Zipline Brewing Co. has achieved a ZERO WASTE designation through the WRRAP and the Recycle Lincoln Leadership Recognition Program, making an impressive leap from diverting 78% of their waste from landfills in 2018 to diverting 98% in 2019.
Zipline’s impressive commitment to sustainability has resulted in a company-wide emphasis on recycling. From sending used grain to local farmers for feed, to replacing lighting with a more efficient LED alternative, Zipline has created a company-wide culture that they hope will extend beyond the brewery and into employee’s homes.
“Our commitment to recycling reminds our staff about our priorities for protecting our local community and the bonds we have with Lincoln.”
Chief of Operations Marcus Powers explained that Zipline feels a great responsibility to reduce their waste stream and energy use to preserve this great community for future generations. As a small-market local brewery, Zipline’s success relies on Lincolnites supporting local beer, therefore, Zipline feels they need to reciprocate that support by doing what they can to minimize their environmental impact on the community.
Interestingly, Zipline felt that initiating their recycling program was a relatively easy undertaking. While such barriers as added costs are typical to small businesses when initiating a recycling program, Marcus explained that they found that those costs were immediately offset by lower garbage bills as their waste streams were virtually eliminated.
Finally, when asked about challenges in reaching their Zero Waste status, Marcus stated that as Zipline grew, following through on teaching their staff to remain committed to recycling was tough. However, he stressed, “Start simple, and then follow through”. He felt that while it is very easy to begin a recycling program and the costs are relatively low, it’s also easy for a recycling program to not be properly utilized by staff. By using regular staff reminders and holding short training sessions to ensure everyone understands the importance of recycling, you can empower your employees and create a culture that focuses on sustainability and good recycling practices.