Supply chain waste is a common topic in conversations with supply chain professionals, but the logistics behind that waste and those end-of-life materials often gets overlooked and disregarded even in the context of sustainability in manufacturing.
Garbage is significant because there are environmental and financial benefits to be had in converting these materials once again into usable products.
Major U.S. companies, such as 7-Eleven convenience stores and Papa John's Pizza, are beginning to reduce their waste and costs by using services like those provided by Rubicon Global, an Atlanta-based company that’s developed a virtual marketplace for waste loads and recycling jobs.
Rubicon’s marketplace shows both companies with waste to be hauled and companies that haul and recycle. The marketplace, dubbed Caesar, has final selections typically made by Rubicon itself for the jobs available, based on vendor-submitted price and quality.
The company said this not only allows clients to find and use smaller vendors that may be cheaper or better located, but the load board also allows Rubicon to compete with large competitors that often provide fewer options, such as Waste Management.
Rubicon also provides waste-stream consulting which aims to improve supply chain material usage efficiencies and reduce waste at the back-end of a supply chain. One recycling program the company is especially proud of is having a hand in a program that converts unused Papa John’s pizza dough into ethanol.
The company knows not all materials can be recycled nor all final products can use recycled parts, as many materials obtained from recycling can’t be used in high-end applications and some consumers aren’t interested in final products made of recycled materials. Yet, Rubicon said it sees clean-up potential in a wide range of supply chains.
(To read more, access the April American Shipper
article, "Reducing waste
," pages 42-43.) - Geoff Whiting