xpedx is implementing a national recycling program in association with its parent company, International Paper. This initiative is an element in xpedx’s overall sustainability strategy, where the business is committed to maintaining sustainable operations, offering sustainable product choices and providing leadership in sustainable business practices for its customers and suppliers.
“xpedx includes recycling as one of its major sustainability priorities,” said David Wallace, xpedx’s director, Sustainability. “Our emphasis is part of xpedx’s responsible stewardship of natural resources, and it is saving costs and generating new revenue for our business.”
xpedx has established ambitious goals to recycle 2,400 tons of material in 2011 and reduce its waste by 10 percent annually over the next three years.
Not only does the recycling program help the environment by diverting waste from landfills, but it also supplies material, such as recycled paper, back into the paper manufacturing process. xpedx is targeting locations that are larger than 50,000 square feet and already has the program established at nearly 70 locations, which represents more than 50 percent of its targeted locations. xpedx’s Minneapolis division averaged 14 tons of recycled material each month in the fourth quarter of 2010 alone and has recycled more than 119,000 pounds of material since October 2010.
“We’re seeing firsthand the sustainability benefits that come from these recycling opportunities,” said Dan Connors, xpedx’s division manager, Minneapolis. “xpedx is reducing the amount of waste we’re sending to the local landfill, which plays a part in increasing its lifespan. We’ve also significantly reduced our expenses because of our smaller waste stream here in Minneapolis.”
xpedx’s St. Louis division averages nine tons of recyclables per month and has reduced its trash haul by 50 percent. The location has made such a dramatic increase in the amount of recyclables captured that it was able to remove a trash compactor that was needed to manage waste. With these success stories and others, xpedx found that more than 90 percent of what it was sending to landfills in some locations was recyclable. This represented an opportunity to dramatically reduce the amount of materials xpedx sent to landfills as well as saving thousands of dollars in landfill fees per month at each site.
International Paper, which has a recycling business with more than 35 years of experience, helped xpedx to design and implement the program. xpedx is now recycling LDPE plastic (recycling symbol “4”), corrugated boxes, office paper, coated paper, mixed paper grades, pallets and wood waste, as well as common items including aluminum cans, fluorescent lights, Styrofoam, batteries and used oil. In select locations, xpedx is also investigating the possibility of helping customers recycle materials such as pallets and plastics.