Case Study: Great Forest Helps A Manufacturer Profit From Increased Waste Diversion


Industrial (Manufacture/Resale), located in the Midwest.


Every client needs solutions customized to meet their specific needs. For this client, simplicity was key, so Great Forest designed a simple solution that would work with the client's time/space/manpower constraints. This led to a 300 percent decrease in trash going to the landfill, and a 30 percent decrease in waste hauling costs.


An industrial client was landfilling much more than they should, but like most businesses, they did not have time to address the issue. As a result, their roll-off dumpster was being filled rapidly and they were not taking advantage of the area’s low- priced recycling services.


Great Forest conducted a Zero Waste Assessment, which included an operational analysis and physical waste stream audit to understand the client’s

  • Manufacturing/production operations
  • Waste-related infrastructure
  • Waste profile

Great Forest’s assessment found that three quarters of what the client was sending to the landfill could be recycled. Much of their dumpster was filled NOT with trash, but recyclables. Based on these findings, as well as Great Forest’s understanding of the factory’s operations, Great Forest took the following steps:

  • Designed a simple recycling program that would work – a single-stream recycling system. The simplicity of this system was of particular importance for the client because they did not have needed space or manpower to further separate waste streams
  • Conducted several educational sessions to train employees on how to identify recyclables – metal, glass, plastic – which would then be placed in the new single-stream recycling containers, while the rest of the waste stream would go into the trash dumpster destined for the landfill.


  • With recyclables now collected separately, the volume of trash going to the landfill decreased by 300 percent.
  • Based on this change in waste profile, Great Forest renegotiated hauling fees, leading to a 30 percent decrease in costs.


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(Photo by Crystal Kwok on Unsplash)

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