Case Studies

Recycling & Waste Solutions Put the “Squeeze” on One QSR’s Extra Lemon Concentrate, and Turned That Excess in Energy and Cost Savings.

Recycling & Waste Solutions (RWS) helps a quick service restaurant (QSR) chain divert excess product from landfills and manage end-of-life disposal processes for maximum brand protection.



A leading QSR chain needed to dispose of excess frozen lemon juice concentrate housed in several cold-storage facilities throughout the country. The chain wanted to dispose of the product as quickly and efficiently as possible in an environmentally sensitive manner and in full compliance with all relevant local and state regulations. To protect its brand, the chain needed to track each barrel of product through the disposal process to its end destination and ensure complete and proper destruction.


Lemon-04The chain sought help from the RWS team. The QSR chain wanted to divert 100 percent of the product at each of the storage facilities from landfills, but varying regulations, recycling constraints and service provider capabilities made this impossible. RWS was able to operate within these various limitations and worked closely with providers to find the best alternative disposal solution when diversion was not an option. RWS obtained product specification sheets to identify any special handling and disposal requirements and ensured adherence to all proper recycling and end-of-life disposal procedures. Leveraging its expertise and vast network of suppliers, RWS also identified and qualified vendors for recycling opportunities and disposal sites in each of the jurisdictions involved.

The team inspected recycling facilities to add another layer of brand protection and tracked every barrel of product to its end destination and destruction. In half of the facilities where product was stored, RWS was able to divert 100 percent of the total waste, including steel, wood pallets and concentrate, from landfills to anaerobic digestion facilities where it was converted into energy. At the locations where diversion was not possible or permitted, RWS established and oversaw strict guidelines for disposal and confirmed compliance with all jurisdiction requirements. It also secured disposal documentation, including certificates of destruction.

Whereas disposal could have taken eight to twelve weeks to complete if the chain had managed the process on its own, RWS was able to establish a plan, select service providers, oversee all disposal efforts and track every bit of material to complete disposal and/or diversion in just 23 business days. This helped the QSR chain reduce costs and significantly mitigated the brand’s exposure to risk.


  • Energy savings – By diverting waste from half of the storage facilities to anaerobic digesters instead of landfills, the QSR chain saved the equivalent of 62,107 gallons of gasoline, reduced energy consumption by 963,000,000 BTUs and curbed incremental greenhouse gas emissions by 164 metric tons. (Statistics calculated via WARM – Waste Reduction Model – by the Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Cost Savings – By utilizing RWS’s leverage in the recycling and waste industry, the QSR chain achieved cost savings of approximately 17 percent over conventional practices of landfill disposal at the local distribution center level.
  • Brand protection – RWS’s knowledge of progressive alternate disposal methods, expertise in project and logistics management and oversight of qualified service providers helped ensure the best overall disposal program for the QSR chain and protect its brand.
  • Operating efficiencies – RWS developed standard operating procedures to manage the disposal program across the locations simultaneously, achieving complete disposal of all product in just 23 business days as opposed to the eight to 12 weeks it would have taken the QSR chain if it managed the project on its own.

About RWS

RWS provides the nation’s largest supply chains with innovative managed solutions for commodity
recycling and waste services that reduce cost, drive commodity revenue and improve overall services
through flawless execution. Managing thousands of locations with hundreds of thousands of work order
requests takes proven tools and dedicated resources. RWS knows the full corporate value of sustainable
environmental and economic waste solutions.

For more information, please visit www.rwsfacilityservices.com