Type of Business:
Corner Store, service station & Deli (operating 24/7)
John D. (owner)
John, “I just bought this place and I could use all the advice I can get to help reduce my costs.”
John recently retired from a local utility company and bought the business which had been in operation for over 15 years. Several of the other staff had 3 to 4 years history with the previous owners.
Number of Staff:
3 full time and 6 part-time. Including owner & manager
Fuel pump islands on two sides of the 1550 sq. ft. structure, 850 sq. ft. of retail area, including cooler space and small snack bar. 1 office w/ 2 desks, 200 sq. ft. receiving/storage room, three rest rooms, and 90 sq. ft. behind the deli / register counter. Employee parking adjoins the rear of the bldg with alley access for deliveries through a rear entrance, which is poorly lighted.
WDS in use:
Historically, 2 separate two-yd dumpsters are used to accommodate all waste generated by the operation, one dumpster is emptied 6 times a week, the other is emptied three times a week (M/W/F). Neither dumpster is kept inside an enclosed area. The cost for this level of service being $731.00 per month / $8,772 annually, plus regular extra volume charges.
Waste Assessment Findings:
Empty cardboard boxes (from staff & vendors stocking) were not being broken down before disposal, thus appearing to represent up to 45% of actual waste (by volume) on days freight is received.
Trash can liners (24 per day) were tied off retaining air in 25 to 50% of their capacity. Paper towels from rest rooms, fuel islands - the deli and housekeeping activities represented 20% of actual waste (by volume).
The office is flooded daily with trade and product journals, catalogs and other related mailings, representing 3 to 5% (by weight) of all generated waste paper. Food waste from the deli and snack bar appeared to represent less than 15% of actual waste (by volume).
The 2 dumpsters appeared to be commonly used by neighboring businesses, vendors and/or the general public, due to easy access. This represented up to 25% of the actual waste (by volume).
Staff empties 8 trash cans, replacing plastic liners each time, on each of the three daily shifts.
No effort is made to reduce air mass before placing trash can liners in dumpsters. The two public rest rooms are accessible from only the exterior of the building.
Paper towels in the two public rest rooms have a history of being used to plug the commodes, used at the fuel islands and/or just disappearing (especially on weekends). Management is making plans to expand deli items and increase sales. The sink in the deli area is not equipped with a disposal.
The night and early morning shifts are responsible for food prep, stocking coolers, the retail area and general housekeeping duties between sales.
Individual boxes of merchandise are shuffled between the storage and retail areas to manage inventory.
After dark, staffs are afraid to get close to the rear entrance, or to go outside. There appears to be no recycling effort as part of the operation. Recommendations:
Install an enclosure around the dumpster area to restrict public access. Perhaps install motion detecting lights for the area.
Replace one trash dumpster with a cardboard recycling container ($25.00 per month fee, for multiple times a week collection service).
Purchase a 2 shelf push cart ($119.00) for shuttling inventory and broken down boxes to and from retail and storage areas.
Have all empty boxes broken down prior to disposal. Box knives used to open boxes can be used to break down the empty ones as generated.
Replace paper towel dispensers in the two public rest rooms with cloth recycling type from local vendor ($24.00 per mo.) or purchase and install electric blower type dryers ($456.00).
Change trash can liners at ¾ full, stuff smaller or partial full liners into one another and/or larger ones from the fuel islands. Always remove any excess air from the liners before tying them closed.
Recycle all waste paper and junk mail from the office and register areas, (one time refundable fee of $42.00 for system - collection is a FREE service). Include a sink disposal as part of upgrade to deli expansion ($725.00). Target Objectives:
1. Reduce dependency of waste disposal services to a single dumpster, serviced only twice a week. Reduce basic waste related costs from $731 to $212 per month including additional cardboard collection service.
2. Eliminate staff time and/or plumber service costs associated with plugged toilets, by removing paper towels from public restrooms.