When it comes to helping the environment, Organix Recycling is doing it one truck load at a time.
In five short years, it has led the pack when it comes to diverting food waste from landfills and directing it to recycling outlets, which create products that are environmentally friendly. Typically those products are compost or highly nutritious animal feed.
“We’ve grown to become one of the largest food recyclers in North America, and there’s no end in sight,” said Ron Winkle, founder and owner of Organix Recycling. “We’re in 35 states and have pickups at more than 6,000 locations. We’re working with many leading supermarket chains and they’ve come to realize they can save money and help eliminate greenhouse gases by recycling their food waste, versus sending it to a landfill. It’s not widely known, but food waste in landfills is one of the largest human-related sources of methane. We project to divert 450,000 tons of food waste to composting and cattle feed this year – saving it from landfills.”
Organix began with an RFP (request for proposal) from a major chain back in 2010. “I had just sold my oil collection business and was looking for another opportunity,” recalled Winkle. “After we won the bid, we had limited time to put a fleet of trucks together. We rented 15 Kenworth T800s from PacLease and began conversations with CIT Kenworth about acquiring new trucks. I had worked with them before on our trucks for the oil collection business.”
According to Winkle, Organix custom designed specialty collection trailers that lift bins full of food waste overhead and dump the contents — which can be extremely heavy and liquefied — efficiently and safely into the trailer. “We worked hard on logistics and developed routes around the limited recycling sites, which existed in the beginning. Our Kenworths make eight multiple stops each day in a defined area with the recycling locations being anywhere from 5 to 100 miles from our customers.”
Today, Organix Recycling has grown to a fleet of 150 tractors – 90 percent of which are Kenworths. “We have a few off-brand trucks that have come with acquisitions, but we’ve standardized with Kenworth and its T680 Day Cab. We continue to grow with a philosophy of saying yes to our customers, then figuring out a way to make it happen. We’re very focused on customer service.”
The company is operating 30 Kenworth T680s, powered by the PACCAR MX-13 engine rated at 455 hp and driven through Eaton automated transmissions. “I love these trucks,” said Winkle. “They’re aerodynamic, quiet, and easy to drive with the Eaton automated transmission. And I like the styling and the versatility of being able to have a wide choice in spec’ing components – including which engine to run. We’re having excellent success with the PACCAR MX-13. We think great equipment attracts great drivers and from what we’ve heard, they’re very happy with the T680.”
“Absolutely am,” said Jim Donato, who was one of the first drivers hired by Organix back in 2010. “The room inside this day cab is like night and day from other day cabs I’ve driven. There is so much extra room between the seats, which lets me store my lunch, extra clothes and tools. Plus the maneuverability of the T680 is very good – we have some tight spots to get in and out of. It’s a very, very nice truck.”
Since Organix trucks are scattered throughout the country, Winkle said his team works with Kenworth dealers throughout the country to handle maintenance and warranty work. “The Kenworth network really matches well with our footprint,” he said. “We don’t have centralized facilities for many of our trucks, so we’ve come to rely on Kenworth for their service programs.”
According to Winkle, he’s been a Kenworth customer since 1994. “That’s when I bought my first Kenworth, a 1985 T400. “I’ve always been impressed with Kenworth’s craftsmanship, and that was reinforced when I visited the company’s Chillicothe plant. We followed the frame rail to completion as a truck came off the assembly line – you could just see the pride in the faces of the people working on those trucks. That told me a lot.”
Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best® heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth’s Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth is a PACCAR company.