Local Business Going Green and Making Green At Same Time

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

With growing concerns over protecting the environment and a growing need to cut spending, businesses say they are having to get creative when it comes to going green and making green. One local business says it's new recycling program is doing both.

Matthew Jerebker, general manager of Ashley Furniture in Grand Junction, says his store delivers between 100 and 150 pieces of furniture a day, leaving one big mess behind in their store room.

"Being that we're in the furniture business we have a lot of packing material," said Jerebker. "So we are trying to find ways in which we could lower our waste."

He says they are also trying to find ways to lower their costs to get rid of it.

"We were averaging fourteen hundred dollars a month in landfill costs," said Jerebker.

With the cooperation's ongoing efforts to become more environmentally friendly, Jerebker says his store found their answer.

"We implemented a recycling program," said Jerebker.

Using a new cardboard bailer, a larger trash compactor and a foam densifier --

"It breaks down styrofoam down at an eighty to one ratio," said Kenny DeRose, the foam densifier operator for Ashley Furniture. "We just feed our foam into it, it crunches it down, then it spits it out through the side and it turns into a kind of plastic."

They say the program is doing wonders for the environment and the business.

"We call it a triple win," said Jerebker.

Store officials say the new program allows their store to be more sustainable. It also reduces landfill costs and emissions by cutting back on the amount of things being thrown out and cutting back on the number of times per month trucks have to carry them out.

"We've cut that down to three-hundred dollars a month, which is significant," said Jerebker. "It's almost fourteen thousand dollars a year in savings for us.

They say it also gives them a new source of revenue. Companies from across the country buy the bailed cardboard and styrofoam Ashley Furniture puts out to use for their own ventures.

"Instead of creating new plastic, they reuse the plastic and basically they make golf balls, picture frames and lawn chairs," said Jerebker. "With the tough economy right now, if you can generate revenue and reduce your landfill cost, it helps your business.

Jerbker says he hopes the program's success will encourage other businesses to take similar action -- not only to help the futures of many businesses, but also help the world future generations will live in.

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