Category Archives: Internal Articles

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employee wellness

Our Commitment to Employee Wellness

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Our Commitment to Employee Wellness
By Mike Lauro – Human Resources

USA Hauling & Recycling has a deep commitment to the wellness of our employees. In addition to providing great health insurance benefits, we have a wellness committee, a safety team, and a commitment to technology that is for the benefit of each and every employee.

Our wellness committee runs programs throughout the year to teach our team about healthy living. Throughout the summer, we host healthy picnics at each of our sites teaching individuals the benefits of making the right choices when deciding what to eat. This healthy eating translated into our fall “Biggest Loser” competition. As a company, we lost 802 pounds in six weeks of competition! Our employees loved it and we will be running the program again continuing the message of healthy living.

While our wellness committee teaches us about how to live a healthier lifestyle, our safety team is committed to the wellness of employees on the job. The team analyzes any potential job hazards and what we can do to mitigate them to keep our employees in top shape. Looking at employee safety and wellness is what brings technology to our industry. While in years past you would see our workers lifting heavy trash cans and recycling bins that lead to injuries, we now use automated hydraulic systems operated by a joystick so employees can have less strain and prevent injuries.

A side-loader USA Hauling & Recycling truck using an automated hydraulic system to lift a residential trash bin. This system saves employees from lifting heavy trash bins that could potentially lead to an injury.

We continually strive to make our employees safer on the job and are even launching a “Safety Boot Program” where we will provide our safety sensitive employees with a Safety Boot allowance each year to help reduce the risk of injuries. Another step forward for the health and safety of our employees!

Whether it is creating programs for the health of our employees or preventing injuries with technology, USA Hauling & Recycling is committed to our team’s wellness.

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Composting For The Large Generator

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Are you one to be ahead of the game, or follow what others are doing?

Composting has become the next big thing! Did you know Connecticut was the first state to pass a law requiring large generators of food scraps and soiled paper to begin composting? This, in turn, creates more jobs, reduces our carbon footprint, enhances our landscapes, prevents soil erosion, and helps grow healthy crops. Organic materials should be thought of as a resource, not as waste.

Companies are beginning to learn the great benefits that can lead from the separation of compost-able material, such as reducing disposal fees at landfills and reducing their carbon foot print. Composting creates an organic fertilizer that is great for gardens, planting beds, reseeding lawns, and adding nutrients to the soil to keep plants healthier.

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Supermarkets, restaurants, and 2nd hand produce stands are just a few great candidates for this service. By diverting the trash out of the waste stream will help offset the cost of composting. “About 35 million tons of food waste, plus additional organic waste such as paper, paperboard, and yard trimmings, get sent to landfills and incinerators each year in the United States.” ~USEPA, 2012 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization Report. Food is the heaviest item in most waste streams. If you are creating large quantities of food waste, composting is something for you. These materials can be placed in compactors or dumpsters and then we deliver the material to the compost facility; easy as that.

Not only is food waste an easy nominee for composting but other disposable organics include:

  • soiled paper and waxed cardboard
  • yard trimmings
  • fats, oils, and greases

Click here to see full list of acceptable food scrap material

The compost that is created from your organics and food scraps will provide great nutrients for the soil, that then produces your plants in the farms for food. whyrecycle

In January 2014, CT Legislation made it official that all companies creating an average of 104 tons a year must separate the organic material from solid waste and also recycle materials at a permitted facility that is within 20 miles from the site. By 2020, the average for companies will become 52 tons per year. USA Hauling & Recycling can help you meet the Connecticut organic recycling regulations. Our goal is to provide each of our customers with their own customized approach for their waste and recycling needs. USA Hauling & Recycling is the experienced partner, having implemented food scraps and organics recycling programs for customers of all sizes and types.

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For more information regarding this topic, visit: DEEP Commercial Organics Recycling Law Page

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Source To Sea Cleanup 2016

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The Connecticut River Watershed Council’s (CRWC) 20th Annual Source To Sea Cleanup was held this past Friday and Saturday, September 23-24. From their website www.ctriver.org: “The Source to Sea Cleanup is an annual trash cleanup of the Connecticut River system – rivers, streams and banks, parks, boat launches, trails and more. Each fall, thousands of volunteers of all ages and abilities head out to places of their choice all along the four-state watershed (NH, VT, MA, CT) to clean the Connecticut River and its tributaries on foot or by boat.”

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It was a beautiful morning to help keep the Connecticut River clean.

USA Hauling & Recycling was a sponsor and also assembled a group of volunteers to help with the event. The group included employees and their friends and families, totaling 38 volunteers of all ages, from throughout the state meeting at the Barnes Boat Launch on S River Street in Enfield, CT. From there the group split up to clean the surrounding area along the Connecticut River. Some went on kayaks to access harder to reach areas, some went down the street to Parsons Road, while others spread out to clean other areas along the river. The combined effort brought in over 2.5 tons of waste along the river in our location alone, including a couch, mattress, chairs and tires, along with many bags of trash.

Taking Out The Trash

Some of the items were a little harder to collect than others…

Make sure to vote for your favorite photos from the event at CT River Photo Contest 2016 starting at noon on Monday, October 3 and running through noon on Tuesday, October 11. You can vote for each photo once a day so make sure to vote for your favorites. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make this event a success and we hope to see even more volunteers next year!

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Customer Service – What Makes Us The Best?

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Customer Service… What makes us the best?
By Sean O’Toole – Customer Service Manager
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To be the best you must first have a clear understanding of what customer service is; as it is such a diverse area.  Most people think customer service is a department that treats customers with a friendly attitude and tries to resolve their problem or question as efficiently as possible. This is true, however, there is so much more that has to happen for a customer to be serviced to their satisfaction. For example, if a customer calls us to change the removal date of their container, we have to then update the scheduling which must be relayed to the driver through dispatch. The route must be subsequently recalculated to ensure other customers experience are not effected as the driver may have been counting on the removal to make his next delivery.  This is simply one example of how customer service is truly handled by the whole company instead of just the Customer Service Department. In our company, the whole company participates in customer service. We believe working as a team across all departments is what truly makes an exceptional customer service experience.

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Michael Jordan is considered to be one of the best basketball players of all time. However, despite his great skill he could not have won any championships without the assistance and support of his team. His fellow teammates would aid him on the court by doing things like setting a pick for Jordan to make the crucial shot or making the tough pass to him for a game changing layup. He had such a long time in the spotlight due to his good team and great teamwork.

Our team knows that providing superior customer service needs to be solid much like an oak tree which consists of many living parts working & growing in unity. The root system is akin to our vast variety of service; our team is equipped to cater to all your needs, from the home, to your business or construction site.

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The trunk of the tree represents our working platform for the day to day operations of our company. This includes our billing staff, operations workers, IT staff, web designer, and everyone that works to carry out the needs of the customer to ensure their satisfaction.

The branches of the tree are our Customer Service Representatives. These representatives are part of a diverse group with expert training, with plenty of experience to ensure all your individual needs are met in a timely fashion.

Most importantly are our leaves, our customers. The customers are the lifeblood of our company who provide the most valuable part of it all, their insight. This insight allows us to shape our company around our customers’ needs, which create the foundation of our company.

By providing your insight and opinion we are able to ensure the tree thrives. Without this, we slowly shrivel up to become a past memory. Your input combined with our experience has allowed us to grow over the past 41 years.  Our service has a reputation of being seamless. From the person that takes your request to the driver that delivers the container. We understand it needs to be an all in effort with company wide participation.

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To meet customer expectations reliability needs to be second nature. This is why we are selective in the equipment that we purchase, the mechanic that works on the trucks, and the drivers that provide the service.  We know that we can not be the best without having the best to assist you.

Our oak tree is standing proud, thriving and growing every day. Through storm and calm, we have stuck with our core values. We do not run for cover when a storm comes, we in turn view it as an opportunity to gather rain to fuel our growth.  These opportunities to learn, to adapt, to improve, and to keep doing what our customers love; has molded us into what we are today.

We are a diverse group of departments with one desire in common.  We strive to provide paramount customer service, to internalize an instinct to assist you, to grow and to continue to train as a team.  We accept that we may not always grow the fastest or make every shot; however, this is where our passion & purpose unite. As Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress: working together is success.” Over time we have come together from many departments into one company, standing united against any adversity ready to serve you.  This is what makes our customer service the best!

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Wishes On Wheels Convoy

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USA Hauling & Recycling participated with 4 trucks in Connecticut Make A Wish’s 17th Annual Wishes On Wheels Convoy on Sunday, September 11. The event departed from Rentschler Field in East Hartford and ran to 384 to Bolton and then back to Rentschler Field. Once returned to the field, the day was filled with lots of family fun!

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From their website www.wishesonwheels.com: “Wishes on Wheels, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization made up of passionate and hardworking volunteers committed to a shared goal – to organize a family-friendly truck convoy and event to bring together families, friends and community members to support children with life-threatening medical conditions.  Dozens of local Wish Kids look forward to Wishes On Wheels as an annual tradition that simply can’t be missed.  Many of the truck drivers volunteer to have Wish Families ride along with them during the Convoy.  When the Wish Kids arrive, they carefully select the truck they will ride shotgun in during the Convoy or search until they find ‘their truck’ from the previous year.  Upon return to Rentschler Field in East Hartford, there is more fun, food and festivities to help raise money for this important cause.”

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Materials Management

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Materials Management
By John Pizzimenti
Manager, Environmental Services

The greatest joy and reward resulting from my job responsibilities is re-purposing construction and demolition debris. These materials were formerly land-filled. Now, our company recovers material from these waste streams and provides a wide variety of products. Approximately 153,000 tons of material was recovered in 2014 & 2015.

Recycled Roof Shingles

Recycled Roof Shingles

Our recycled landscaping products are produced at our state permitted facility, Shoham Road Transfer LLC. There, the clean, untreated wood is separated and processed into the various products. The wood is ground to a particular size and colored with red, brown and black colorant. The colored recycled wood product is sold to mulch distributors. The smaller particles are screened and kept under cover to remain dry. This is then used for animal bedding.

Recycled wood is also used to produce heat and energy. Some of the clean, ground wood chip is sent to wood pellet manufacturers. It is then bagged and sent to retail distributors. Often, the mixed recycled wood is used as a fuel for renewable energy. These facilities generate electricity for distribution on the electric grid.

Crushed Brick

Crushed Brick

Asphalt, brick and concrete and residential asphalt roof shingles are also repurposed. These materials are processed at our state permitted Babylon Recycling Center. The asphalt and concrete is crushed to make reprocessed concrete. The product is sized to meet CT DOT specifications. It is used as a base under roads, parking lots and driveways. Red brick is also crushed and used as decorative landscape material. Red brick is crushed to make brick chips for landscaping. Residential asphalt roof shingles are segregated and tested for asbestos according to DEEP regulations. There has never been a positive result for asbestos in any of our shingles. The shingles are ground, screened and used in the production of new asphalt. The ground shingles can also be used in certain asphalt patch applications.

As you can see, our companies are proactive in saving the environment by re-purposing these discarded materials. Not only does it save on landfill space, it saves energy and raw materials. That’s why our colors are red, white, blue and green.

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Vehicle Day - Somers Library

Somers Library Hosts Truck Day

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Somers Library hosted a Vehicle Day on June 29, 2016 as part of their summer reading program.  USA Hauling & Recycling brought a rear load waste truck to go along with a fire truck, an ambulance, a plow truck, a school bus, an ice cream truck and more that were brought from other local companies and departments. The event gave kids and their families a chance to see the vehicles and meet with the drivers, as well as sit in the vehicles.

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USA Hauling Gives Recycling Demonstration To Kids At St. Francis School In Torrington

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USA Hauling & Recycling presented a recycling demonstration on recycling and the importance of it to our community with one of their split body trucks at St. Francis School in Torrington, CT on Friday, May 20. Students and teachers sat in the truck and got to have their picture taken. Kids from the school were also able to load recyclables that they had been saving into bins that were collected by the truck so they could see it in action. Afterwards, Jim Rockwell and Glen Dietlin, of USA Hauling & Recycling, handed out educational recycling coloring books and stickers to all the students. The event was a great success and was a fun and educational event for everyone involved.

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Green Circle

USA Hauling & Recycling Selected As A Sustainability Finalist

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USA Hauling & Recycling has been named a finalist for the DEEP and Hartford Business Journal’s Green Circle Sustainability Awards. The finalists include an elite group of Connecticut businesses, government entities, individuals/groups, schools and universities who are doing their part to ensure that the business they conduct is environmentally responsible and sustainable.

To celebrate the achievements of all the finalists, and to announce the winners of the Green Circle Sustainability Awards, Hartford Business Journal and DEEP will be hosting the Green Circle Sustainability Awards Gala at Infinity Hall Hartford on May 23rd, 2016.

For more information and a full list of the finalists please visit: Hartford Business Journal’s Website

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USA Hauling Participates At NCCC Home Show CT

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USA Hauling & Recycling participated and was a gold sponsor at the 47th Annual North Central Chamber of Commerce (NCCC) Home & Product Show CT, held on March 12 and 13th. The event took place at 69 Prospect Hill Road, East Windsor, Connecticut in the former Walmart location and saw “the most participants in 20 years,” according to Gary Cote, Show Chairman of the NCCC. USA Hauling & Recycling has been a partner of the NCCC since 1974.

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