Two weeks ago, we sat down with Noah Marsh, founder of Food FWD, to learn about North Hills’ newest sustainability initiative, composting. Today, we hear from Travis Hitchcock of Waste Industries who, alongside Food FWD, is partnering with North Hills on this mission.
North Hills Live: Tell us about the mission of Waste Industries.
Travis Hitchcock: We are driven to protect, preserve, and inspire change that benefits the lives of the communities we impact and the environment that surrounds them. At Waste Industries, we believe in a sustainable future for waste. We believe in the promise of a greener world tomorrow, built upon the actions of today. We believe in more.
As seen in our mission statement, that has stood true, unchanged, and unaltered since our founding: “To grow and prosper through the efficient and responsible utilization of our resources, while providing our customers with cost-effective, responsive, and environmentally sound solutions to their solid waste management needs.” We believe in being the best, not just for our customers today, but for each and every potential customer in the generations that follow.
North Hills Live: How did Waste Industries get started?
TH: The company was started in 1970 by two individuals, Lonnie Poole and Jim Perry, here in Raleigh, North Carolina. They started by running their own one-truck operation together. Since our founding, Waste Industries has strived to achieve one, all-encompassing goal: To provide a waste collection service that is so streamlined and stress-free that it falls almost entirely out of our customers’ minds.
Our goal has always been to provide a level of service that is truly unmatched by anyone in the industry. From sustainable efforts, environmentally conscious decisions, and a caliber of customer support unparalleled by any service-based company, we have always aspired to be more than what we are today. This goal, a desire to always accomplish more, to always achieve that next great moment in a string of unforgettable advancements for the residents of each community we service, has been embedded in the core business principles of our company.
NHL: What is the Full Circle Project, and how does it align with your company’s values?
TH: The Full Circle Project is a way for Waste Industries to change how we handle our charitable giving efforts. We have always believed that giving back to the communities we service is essential to building a better place for everyone to live. Since our founding, charitable giving has been at the core of our mission to give back. We picked charities that we thought would benefit the communities we serviced best, and we distributed accordingly. However, thanks to the open nature of the internet, we realized that there was an even better way to do this.
To best support our mission, it became clear that it’s our customers who should be making the decision on how we distribute our funds. With that simple revelation, the Full Circle Project was born. To make it as easy as possible for our customers to contribute, we set only one rule for entry; all you need to do in order to participate is to be enrolled in e-billing. From there, we broke down our charitable giving efforts into nine fundamental categories that would allow customers to support a group of charities that mean the most to them.
NHL: Tell us about your partnership with Food FWD. How did it begin?
TH: The partnership was introduced to us by the management team at North Hills. They arranged a few meetings for us to work together to ensure we were providing all of the services possible to the tenants of North Hills.
NHL: How is your service contributing to North Hills’ sustainability initiatives?
TH: Waste Industries works closely with the operational team of North Hills, looking for opportunities to improve recycling participation and efficiencies. We also work closely on continuing education for the tenants of North Hills so they can understand changes or updates in regards to the acceptable recycling material listing.
NHL: What are your goals for North Hills through your partnership with Food FWD?
TH: Landfill capacity is a finite resource, so we are always looking for opportunities to divert waste for reuse. Since mixed recycling seems to continually become more accessible, we thought food waste diversion was another great opportunity to divert waste from landfills. By partnering with Food FWD, we are providing a menu of services to the tenants at North Hills.
NHL: What is your favorite part about what you do?
TH: My favorite part is that I get to serve a very special community and provide services that virtually go unseen in most cases. I feel good on a daily basis knowing that I am providing an essential service to the community to ensure we have a safe, clean, and sustainable environment where we can grow and prosper. In addition, we are making improvements to ensure the place we call “home” is in great condition for others to enjoy in the future.
For our final post in this series, Operations Manager Herb Ubbens will share North Hills’ side of the new composting initiative. Stay tuned to learn why we have made composting a priority.