While DTG Recycle’s roots are in the construction and demolition industry, taking a holistic view of recycling services and building development throughout the entire lifecycle, the company prides itself on profitable growth, rapid response, efficient practices and offering their employees continuing education and growth opportunities.
Dan Guimont started DTG Recycle in 1999. After a frustrating experience at a local transfer station, he returned to his yard and unloaded the pickup truck full of construction material he was trying to dispose of. After combing through it, he realized that most of the material, consisting of drywall, wood and some metal, could be recycled. Since then, DTG Recycle grew steadily into the largest recycler of construction, demolition, industrial and manufacturing waste in the Pacific Northwest. With nearly 400 employees, the
company operates 12 facilities, more than 2,300 containers of various types and over 150 trucks. Their diverse fleet of transportation options includes end dump trailers, side dump trailers, gondola trailers, walking floor trailers and dry van trailers. DTG Recycle owns and operates facilities in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Island and Yakima counties in Washington State, serving even more customers in Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Thurston, Kittitas, and Benton counties, and reaching up into British Columbia, Canada.
At DTG Recycle’s Yakima facility, they have developed a first-of-its kind in the Pacific Northwest: a Material Recovery Facility co-located at a landfill, where they prevent tens of
thousands of tons of valuable material from being disposed of annually. Sorters pull materials from the waste stream that include wood, metal, cardboard, drywall, plastic, concrete, asphaltic materials and carpet. DTG Recycle also provides a comprehensive mattress recycling program to private and municipal customers, where hundreds of mattresses per day are prevented from being sent to the landfill. And to increase their service offerings to the construction industry ecosystem, they also provide customers with street sweeping and portable toilet facilities.
A Fast Growing Company
DTG Recycle has a comprehensive environmental compliance and safety department led by their Chief Compliance Officer and full-time personnel who work alongside outside consultants to ensure world-class regulatory compliance. “Through the rapid response and ongoing diligence of our health and safety department, our facilities and divisions have avoided COVID-19 related shutdowns. However, COVID-19 supply chain-related constraints have been our biggest challenge. Because we are growing so fast, individual suppliers cannot provide us with enough vehicles, containers and equipment, so we must be creative to meet our needs,” says Tom Vaughn, CEO of DTG Recycle. “Customer demand for our Gondola trailers is through the roof, and we’ve doubled the size of our fleet. We had to scour the country for a new source when we were initially told the delivery timeline was over eighteen months out.”
While labor is an ongoing struggle, DTG Recycle prides themselves in offering significant upward mobility to their employees. “We have numerous success stories where someone started as a laborer on the sort line or in the yard, and our managers identified their talent, drive and acumen. By taking advantage of our continuing education and growth opportunities, these dedicated individuals now work in our corporate office in our safety, human resources and accounting departments,” explains Vaughn.
The company has also implemented quite a few programs to attract and retain talent, both financial and for continuing education. They proudly offer all employees a fantastic benefits package that includes competitive compensation, employer matching 401k, fully paid medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, bonuses, a minimum of two weeks of vacation per year, paid sick and safe time, paid time off, tuition reimbursement and more. In addition, their DTG University offers employees continuing education and they also operate the DTG Trucking Finishing School for newly licensed commercial driver’s license recipients. Says Vaughn, “Our most exciting new addition is our DTG Truck Driving School, where we are a CDL Trainer-Employer through the state of Washington and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Entry-Level Driver Training programs.”
Committed to Safety
In 2019, DTG Recycle committed to the mantra of ELO (early, loud and often) throughout the organization. On December 16, 2019, they implemented a driver scoring program and shared it with all their drivers. At that time, their average number of miles driven per accident was 850,000 miles. Since implementing the score card, which really taps into the competitive nature of drivers by gamifying performance, the average number of miles driven per accident has increased nearly four-fold to 2.4 million. This dramatic increase in driver safety has led to lower driver turnover, competitive insurance premiums, an increase in the overall wellbeing of drivers, fewer third-party complaints and increased customer satisfaction. “We are taking a similar approach of gamification to other departments and seeing similar results, including outstanding stretches of time between reportable safety incidents at our facilities,” Vaughn points out.
Ensuring a Level Playing Field
Vaughn explains that while recycling is process intensive, it is also imperfect. “We constantly balance regulatory requirements and customer expectations with practical feasibility. We pride ourselves in offering our customers true transparency, and we do this through rigorous third-party certification. We encourage third-party certification to ensure a level playing field and to prevent bad actors from tarnishing the public’s perception of recycling. Our Chief Compliance Officer leads the time-intensive certification process, but it is worth it to provide our customers and regulators with third-party audited metrics of our practices. This ensures certainty and transparency in our diversion reporting that gives our customers confidence in our recycling process.”
A Holistic View
DTG Recycle’s roots are in the construction and demolition (C&D) industry. However, they take a holistic view of recycling services and building development throughout the
entire lifecycle. This approach to a building’s entire lifecycle includes the clearing of a vacant parcel or demolition of an existing building to construction of a new building to its demolition after it has reached the end of its useful life. Says Vaughn, “Our initial focus on C&D helped us establish a network of hard to replicate permitted material recovery facilities throughout the Puget Sound region. By leveraging this convenient network of facilities, we have added additional material types to our offerings, thereby attracting industrial and manufacturing customers so that we service a building post-construction and pre-demolition, during its working life. We are about to launch a new service that will expand our reach into additional building tenant customer types, helping us reach our goal of being involved at every step of a development’s lifecycle.” | WA