Route4Me Helps New Company Transform the Trash Industry in Michigan

The Customer

ORGANICYCLE LLC

ORGANICYCLE LLC, which has been in existence since the end of 2011, was created by Dan Tietema to transform the trash industry, and create an easy way for residents to recycle compostable waste that usually ends up in landfills, such as food, yard waste, paper and cardboard, and pet waste. Subscribing customers place their compostable waste into an Organicycle container, and place it curbside for collection by an Organicycle truck. Organicycle turns over the contents to industries that make compost, and other renewable energy. Only compostable waste is picked up, although the services are modeled after any other trash company, with regular routes and containers earmarked for pickup. Customers do not have to separate compostable waste into categories. It all goes into the same Organicycle container.

Challenges

Customer Service is key: As pickups are at residences and businesses, good service on a route is critical to Organicycle's success. This is a new industry, set up the same as a trash collection company, but limited to picking up compostable waste. The service component is the same. People are used to having their trash picked up on a certain day, at a certain time. Route4Me is making this possible, and even easy.

Increasing business and keeping good service: When they first started, Organicycle was making about 30 stops a day, and now can go up to 100 stops a day. The next goal is to increase stops to 400 a day, by the end of 2014. Route4Me is critical for this expansion.

Solution

Putting the routes in the driver's hands: Before using Route4Me, Dan had to personally plan a route with a new driver, particularly if the driver was not familiar with the area. Dan also had to be present to go over the log book and plan the route, which could take hours.

Now, the driver plans the route and puts addresses into the system. Dan is free to focus on selling and running his business, and Route4Me is "putting routes into the drivers' hands, where they should be", according to Dan.

Benefits

Creating new business: Currently in the Grand Rapids area, Dan is looking to expand Organicycle to the Western Michigan area, and go from 400 stops up to a thousand. As a young industry, recycling compostable trash has the potential of becoming as commonplace as garbage trucks in every city in the United States. "People are used to separating their trash now", says Dan. This is just one more step--to take the waste that couldn't be recycled before and put it all into one more container, to be picked up by a truck.

Reducing the carbon footprint and growing a business at the same time: Benefits to the environment are clear, as landfills fill up and people look for alternatives. Benefits to Organicycle are assured, as the company continues to use Route4Me, expand their routes into other areas, and achieve Dan's goal--to change the trash industry as we know it.