Choice environmental: connected to the environment and its people

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Courtesy of Waste Advantage Magazine

Committing to providing cost-effective services, superior customer service and protecting Florida’s environment, Choice Environmental is an independent waste company based in Fort Lauderdale, FL giving residential, commercial and industrial solid waste and recycling services. Founded in 2004 by Glen Miller, CEO and Chairman of the Board, and Neil Rodrigue, president and CFO, Choice Environmental started as an acquisition between two companies based in Miami and St. Lucie County, FL. As a result of this transition, the company name was created to reflect the way the company was headed.

With six hauling operations, one CNG fueling station and three transfer and MRF facilities throughout southern Florida, Choice Environmental has also begun to expand into the central part of the state, opening an operational facility within the last few months. At its MRF, transfer and recycling facilities, Choice Environmental processes more than 120,000 tons of material annually. The company employs more than 320 people and owns over 150 collection vehicles which are out on the street every day. Of these vehicles, about 10 percent use compressed natural gas (CNG). Choice Environmental also ensures that their diesel trucks run with the latest low-emission engines and oil recycling systems, keeping up to date with current regulations.

A Fast-Growing Company

During the past few years, Choice Environmental has not been a stranger to a finicky economy, especially seeing it affect the commercial end of the business. “Because many of our customers have reduced services or went out of business, we have had to adapt our operations,” says Miller. One way the company has done this is to expand residential collection. “We’ve found a lot of opportunity in the residential sector because we can provide cost-efficient services to some of the municipalities that have very strapped budgets.”

In addition, Miller says that they have dealt with the challenges of a fastgrowing company; however, with the team and people they have in place, the company has been able to hit the obstacles head on before becoming a problem. “We are a company built of garbage men. There are actually eight managers in this company that have owned their own garbage company. Our senior management has well over 100 years of garbage experience and our total management has even more,” says Miller. Ray Peraino, Director of Special Projects, adds, “We do newsletters, company picnics and fundraisers together, so it’s a real hands-on operation, running from the bottom up.” Choice Environmental recruits new employees mainly through the industry—drivers could be recruited from other drivers; many of their managers have joined the company as past owners and stayed on. A great deal come from the private sector or are former public company employees. No matter where they are from, they all bring their own handson knowledge of the industry. Miller says, “The company employs highly trained and experienced professionals who are equipped with the knowledge and tools to provide superior customer service in a safe, efficient manner using state-of-the-art equipment.”

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