Karen Coley, Chicago’s Local Hero: SBC Waste Solutions’ Impact on the Community
In the bustling city of Chicago, amidst the concrete and steel, lies a local hero making a significant impact on the community. Meet Karen Coley, the CEO of SBC Waste Solutions, a waste management company with a difference. With a strong focus on sustainability and community empowerment, Coley has transformed her business into an agent of positive change.
Karen Coley’s commitment to sustainable practices is evident in every aspect of her business. She named her first two garbage trucks “Unity” and “Humility” to signify the principles that guide her company. Coley’s dedication to these values has earned her recognition, with SBC Waste Solutions being certified by the prestigious Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). But Coley’s impact goes far beyond certifications and accolades; she is actively empowering other women entrepreneurs and supporting family-owned businesses throughout Chicago.
One shining example of Coley’s passion for sustainability can be seen in the Solar Initiative. Observing a cluster of 20 businesses along an industrial corridor in Broadview, Coley envisioned the potential benefits of switching to solar power. She realized that such a transition would not only benefit the environment but also the community and industries at large. Thus, the Solar Initiative was born, becoming the first of its kind in Illinois.
Shawn Flood of SBC Waste Systems explains, “Karen has always had a passion for recycling and the environment. In fact, we’re trying to go to solar energy with our company.” By embracing solar power and prioritizing recycling, SBC Waste Systems aims to reduce costs, create local jobs, and promote environmental sustainability. The company is even exploring the possibility of developing its own automated recycling facility, equipped with cutting-edge technology. This bold move would allow them to process waste and recycling themselves, eliminating the need to rely on external service providers.
SBC Waste Systems’ commitment to local service is another aspect that sets them apart. Unlike other companies with distant call centers, SBC Waste Systems ensures that their customer service center is staffed locally. This personalized approach resonates with customers who appreciate the prompt and reliable assistance they receive. As Flood explains, “Our call center has people who live here. You can’t find that type of service in this market anymore. We’re family-owned, you know. Bigger isn’t always better.”
But SBC Waste Solutions doesn’t stop at waste management. Coley’s visionary thinking has led to innovative additions to their operations. The company has installed video cameras on the front of their garbage trucks, serving a dual purpose. Not only do these cameras help monitor the waste collection process, but they also aid in crime prevention. SBC Waste Systems shares access to their cameras with the local police, creating a partnership that enhances community safety.
Looking to the future, Coley envisions continued growth and diversification for SBC Waste Solutions. Plans include the development of a commingled recycling facility and a construction and demolition facility. Coley believes that continuous advancement and sustainable growth are not only beneficial for her business but also for the community as a whole. More jobs, a better community, and a cleaner environment are the rewards of careful and sustainable progress.
Karen Coley, Chicago’s local hero, is making a lasting impact through SBC Waste Solutions. Her commitment to sustainability, community empowerment, and innovative business practices is transforming the way waste is managed in the city. With a strong local presence and an eye toward the future, SBC Waste Solutions is revolutionizing waste management and paving the way for a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable Chicago.