Is Traditional Waste Management Dead? SBC Waste Solutions Thinks So
In a world where waste management practices are evolving at a rapid pace, traditional methods of handling garbage may soon become a thing of the past. One company leading the charge in revolutionizing waste management is SBC Waste Solutions, spearheaded by Karen Coley. Since its inception in 2018, SBC Waste Solutions has experienced exponential growth, challenging the notion that traditional waste management is here to stay.
With a background in the trucking industry, Karen Coley is no stranger to managing large vehicles and expenses. Under her leadership, SBC Waste Solutions has made impressive strides in a short period of time. What started as a small venture has now blossomed into a thriving business with 40,000 to 50,000 customers and a fleet of over 50 trucks.
Shawn Flood of SBC Waste Solutions proudly reflects on their remarkable growth journey: “In five years, we’ve gone from zero sales to looking to finish this year at about $35 million, which we should add next year to over $45 million. Our goal is to reach $100 million by the year 2028. That’s our goal, to be a $100 million company by the year 2028. Which, in this industry, is pretty improbable.”
However, the rising costs of essential equipment, vehicles, and fuel pose challenges to SBC Waste Solutions. Flood acknowledges the financial hurdles in the waste management industry, stating, “The waste business is almost impossible to do properly because it’s so financially challenging. A garbage truck costs $400,000 right now. The dumpster on wheels you put behind the convenience store costs about $1,000. It’s very capital-intensive. So people just don’t go around starting garbage companies. You don’t see that in this market. There are only six companies in the whole Chicago market.”
As a smaller and newer company, SBC Waste Solutions faces disadvantages, particularly when dealing with truck sales companies. Flood expresses disappointment in their recent experience and believes that biases may be at play: “We’re trying to get more trucks, and they won’t take us seriously. I feel like something’s going on, with us being a woman-owned company or something. We try to change the narrative like, ‘Hey, guys, embrace us.’ Some companies still have an old way of thinking, feeling they need to deliver their trucks to the dealers and the big guys, and not a smaller company like us. We’re trying to change that narrative.”
Despite these challenges, SBC Waste Solutions remains committed to sustainable and eco-friendly practices. Karen Coley envisions a future where waste management goes beyond simply picking up garbage. The company is exploring innovative solutions and expanding into recycling, processing their own recyclables, and even considering the establishment of a construction and demolition facility. Additionally, they are actively pursuing solar energy to power their operations.
Flood outlines their plans for the future: “We’re at a point now financially where we’re actually looking to start developing our own automated recycling facility, which will be automated with robots and other cutting-edge technology. Then we can start taking all our waste and recycling to our own facility for processing it ourselves, instead of paying someone else for that service.”
However, SBC Waste Solutions’ focus extends beyond profits. They are equally dedicated to enhancing their community. Coley identified an industrial area with 20 businesses and envisioned a greener future. Through collaboration with the local companies and the mayor, the Solar Initiative was born in Broadview, a suburb of Chicago.
Karen Coley and her majority-woman-owned SBC Waste Solutions are transforming the landscape of waste management in Chicagoland. Their commitment to innovation and sustainability is reshaping traditional approaches to garbage disposal. As they continue to push boundaries and challenge industry norms, the ideas keep rolling, propelling SBC Waste Solutions as a driving force in the waste management sector.