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Established in 2008 and operating nationwide, Link International Inc. partners with businesses to help develop waste stream management programs that achieve zero waste to landfill, improve supply chain efficiency, yield cost savings and elevate brand reputation.

Given that waste management greatly differs across industries, Link International understands the importance of being able to custom-tailor waste and recycling programs to fit their clients’ needs and goals as well as governing regulations. Through consulting and on-site audits, Link International captures an accurate and comprehensive look at companies’ supply chains, where waste inefficiencies may lie and opportunities for improvement, reuse and recycling. In 2020, Link International helped divert an average of 600 tons of waste from landfill per client site.

Creating A Network of Accountability

Link International’s waste diversion programs guide companies towards a better understanding of their waste streams and the environmental impact their manufacturing and distribution practices have. Zero-waste to landfill initiatives also hold companies accountable for managing waste more sustainably and meeting compliance standards.

The value of accountability extends beyond the client, however. Once waste materials have been carefully sorted and collected from their clients, Link International is diligent in ensuring these materials reach reliable end-sites for proper disposal and processing. With the help of 132 vendor partners, Link International guarantees waste of all types –  cardboard, lightbulbs, scrap metal, paint and chemicals, etc. – finds its proper place. To validate the end-sites, Link conducts on-site audits of their vendor partners to ensure sustainable practices are followed and further reviews the outlets’ sustainability goals. This helps prevent claims of green-washing and lays the path for companies to become certified zero waste or zero landfill.

Manage, Measure, Share

Link International offers custom reporting for clients to track and share their waste diversion progress, and enhance their transparency and trust among stakeholders. Waste stream data, such as waste volumes, treatment methods and pounds diverted, can be used to identify cost-saving opportunities or as marketing leverage for attracting customers and winning contract bids.

Waste stream data is not the only thing that Link International encourages clients to share. Link International also helps facility managers train staff on standardized waste and recycling practices and encourages clients to incorporate sustainability thinking into their work culture.

Link International Inc. encourages customers and staff to go zero waste with reusable cups and company branded backpacks made from reclaimed PET plastic.

Trash Is Tricky

Today’s throw-away culture, in which products are designed for convenience rather than long-term use, has led to an enormous accumulation of waste and a lack of specialized waste services capable of processing the full spectrum of waste materials. For large manufacturing sites, it is not as difficult to find sustainable homes for high volumes of waste materials but, according to Link International, the greatest challenge lies with smaller volume waste streams. In fact, this is an obstacle that Link International has faced in their own sustainability efforts. Because there is a cost to transport and dispose of materials, logistics and transportation costs are often higher in proportion to the volume generated. For instance, the transportation cost is generally the same if a truck drives 20 miles to pick up 10 pounds of film plastic or 10 tons of film plastic. However, the cost per pound of material goes down if there is more volume generated. For smaller volumes of waste, it is important to focus on unique storage solutions as waste accumulates or how to reduce the material at the source.

It is even more difficult for those who rent their offices and workspaces and do not have complete say-so in how waste is handled. In this case, compromise and collaboration is key. Link International is working with their landlord to establish a recycling program for their office building. They’re also organizing a compost program in which one team member will collect food scraps for an at-home vermicompost bin. Growing as a sustainable business often requires dedicated teamwork and opportunistic thinking in order to find or create solutions when there are none readily available.

Joel Walker founded Link International Inc. with a vision to help companies implement sustainable business practices. With an extensive background in sustainable packaging, he saw the need for facilities to prevent packaging and waste from entering the landfill altogether, creating a true circular economy.

“Our dedication to sustainability means practicing what we preach and finding solutions to leverage for our clients’ problems. We challenge ourselves to be more sustainable in our day-to-day so we can share our first hand experience with the brands we partner with.”

 – Joel Walker, Vice President & Co-Founder of Link International Inc.

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