But what about the hangers that could not be reused? Unfortunately, they were thrown away. There was no other option available, and that was something that always bothered us. It also bothered one of our suppliers, N. S. Farrington.I was curious how their new hanger recycle program got started, so I went to their facility in Winston-Salem and met with co-owner John Erskine. According to John, for years dry cleaners had been trying to do their part to reduce waste and to be more environmentally friendly. Many eco-friendly products were introduced, but few performed at an adequate level. Customers were disappointed with the quality of the products. But somewhere along the way the folks at Farrington recognized that packaging supplies would always need to be used. That’s when they began to focus on ramping up their recycling efforts.
Fast forward to today. They developed a simple program, and we are very excited to be a part of it. Here’s how it works:
- N. S. Farrington supplies us with a recycling bin to place unusable wire hangers in
- They pick up the bins once full and then will leave an empty replacement bin at no charge when making their regular delivery
- They take the full bins to licensed metal recyclers
- The recyclers melt down the hangers into raw carbon steel in the form of bar stock and piping and resell it to places like construction companies, small machine shops, and so on for use as raw material in their operations
Here’s the coolest part – this program is recycling almost 17 tons of hangers per year, and according to John, “At these levels, A Cleaner World and other participating companies are keeping roughly 5000 cubic feet of waste out of landfills each year.” Nice!