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MAY 2007

A Closer Look E-mail the author

Broad Run Recycling

Kevin Herb got into the waste business working as a sales manager for a major waste hauler. Then, one day, he thought, “I can do this better,” and founded his own business, Industrial Disposal Service (IDS).

IDS was born on October 1, 2002, with one truck and a dozen containers. Today, the company boasts 16 trucks, 27 employees, 497 dumpsters and a variety of compactors. Last year the company did $7.4 million in sales and is planning on expanding its territory into southern Virginia from its current base in northern Virginia.

While IDS is obviously doing well, Herb saw a problem. “The landfills are filling up and the prices are going up,” he said. He realized that a significant portion of the material he was landfilling could be recycled, thus the idea for Broad Run Recycling (BRR) was born.

Herb said that it took about a year to get the special use permit necessary to run the operation, and the last bit of paperwork is a DEQ permit, which he expects will be completed soon. He anticipates that BRR will open September 1 of this year.

Working two shifts, BRR should be capable of handling up to 1,500 tons a day of construction and demolition (C&D) waste, including ADC, cardboard, metal, wood, aggregate and gypsum wallboard. He estimates that he will be able to recycle 70 percent of the waste stream that comes into the facility, significantly reducing the amount of material sent to landfills.

Herb will be building a 926,000 sq.ft. building on the same property where he houses the IDS trucks. That building will have five large garage doors for access, and a concrete floor where the C&D will be dumped.

For the first 60 to 90 days, BRR and its approximately 18 employees will process only IDS material, but after that, “it will be open to third parties,” Herb said.

While costs to those third parties may be about the same as landfill costs, Herb said that BRR offers significant advantages, including a shorter haul to his facility than to the more distant landfills.

In addition, the federal LEED program (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) requires contractors building federal buildings to recycle 40 percent of the construction waste. Using BRR makes that possible.

Herb noted that while the LEED program only applies to federal buildings, the concept is “filtering down to the local county level,” where there are benefits for contractors who comply with LEED requirements. Herb said, “I’m providing solutions to the government mandated recycling requirements.”

Another benefit BRR provides for IDS is that on the last run of the day, the trucks can dump the load at the same location where they park, eliminating an empty run from the landfill to home at the end of the day.

“We work hard and we work smart,” Herb said. “I get to make the decisions – I like that. I don’t have layers of approval – I like that. I like being a leader.” He said that he has been fortunate to have made good decisions about equipment purchases and expansions so the there is enough equipment available without having it lying unused.

Herb credited much of the success of his business to his employees. “It’s about the attitude,” he said. “Our best salespeople are our truck drivers – it’s because of the service.” Indeed, IDS guarantees same-day service to customers who call before 10 a.m. and “you call our company for service, the person who answers the phone is the dispatcher. Two rings, we pick up.”

He said that all of the drivers are all clean, professional, and uniformed. “We have the cream of the crop.” Herb said. “It’s all about the service.”

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