Maybe, instead of sending the solvent to an incinerator, it could be reused…
Out of that notion, Tim Cole formed environmental services company Eco Partners. “Our primary approach to the business is to recycle, reuse, repurpose everything for our client.”
Eco Partners’ guiding ethos is “disposal is always a last resort.”
Manufacturing facilities should find a solution that’s better than dumping their waste into America’s landfills — not only because dumping is bad for the planet, but also because there’s a race to be seen as “green” in the eyes of consumers.
Cole says that Eco Partners can help companies be truly green by finding practical, often money-saving, alternate pathways for their waste. “That’s largely what we do for our client. We are an industrial recycle-reuse-repurpose ideas company.”
“And it really doesn’t matter if it’s oil, if it’s carbon, if it’s glycerine, or recovered solvent off of a process, we will find a recycle/reuse option for that material as opposed to a conventional disposal or outlet for that material.”
He worked for ten years in the ’80s-’90s for an industrial waste disposal company, when the thought struck him that maybe the millions of gallons of solvent used in the industrial parts washers he serviced could be cleaned somehow and reused.
The expense of trucking millions of gallons to be incinerated in off-site kilns was such an obvious waste. “Somebody should be able to use this material,” Cole thought. There must be a way to reclaim and reuse material that otherwise would go up a smokestack.
That’s how he started on his path, way back in 1997. Recycling/reusing facilities’ waste “wasn’t even talked about then,” he says.
“We gained momentum by 2000. We were diverting probably 20, 30 truckloads a week that were previously being burned. Now customers were using that material as a product, in place of buying virgin material. So talk about conserving natural resources! Those are big wins for everyone, financially as well.”
In the previous decades Cole has tackled solvents, oil, food waste — from hazardous material to the innocuous garbage that ordinarily is dumped in landfills, Eco Parters figures out a way to make it usable.
“I love what I do. I love to solve problems for people, frankly. And we think outside the box,” he says. “We go to an extensive amount of work to find a solution.”
Finding new solutions to use old waste is one part of his job that excites Cole. The other part is that he’s truly driven to make the world a better place.
“I’m passionate about the business, and I like what I do — what I do affects our planet on a daily basis. So not only can I feel good and passionate about what I do, but I can change the footprint of how we affect this Earth.”