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CSA Exclusive: Forman Mills cleans up waste management inconsistencies

Forman Mills storefront

An urban discount chain is partnering with a commercial recycling platform to standardize waste and recycling activities across all stores.

New Jersey-based Forman Mills operates 47 discount stores around the U.S., concentrated in mostly urban areas and footprints in major cities including Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. For every store location, Forman Mills had a separate waste and recycling contract with varying haulers across cities and states. This made it difficult to manage waste and recycling operations in a cost-effective, streamlined manner.

In addition, Forman Mills faced recycling contracts that typically ran for three years with a 36-month autorenewal and average annual price increase of 15%, leading to costs becoming expensive and unmanageable over time. And for new stores that were opening, Forman Mills lacked a designated person or plan in place to launch and manage waste and recycling services. 

To clean up its recycling and waste management Forman Mills decided to create a standardized service for all locations, consolidate all contracts to be managed by a single point of contact with transparent costs and a standardized annual price increase, and create a point of contact with sustainable waste management expertise for new store openings.

Starting in early 2018, Forman Mills engaged commercial recycling platform RoadRunner Recycling to analyzed its current waste and recycling operations. RoadRunner consolidated 25-plus contracts from varying locations and haulers under one contract, while obtaining the best rates and savings from haulers.

The platform also provided recommendations for standardized service levels across all stores and helped Forman implement a customized plan across all 37 original locations. Forman continued expanding its RoadRunner solution and service implementation as it added 10 new stores in the past two-and-a-half years.

In addition, Forman implemented RoadRunner Fleethaul managed hauling services at select locations to manage cardboard bail recycling, ensuring cardboard commodity rates were maintained while hauling rates decreased. The retailer also leverages a RoadRunner-managed service desk for unexpected repairs, maintenance, and emergency clean-ups. 

Half of Forman stores which implemented RoadRunner recycling and waste management saw target savings of 18% within the first month of integration, and 85% hit target savings by the fifth month. All stores hit target savings within eight months. Implementing RoadRunner helped Forman save nearly $15,000 a month from monthly waste and recycling bills of over $75,000.

“For me, personally, RoadRunner is a one-stop-shop—From waste & recycling management to their help with new store setup and maintenance—their end-to-end services have been a huge benefit to Forman Mills,” said Ryan Solleder, senior director of retail development & acting director of stores, Forman Mills.


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