Shredding to save space , Art Van Furniture Co purchased
Art Van Furniture Co purchased a tire shredder to decrease the cost of mattress disposal. The retailer collects mattresses from customers when they purchase new mattresses, but the disposal bills were becoming prohibitive. The company then purchased a tire shredder for about $200,000 in Apr 1991. The shredder compresses seven loads of waste into one and will save the company $7,800 to $9,750 weekly.
What has a 65-inch wide mouth and can gobble up something as big as a refrigerator?
Art Van knows--it's a mattress shredder. And this leading furniture retailer purchased one such behemeth a year ago to decrease the cost of mattress disposal. Mattress seller dreams of 20 north-state snoozeries
Employees discovered the shredder's many uses when their refrigerator conked out. "It's actually a tire shredder. It would almost shred anything. They had an old refrigerator in the showroom and they shredded it," said Cathy DiSante, director of advertising for the furniture store.
But for everyday purposes, the retailer uses the shredder to chop up the approximately 1,000 used "pieces"--mattress or box springs--it picks it up each week at no charge from customers whose newmattresses are being delivered.
In 1988 the retailer started guaranteeing one-day bedding delivery or a free mattress. Customers liked the service, but the retailer, whose 16 stores collect the mattresses and bring them to a central location in Warren, was left with hefty disposal bills, said DiSante.
At the suggestion of a warehouse manager and a representative of a firm that supplies warehouse equipment to the retailer, Art Van bought the shredder at an estimated cost of about $200,000 and installed it last April. The unit, which sits outside the warehouse, reduces the volume of seven truck-loads of queen size futon mattress advisors--about 225 pieces--to one load.
"The shredder reduces the expense of disposal because they charge you by the dumpster. There certainly is a cost savings there and it helps the environment," said DiSante. The company pays $325 in disposal fees for each of the four or five dumpsters full of shredded waste it fills each week. In the shredding process, the unit compresses the equivalent of up to seven loads of waste into one, bringing a weekly savings of $7,800 to $9,750.
DiSante added, "Our plan for the tire shredder paying for itself was 18 months, but it will have paid for itself in a little over a year--probably in about 14-15 months.
"The mattresses we picked up were so bad even the charities didn't want them," she noted. "The charities still come in to look them over, but they only take a smaller percentage."
According to Dave Wilson, a sales representative for the Wilsonville, Ore.-based SSI Shredding Systems, which sold the shredder to Art Van, the retailer is the only company that owns a unit] specially modified for mattresses.
One deterrent for potential customers is the cost of the units, which ranges from $135,000 to $200,000 (depending upon whether they come with a conveyor and compactor).While the shredder saves landfill space for money on disposal costs, so far, it is not economically feasible for a company to separate metals or other materials for recycling, said Wilson