Preparing and adapting to our changing e-commerce business.

John Paglia, III

It is becoming a growing trend of the old brick and mortar storefronts to close their doors in bankruptcy, falling prey to e-commerce. Most recently, Toys R Us closed its doors, which is just another example that more people are shifting to online shopping for just about everything. I would argue that the average person does not stop and analyze the shift in logistics our country has evolved into, including us in the waste industry.

The Changing Dynamic

Cardboard and plastics are the largest recyclable components of the shipping supply chain. None of this is new information. How haulers collect, recycle, dispose and process the material will. Toys R Us has more than 800 locations closing. Southeastern Grocers (Winn-Dixie, Bi-lo, Harveys) announced closing 94 locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. Using those two real world examples, these were accounts for a hauler. Someone hauled compactors, front loaders and open tops for these storefronts. Garbage and recycling was removed and disposed of in an efficient manner.

Monthly revenue and density of the product will now be dispersed to the residential waste stream. I would argue that the demand for the products Toys R Us and Southeastern Grocers sold will still be high. How consumers shop has changed the dynamic. Now, the same volume of waste will need to be picked up in lower quantities, with higher frequency and pickup locations with lower margins residentially. Our operational cost will continue to climb. Anyone who reads my articles knows I am not afraid to preach, raising our prices for our services. This stream shift from commercial to residential is something we need to adjust our collection methods and continue to anticipate shifts in the same manner for the foreseeable future. Successful companies can, and will, adjust on the fly as markets change.

Adapting to E-Commerce

At the storefronts, there was corporate pressure to recycle. When the stream becomes residential, will each household choose to recycle? What if no hauler in the market offers curbside recycling? The stream is now heading to the landfill and we are now going backwards in our efforts to better the planet. This is something we must all prepare for and adapt to our changing e-commerce business. This article is a tease to how long it could/should be. Feel free to reach out to me with your thoughts, comments or concerns.

John Paglia, III is a 4th generation garbage man. Before he climbed the ranks to become Florida Express Environmental’s General Manager, he had a successful career in college and professional athletics. John has been around the garbage industry since his car seat days. Currently, John is focused on growing his company and offering the highest level of customer service and prolonging the world we live in today. John wakes up every day knowing the impact professional haulers have on their community is far greater than most realize. He can be reached at (352) 629-4349, e-mail or visit