In the Spotlight
Southern Waste Systems: How They Get Things Done in the 21st Century
By being involved in community events and developing new markets for their recycled products, SWS is staying strong in the current economy.
Southern Waste Systems (SWS) is an independently owned and operated waste service provider with 10 locations in South Florida. With a core mission of Recycling for Zero Waste, the company has decades of experience in the collection and processing of commercial, industrial, municipal and residential waste. In addition, as a full service construction support organization, SWS can assist in the preparation of building sites from demolition to final grade prior to erection of buildings, by providing recyclable materials like crushed stone, “Greenfil”, their recycled number two fill and wood mulch, while SWS’ All Star Toilets can provide portable restroom services on the location. SWS also offers a wide variety of open top containers for construction and demolition debris along with any style of compactor available—from stationary, self-contained, front load, pre-crushers, heavy-duty industrial compactors, to balers and shredders.
SWS also provides hauling service to South Florida builders and commercial businesses, servicing any project regardless of size or scope. With efficient and professional service and timely pickup and delivery, SWS trucks are radio dispatched so drivers are available to drop off or pick up a container at the customer’s convenience, sparing the work crew any loss of time on the job site. SWS customers include a variety of businesses, including major shopping malls and strip shopping centers; apartment complexes and condominiums; mobile home communities; warehouses; churches and schools; hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities; manufacturing facilities; hotels and motels; golf courses and resorts; convention centers; and automobile dealerships.
Through Sun Recycling, an affiliate company of SWS, the company collects and recycles yard waste, bulk residential waste and construction and demolition materials. With recycling facilities located in Palm Beach, Dade and Broward Counties they are currently recycling up to 90 percent of the materials collected. Focused on the transition of the recyclable industrial materials into usable products, this recycling returns useful material to the economy and saves valuable landfill space. A third company, Sun Disposal offers residential and commercial services that include containers from 1 yard through 8 yard and curbside collection of both refuse and recyclable materials with transport to landfills, transfer stations or recycling centers. Residential and commercial waste collection is under most circumstances performed under contract with individual companies and municipalities through Sun Disposal.
Over the past 10 years, the SWS team has grown from the original 30 employees to nearly 400. They understand that along with their customers, the employees are their greatest asset. SWS’ organizational culture and approach to doing business keeps the team members with the company for a long time because they place great emphasis on the safety and well being of all of employees. Encouraging and supporting employees in the areas of training, certification and advancement, SWS is committed to furthering their careers through training. In addition to on-the-job training, advanced training is provided that includes, but is not limited to:
Ongoing safety training and emphasis on daily practices that guard the well-being of each and every staff member and visitor to our offices, plants and processing centers
OSHA Safety Training
ABC Green Building Certification Classes and U.S. Green Building Council programs
National Solid Waste Management Association Seminars
The Flippen Leadership Series: leadership training that encourages a culture of relationship management. Focus is on personal growth, raising individual strengths throughout the organization and creating a culture of open communications and trust.
Says Anthony Lomangino, founder and CEO of SWS, “We are focused on leadership training throughout the organization as we know that our employees and our customers are our greatest asset and we want to ensure our customers are being served by the best in the industry. We are in the business of gathering completely satisfied customers and our employees are the key ingredient accomplishing that goal.”
Giving back to the community is an important part of the values that have been instilled in the SWS organization. The employee volunteer team, the “Keeping it Green Team”, is available to fulfill any volunteer duties that might be needed by non-profit organizations in the communities serves (see Events sidebar). With an emphasis on children, education and the neediest individuals in the community, SWS and Sun Recycling have partnered with a number of organizations throughout their service area by making donations, along with giving volunteer hours of service and complimentary waste removal and portable restroom services. The many organizations SWS supports include: the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward and Palm Beach Counties, Nicklaus Children’s Charities, the Quantum House, the Broward Partnership for the Homeless, Broken Star, The Gulf Stream Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of South East Florida, All Saints School, St. Christopher’s Catholic Church, L.I.F.E., the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Cystic Fibrosis, Palm Beach County Public School programs and the Catholic Dioceses of Palm Beach.
SWS also participates in community programs, facilitates tours of their recycling facilities and provide recycling event containers and portable restrooms for special events and fully support any educational or community project with a focus on offering sustainable programs. SWS assist in organizing recycling programs and donates recycling event boxes to dozens of charities, schools and churches from Miami to Vero Beach; they are in the process of creating the SWS Recycling Merit badge – Gulf Stream Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Servant leadership and giving back have been a way of life for the founders of SWS. They feel that being engaged in and supporting the communities in which they live and do business is vital for all businesses. In addition, they see their customers as partners in the community and support them in their charitable endeavors whenever possible. A strong focus on customer satisfaction and serving others, has kept them strong in the current economy.
Staying Strong in the Current Economy
With a drop in the construction industry, the condition of the current economy has affected SWS; however, the company is continually expanding their opportunities by focusing in on other commercial industries that have recycling needs. SWS works to find new markets for their recycled products, although it is an ongoing challenge. “So many of us are stuck in our ways and won’t step out of the box to try something new. Luckily we are finding people are seeking the use of recycled products and it has opened markets we never knew existed,” says Charles Gusmano, Co-Founder and CEO. “
Constantly engaging in research and development and fine-tuning their recycling processes, SWS processed nearly 3 million cubic yards of materials and sent only 462,000 yards to the landfill in 2008. That equates to an 84 percent recycling ratio. With modifications to their systems, SWS is now, just 10 months later, recycling at close to a 95 percent rate in the West Palm Beach facility. “When we started in this industry nearly 30 years ago, we never imagined those rates being attainable,” explains Lomangino. “Our focus is on recycling for zero waste and the rates we are achieving today are moving us to that goal.”
In turn, many states are becoming more focused on state wide recycling rates. For example, the state of Florid has set a goal of 75 percent recycling by the year 2020. According to Lomangino, this goal is attainable as long as the conditions are in place to freely encourage and allow the recycling to take place. “Construction and demolition material is nearly 40 percent of the total waste stream and in order to attain the goal, the materials must be recycled. We are actively participating in the process to hit the goal.”
Committed to their employees and the communities they serve, SWS is looking forward to a long and mutually rewarding future as well as a healthy place in the economy. Stresses Lomangino. “We are always looking for the opportunity to branch out into new markets, especially high growth areas. We know that our expertise and commitment to recycling can benefit many communities and we welcome the opportunity to partner and serve them.”
For more information on Southern Waste Systems, call (561) 582-6688, email [email protected] or visit www.southernwastesystems.com.
The Keeping it Green Team.
Photo courtesy of Patti Hamilton.
Photos courtesy of David Randall.
Constantly expanding its special events involvement, below is a sample of SWS participation and support:
United States Green Building Council Gold Level Donor Circle
Artigras Fine Arts Festival – Official Recycling Partner
The Grand Opening of City Center –– City of West Palm Beach
The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure –West Palm Beach
The Honda Classic – Children’ Charities
Lantana Chili Cook Off – Donated recycling containers – Town of Lantana
4th on Flagler – Donated recycling container event boxes – City of West Palm Beach
South Florida Fair – Official Recycling Partner – Palm Beach County
Kaleidoscope 2009 – City of West Palm Beach
Palm Beach Marathon Festival – Official Recycling Sponsor
West Palm Beach Green Market Sponsor
Palm Beach Gardens 50th Anniversary Celebration Sponsor
Sunday at the Meyer – Sponsor – City of West Palm Beach
Palm Beach Gardens Police Explorers Unit – sponsor/donor
Donation of dumpster to the City of Pahokee for charitable cleanup
Presenting sponsor of the Palm Beach County Individual Athena Award
Boys and Girls Club of Broward County – Cattleman’s Donor Circle
Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach County – Centennial Event Sponsor
Keeping it Green Team – Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk participants
North Palm Beach Leadership Awards – Sponsor
Official Recycling Partner – Winter Equestrian Festival – Wellington
As founder and Chairman of Southern Wastes Systems LLC and its affiliate companies, Sun Recycling and Sun Disposal, Anthony Lomangino has more than 35 years of experience in the waste and recycling industry. He has throughout his career been a pioneer and innovator of processes and technology that have advanced the collection, recycling and disposal of residential and commercial waste. A graduate of St. Johns University, Anthony has served throughout his career in many leadership positions in his industry including as a member of Solid Waste Advisory Boards in a variety of communities and was appointed a seat on the Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council to the National Surface Transportation Board in Washington D.C. He has completed FLSI Certification in the Flippen Leadership Series. He is a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, awarded by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, and was recently honored with the Man of the Year Award from Boys Town of Italy and is the Honorary Survivor Chairman of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Educational event.
As Co-Founder and CEO of Southern Waste Systems LLC and its affiliate companies Sun Recycling, Sun Disposal and All Star Toilets, Charles Gusmano brings more than 28 years of leadership experience in the solid waste industry. The combination of his expertise in strategic planning and facility operations has been a foundation for the growth of the organization. As Chief Executive Officer, he is responsible for the long term planning and daily operations of SWS, Sun Disposal, Sun Recycling and All Star Toilets. A graduate of Hofstra University, Gusmano has recently completed FLSI Certification in the Flippen Leadership Series. He has served throughout his career as a member of a number of industry organizations and is currently a member of the NSWMA Chairman’s Council. Gusmano leads SWS in their efforts to give back to the communities in which they do business.
As General Manager of SWS and All Star, Charles Lomangino is responsible for the staffing and supervision of the trucking and hauling operation for both SWS and All Star. Founder of All Star Toilets, Lomangino originally added the company to enhance the overall service to his roll off customers on construction sites. He has strategically positioned the company to broaden its offerings with state of the art equipment that now services large special events like the Honda Classic, the Palm Beach Marathon Festival, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the Artigras Fine Arts Festival in addition to the construction industry. After founding and operating the highly successful All Star Recycling and All Star Toilets Lomangino merged the roll off division of the company with SWS in 2008 and increased the operations of All Star. As part of the Executive team of Southern Waste Systems, LLC and its affiliate companies he is instrumental in the strategic planning and operation of all companies. A graduate of Florida Atlantic University, Charles has been KOHL Certified in the operations of C&D Recycling facilities and has completed FLSI Certification in the Flippen Leadership Series