Founder of Richmond’s Fastest Growing Business reflects on 10 Years of Combatting Waste
Via the Business in Richmond Website.
Waste costs businesses money. Garbage and recycling haulers charge every time their trucks make a pick up, regardless of what contents are actually in the bins. Most businesses rely on these same hauling vendors for advice on how to manage waste – even though it’s in the haulers’ best interests if waste output goes up.
Dedicated focus on reducing a business’ waste streams can provide huge cost savings; savings that compound every week of the year. But without waste management expertise, it’s easy for leaders to underestimate how much money they’re leaving in the trash. In 2008, Jaclyn McPhadden, co-founder of RecycleSmart, became an entrepreneur to solve this problem.
Jaclyn was a biology graduate in her mid-20s who had just started a career in hotel management after spending years leading adventure tourism expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic.
“It was probably the abrupt contrast of being in this pristine environment with no pollution, no garbage, going to places no one has ever been before – some of the most remote places on earth – and then coming back to a very urban environment and working in a hotel that left me gobsmacked seeing all of the waste coming out.” – Jaclyn McPhadden, Co-founder, RecycleSmart
Jaclyn asked her managers if she could put together a plan to green the hotel’s operations, and went to work researching best practices. She found strategies that would not only reduce environmental impact by diverting waste from landfills, but would also save the hotel material sums of money.
Believing that other businesses would want to benefit from this expertise as well, Jaclyn and co-founder Colin Bell started RecycleSmart in 2008 off the sides of their desks.