Cline declined to comment on a few other products under development, but he acknowledges that there will be other revenue streams in the near future. “I would love to take zero to the landfill, but I know that is impossible.”
When setting up a recycling operation, you must realize that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. To be successful you really need to study and understand your local markets to determine which products will be easier to sell in those markets.
For instance, Nashville is in the heart of one of the aggregate capitals of the world. “Every place you turn around there are quarries.” This would make it very difficult to sell crushed concrete as aggregate. “Every market is different.” Just because you do it in one market doesn’t mean it is feasible in another market.
ZWICKY PROCESSING AND RECYCLING: A Business Transformation
Robesonia, Pennyslvania-based W.D. Zwicky & Son, Inc. began in the excavating business more than 30 years ago. The company has now transitioned into land clearing and demolition work, with an emphasis on its recycling operations — Zwicky Processing and Recycling Inc.
A good neighbor
Time spent with owner, Dave Zwicky, reveals an altruism that is reflected in his business and his personal life. A glittering windmill on Zwicky’s property not only blends in with nearby Amish farmsteads, but it also pumps water at a pond used for both an emergency supply of water and as a retention pond. At his Robesonia site, as well as his expansion site several miles away, Zwicky is scrupulous to minimize the operation’s impact on the environment.
“No runoff leaves the property,” he stresses. “All the runoff is recycled back into the operation and all the noise is contained, too.”
“In the early 1980s we started recycling,” recalls Zwicky. “That grew as a spin-off from the excavating business. As land became more valuable, owners didn’t want stumps buried on the jobsite, so we began taking the stumps home to our farm. Our first recycling activity was grinding tree stumps.
The stumps were processed into mulch. First the company began working with an outside vendor to transform the ground stumps into mulch, but eventually Zwicky ground his own mulch. This required an investment in capable grinders.
“Our first equipment was from Morbark — a stump waste recycler,” recalls Zwicky. But processing stumps with modified excavating equipment was hard work (think manhole covers and fence posts attempting to travel through equipment), and when Zwicky saw an advertisement for a new Morbark grinder, he traveled to the company to see the machine in action. The rest, as they say, is history.
Zwicky has been working with Morbark ever since. He has even worked with the company to design a special Morbark machine for C&D recycling. This grinder was the result of close collaboration between Zwicky and Morbark and was released at ConExpo.
Organic recycling for profit
Today Zwicky owns a mobile Morbark fleet that includes 22 grinders — a combination of slow speeds, tubs and horizontals. “We have a screening plant and a lot of magnets. All together we have 122 pieces of motorized equipment if you count our trucks, grinders, bulldozers, front-end loaders, excavators, wheel loaders and screens,” he notes.
Much of this equipment is used to carefully manage stockpiles on the company’s three sites. The largest of these sites is 140 acres, with an additional 45-acre site and a 25-acre site.
Dave Zwicky is a passionate advocate of recycling. He and his company strive to produce consistently high-quality organic products for their customers who wish to recycle 100% of their organic waste. These customers include land clearing and recycling accounts such as high-tech site remediation and recovery projects, landfill mining jobs and custom grinding contracts with area colleges, universities, municipalities, military bases, golf courses and cemeteries.