on the part of Diversified, Channeled Resources, Republic Services and Convergen,” says Jim Kersten, Diversified’s CEO. He adds, “We are so pleased to be able to find a sustainable way to deal with label waste generated during our manufacturing process. We were troubled by the fact that over 2 million pounds were going into landfills annually.”
Making the program work also required Diversified’s production personnel to change how they processed waste within the plant. Previously, all waste went into a large compactor that Republic picked up and processed several times a week. Now, only label waste goes into the compactor. Other recyclable materials such as: clean paper, plastics, metal, packaging film, pallets and corrugated are collected and recycled separately. General waste is segregated and disposed of in a different process. Everyone at Diversified Labeling Solutions participates in this effort, and the entire team is excited to be part of the sustainability program.
DLS, Channeled Resources, Republic Services and Convergen coordinated a cost-effective waste management solution that benefits all parties and the environment. Diversified’s next goal is to find a way to continue this process with its other 4 production facilities around the country which will save over one million additional pounds of label waste from going to landfills each year.
Also, this new green initiative has influence beyond Diversified. Distributors of DLS products benefit from Diversified’s eco-friendly manufacturing practices by allowing them to meet the sustainability expectations of their corporate customers. DLS supports the distributor marketplace by participating in environmental initiatives that help grow a distributor’s business. DLS is committed to continuing to find innovative ways to adopt sustainable manufacturing practices that align with their corporate values, their commitment to distributors and with protecting the environment.