As a part of our larger OWN It campaign, a commitment to encourage action on environmental preservation by looking inwards and “owning it” ourselves, we introduced a baler to the ACK warehouse here in Austin, Texas late last year.

ACK VP of Operations Ray Luckadoo owning it by compacting what is about to be 700 lbs of cardboard into a neat little square.

We know, we know, the baler itself (which we nicknamed Bertha, by the way) isn’t all that exciting to look at. But its purpose makes it an invaluable addition to the warehouse, helping us in our journey to become a zero-waste company. For context, “zero-waste” means no trash is being sent to landfills or incinerators, meaning all materials are reused in one way or another.

And bam! In just a few minutes.

For context, “zero-waste” means no trash is being sent to landfills or incinerators, meaning all materials are reused in one way or another.

So how exactly does this machine come into play with the zero-waste initiative? Instead of going to landfills, we’re selling our bailed cardboard waste back into the cardboard market. That’s resulted in a 60% year-to-year reduction in landfill waste. When you break the bailing and recycling into more tangible concepts, here’s a glimpse at what we’ve saved over our first quarter of the year:

– 20 cubic yards of landfill
– 1,156 trees
– 47K gallons of water
– 27 barrels of oil
– 28K kilowatts

And by compacting a large pile of cardboard into a manageable “package,” the physical presence of the baler┬áhas reduced the required square feet of WHS floor space previously committed to waste, giving us more space for real time inventory!

If you didn’t know, now you know! We thought we’d dedicate a blog to highlight these successes (but to also acknowledge that we’ve still got work to do) and to draw attention to the great work that ol’ Bertha is doing in a corner of our warehouse.