Inside view of recycling plant.

365 Days of Safety in New Haven

Quincy Recycle’s New Haven, Indiana plant recently reached a significant milestone: 365 days accident free.

There are major advantages to going a full year without an accident, the most obvious being “we want everyone to go home alive,” as Safety Manager Joe Genenbacher points out.

Given the complex environment of a modern material recovery facility (MRF) like those we operate, Joe’s concern is valid. Conveyors, shredders, balers, a fleet of constantly in-motion forklifts – all contribute to a workplace with many potentially dangerous situations.

“A commitment to operational safety is the best way to avoid injuries,” New Haven General Manager Michael Malloy said, “It’s also another way to continually improve our business. This benefits our suppliers and customers, too – fewer delays, consistent performance, and lower costs.”

Benefits of a safe work environment include:

  • a replacement doesn’t have to be trained to cover for an injured worker
  • production continues at our normal pace as key positions are staffed by the same people
  • the same workers doing the same job over time makes them better and more efficient at it

A culture of safety also means that our employees learn to trust each other and look out for safety issues before someone is hurt.

“Our team has done a great job of continuing the safety-minded culture that helped result in a 1,008 day record a couple years ago,” said Operations Manager Tom Saylor.

All of which makes us more productive, more efficient, and better able to serve our suppliers and customers.

Leading by Example

“The mentality has to be that when management walks the floor, if you don’t adhere to the safety rules, others will think it’s okay to ignore them too,” Genenbacher said.

Each of our plants’ General Managers and Operations Managers lead by example, following the same safety requirements as all employees. They also monitor their plants for safe operations, and use a standardized set of procedures and processes to ensure compliance.

“As someone smarter than me once stated, ‘safety is not an accident’ and I think this milestone is the result of each employee’s daily commitment to focus on safety as a process as well as Quincy Recycle’s overall focus on safety as a company,” Saylor says.

Gaylord Boxes

What’s in a name? Boxes used in manufacturing sure do have a lot of them. You may hear them referred to as “pallet containers”, “bulk boxes”, “pallet boxes”, “skid boxes”, or “bulk bins”. One of the most common and strangest names for a box used in manufacturing is “Gaylord box”. An industry staple in the world of manufacturing, you may use this name everyday without knowing where it actually comes from.

The first Gaylord boxes were produced nearly 60 years ago, by The Gaylord Container Company which was originally based in St Louis; hence the name. Originally just one specific type of packing box, the term has evolved over time to encompass many different sizes of box products. There have been some buyouts and headquarter changes, but the company that founded the Gaylord box still exists today.

Gaylord boxes are a vital component to any manufacturing operation. So how would you feel if we told you that you were paying too much for yours? Or that you were costing your company a lot of money by throwing them out?

Well, you probably are.

These boxes can hold hundreds, even thousands of pounds of product. Corrugated cardboard is the star of the show, and makes them physically capable of withstanding intense weights and pressures. Corrugated cardboard is a fancy way of saying reinforced and strong paper products made to resist tears and take a few transit punches along the way.  Suffice it to say these boxes are basically indestructible. So why would anyone only use a box once?

In our one and done society, still usable and functional items are often put to pasture well before their true expiration date, and these boxes are no exception. Sure, you could keep paying $20-$30 for a new box every time you are ready to ship. But we recommend seeing the light at the end of the savings tunnel and paying a fraction of new box cost for a perfectly re-usable used box instead. If you have empties up for grabs we will happily take those as well, saving you invaluable waste removal costs and creating a revenue stream where you once had only costs.

Contact us with questions or to check availability, and let’s see how much we can start saving you today!

Quincy’s Safety Milestones

At our core, we strive to create a work environment with a foundation that is built on mutual respect. No one is more important than the other, and we only achieve optimal performance when we work together.   We also recognize that our team members have people counting on them coming home at the end of a long day. 

That’s why, out of our many Core Values, the most important one is Alive & Well. This job can be a dangerous one. It can mean observing or operating in a plant you just walked into for the first time.  It can mean operating a baler or driving a forklift in the plant you come into everyday while remembering there is a fine line between familiar confidence and foolhardy risk. 

To err is human, to emphasize safety is Quincy Recycle. We start every manager meeting with acknowledgement of safety examples or changes made to improve safety.  We ask our associates to hold each other accountable to our published safety standards on a daily basis. Responsibility for self and others is at the forefront, as well as a focus on learning from past mistakes and near misses. Safety results are always more important than production results, and we would argue that safe manufacturing and processing practices actually herald efficiency. We conduct monthly company wide safety meetings, where we share and train on topics that are critically important to keeping our team members and our facilities safe and we learn from mistakes and near misses.   

But physical safety is more than just showing up to work and staying safe and whole. We also provide free annual physicals and discounted health insurance premiums to our associates who participate in our wellness program. We believe that if you feel good, and you have the tools to be proactive and preemptive with your own personal health, you’ll not only be healthier overall, but you’ll be a more attentive and active employee. Taking care of people is the right thing to do, and it’s just good business. Investing in our people and respecting the roles they play and jobs they do enables us to also empower them to thrive.  

We do all of this because our bottom line is dependent on our people. Our colleagues are an extension of our families. Our jobs entwine together in a web of success, each strand just as important as the next; we need every employee healthy and energized, in order to be the company we want to be.  

Your Waste Audit

The first step to fixing a problem is admitting that you have one. Sorry to hit you with philosophy right out of the starting gate, but we figured time is money, and you’re probably losing some as you read this. How do we know? We know because you’re a manufacturing company and studies show that on average, more than 70% of what you throw out isn’t actually trash at all. 

So what does that mean? It means you’re paying too much for waste removal and replacement products, some of which you could reuse. It means you’re missing out on great free PR; sustainability is on everyone’s minds these days. But most importantly, it means we can help you save more (materials, money, time)  while you waste less. 

We are a national recycling company that specializes in helping manufacturers like you recognize opportunities to improve and start performing at optimum utilization of your resources and inputs (raw materials, packaging, capital, and human resources). We believe profits and sustainability aren’t mutually exclusive. That’s why we do what we do. 

Once our team is able to observe your current sources of waste generation and means of collection and disposal we will develop a plan of action tailored to your various waste byproducts. We will determine what can be reused and give you options when it comes to what can be recycled. Options that will absolutely save overall waste stream costs and quite possibly create revenue streams.  Innovation is the name of our game, both internally and in our waste audit plans. If we can find ways for your process to operate more efficiently and generate less waste, we will help you implement those solutions. What an easy way to engage your team in sustainability goals that improve the thumbprint your facility leaves on our planet and boosts your bottom line.

We don’t stop there, though. Account management teams will continually analyze your waste stream, helping you offset production and waste removal costs even when your process and products change. This is an ongoing process, and we believe there is always room for improvement.  It is a collaborative and team effort.

To us, sustainability is achievable and made possible with Quincy Recycle’s involvement. It requires implementing realistic waste reduction goals that help your overall operational efficiency and showcase your ownership and responsibility in waste stream management. 

Let us help you start to take those small steps today. We’re game if you are.