Driving Continual Innovation and Customer Satisfaction at Rehrig Pacific

We recently sat down with Rehrig’s VP of Sales, Marc Scott, to learn about how the company is using sustainable materials in its manufacturing processes, how its suite of services help customers become more efficient and more.

August 1, 2022

6 Min Read
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Rehrig Pacific was founded in 1913 and has prided itself on innovation ever since. From the first product it created—a part for an early battery design—the company has used “an unbroken chain of obsessive thinking to improve every product and solve every problem.” Today it is an industry leader in pallets, waste and recycling containers, and supply chain solutions.

We recently sat down with Rehrig’s VP of Sales, Marc Scott, to learn about how the company is using sustainable materials in its manufacturing processes, how its suite of services help customers become more efficient and more.

Waste360: What sets Rehrig apart, especially during these challenging times?

Scott: We all know the challenges facing the business world today, and the waste and recycling industry is not immune. Labor shortages, high gas prices, new regulations, and a desire to find sustainable solutions are common concerns. At Rehrig Pacific, we are driven to help haulers and municipalities find integrated solutions to these issues. As an end-to-end solutions supplier, we offer a strategic collaborative perspective to our partners, helping them find efficiencies and benefits beyond a single solution from a single supplier. 

Waste360: Tell us about Rehrig’s carts and why they are so important to the business.

Scott: For us, it all starts with the carts. As a manufacturer of roll-out carts since the early 1990s, we are committed to ensuring that residential carts are sustainably made, using recycled plastic at the highest percentages possible without eroding quality. Ideally, the plastics used in the carts are from sources that can improve recycling rates in the community, such as the use of bulky rigid material or ocean-bound plastics. We have seen an increase in the request for ocean-bound material from municipalities located near coastal waters as the residents of these communities look for additional sustainable efforts from their government.

Waste360: How have you incorporated ocean plastics into your products?

Scott: Last year we launched our latest Oceancore™ line of carts that contain 10% ocean-bound plastic and up to 30% post-consumer recycled plastic for a total of 40% recycled content. This still allows us to keep our customers’ requested color preferences and ensure the longevity of our products. Oceancore™ joined our line of Envirocore™ and Enviroguard™ series that use bulky rigid and post-consumer recycled plastics, respectively. Today, Rehrig Pacific continuously looks for new sources of recycled content to help increase recycling rates across the country.

Waste360: Can you tell us a bit more about your manufacturing processes?

Scott: The materials we use are important, but it is also critical to manufacture these carts closest to the end-user, providing short freight lanes that can reduce carbon emissions. It is also not enough for carts to be simply sustainably made; in today’s environment, they need to be smart. That is why when they are manufactured, our carts are equipped with RFID technology to ensure they can be found and brought back at the end of life. With this technology, we can also assist our haulers and communities improve routes, delivery times, and special services, such as bulky pickups. 

Waste360: Are there any recent technology developments you’d like to share?

Scott: Our Vision™ technology for environmental has been specifically designed for the industry with input and partnerships across the US and Canada. Able to scale to fit the needs of any size or location, Vision™ can also help manage relationships with residents using custom-made service request websites and mobile telecommunications to alert the resident to service updates. The ability to have access to data for service improvements and extended customer service support helps haulers and municipalities focus on the work they do while getting the support they need. Communities that have utilized this service have seen millions of dollars in savings due to improved efficiencies, while also helping to achieve sustainability initiatives with a decrease in illegal dumping.

Waste360: Could you share an example of how you’ve helped a customer improve its services and revenue?

Scott: An example of the benefits of smart sustainable carts can be seen in our collaboration with Garland County in Arkansas. This partnership spans 20+ years, over which time we have expanded our business relationship from providing only roll-out carts to implementing innovative services and technology geared to improve revenue and efficiencies.

The problems they faced included finding major discrepancies in billable households vs. households serviced by contracted waste haulers, as well as operational and systematic inefficiencies caused by outdated software. Rehrig Pacific recommended an intelligent route audit to identify and serialize their assets in the field. They also added the implementation of our Vision™ Work Order + Inventory Solution to keep the data integrity intact. 

The result was revenue enhancement, reduction in costs, and improved operational efficiency. They recognized a net value of over $75K associated with additional billable assets four months after the audit that could be charged back to the contracted waste haulers. Uncovering approximately 10% of households in Garland County that were not being billed meant a revenue improvement of $1.8MM after three years.

Waste360: What role do your service teams play in ensuring customer success and satisfaction?

Scott: The final integrated element needed to drive efficiency and improve sustainability is offering a best-in-class field service support team. Our field teams are highly experienced in assembly, distribution, and cart maintenance, and we can take on some of the manual labor so that haulers and municipalities can focus on their work.

Rehrig Pacific Services teams are located across the US and Canada, providing additional support including yard clean-up, cart removals, and retrofits. A hauling operation’s primary focus is getting the trash and recycling picked up at the curb every day. Container maintenance is often overlooked, leading to revenue leakage and poor customer service. We offer a singular focus on performing work orders with our employees ensuring timely delivery of containers and a satisfied customer base.

These service offerings are tied closely with our Vision™ technology. The old days of using manual spreadsheets are wrought with human error and simply not efficient. An automated container management software system can let you know what sizes you have in inventory, when to reorder certain sizes, and allow you to assign container assets to a specific address. Our services team also provides a strong sustainability benefit by fixing and reusing carts before we bring them home to be made into new products through our buy-back program. They help close the loop for us and our customers. 

Waste360: Any final takeaways to share?

Scott: Just to reiterate that, by offering a complete integrated solution, we can provide the greatest insight and value. A municipal customer recently commented that by using Rehrig Pacific’s smart carts, Vision™ technology, and services, they have gone from 11 weeks to process a work order to 72 hours, with a 95% recovery rate in lost carts. By integrating these elements together, it has changed their business, making it much easier and more trackable.

At Rehrig Pacific, we see the whole picture and strive to find ways to improve the waste and recycling business from top to bottom. When looking for solutions in the industry, consider the efficiencies gained by partnering with a company that can be your sole provider. Separately these solutions are meaningful, but in this case, the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. 

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