Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hey GrinderGuy, my Landfill Costs are killing my C&D Operation!...........

This isn’t really a question, but here’s an answer, STOP GOING THERE!
Obviously if you can avoid it, you certainly would be, but let’s take a look at what you are sending.

First of all most of the C&D systems being sold today are of the same design, whether small, medium or large. Not always, but most of the time they are. Here’s a hint-
FIGURE OUT YOUR MARKETS…before you design your systems.
·         If you are using a float tank to remove the heavies and you are sending your wood and plastic for fuel and the material cannot be above 15% moisture…..Why do you have a float tank?
·         If you are pulling the small lightweight product off of your sort line with air and putting back into you stream later, why are you pulling them in the first place?
·         If your high speed grinder at the end of your system is costing you too much maintenance time and money, why do you have it?

To start with:
·         The number one rule is to keep your materials dry. Rain on your material will cost you thousands at the Landfill. They have cheap fabric buildings these days, which will pay for themselves with the greater production and reduced maintenance time in addition to reducing Landfill fees for the extra weight you are carrying.
·         You need to be pulling every single piece of metal, hard plastic, rock and dirt, shingle, cardboard, drywall. Every piece.
·         If you are able to pile your residue, then operate a second shift to rerun your residue from the first shift and see what you are missing. Dirt stuck to plastic falls off, steel that was buried now gets pulled, all kinds of things happen and rerunning may save you big dollars later.
·         Shredding the residue to reduce the volume and loads outbound will help too
·         Determine where most of your residue is coming from. Is it one type? One customer? Adjust you price structure accordingly.
·         If you purchase a shredder and screener, you can assist in the recycling rate.

In your case, with nowhere to go but the landfill, you must figure out additional markets for the residue.
Most of the residues include mattresses, carpet, light plastics and miscellaneous junk. Find the market for all this material and you will reduce your costs.
·         Mattresses are easily shredded with a low speed shredder and you can recover a substantial amount of steel. The fluff can be sent for fuel.
·         Shingles make up a lot of Landfill weight and have become a problem with disposal lately because of less paving going on. If you can pile them for a while, you can shred and screen them and use those internally making roads and parking lots on your own properties.
·         Drywall shredded and screened is easy to get rid of to a whole lot of farmers
·         One of the best ways to dispose of residue is to shred it for fuel to ship it to some sort of Cofired Plant. Even if the plant is not logistically worth the amount saved, use a web service for transportation options. Many operations use a backhaul from another Carrier to transport their product. The key is to reduce your cost, not necessarily turn a profit. Zero is good here.
·         Carpeting is difficult to recycle, but easy in some parts of the country. Get together with other C&D operators around the country and find out what they are doing with carpet and other materials, get their contacts and other ideas.

Adding more equipment like a shredder and screener does not come cheap. But the multiple operations they become involved with turn you from a mediocre recycling operation into a productive, producer of recycled materials. From the front end reducing mattresses and bulky waste and recovering the steel, to the back end shredding shingles, wood and residue, a shredder pays for itself multiple times over.
A screen will assist you in more applications. Whether it’s screening ground shingles or drywall at 3/8”, dirt at 1 inch or concrete at 2”, you will be able to market several materials that you aren’t currently, with the small investment in a versatile addition.

Join the GrinderGuy and other industry professionals at the C&D World Conference in Nashville, TN March 25-27. For more information call 608-538-3552 or go to .

Following up on our 2011 year end profit increasing ideas, you can find that article here- :
·         Repair and Maintenance- All repairs should be completed, spare parts in stock
·         Equipment Utilization- Rentals should be ordered
·         Products- Production should be inventorying volumes
·         Advertising- Ads, Spots, should be running

Also, for more helpful tips, advice and equipment, visit .
Need us to visit your operation? Have a question?
Drop us a line.

Dave Whitelaw

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