Energy Efficiency in a COVID-19 Era

by Haakon Haakenson

In our previous post, “4 Keys to a Successful Recycling Program,” Erik outlined the importance of capital, time, knowledge, & motivation in the implementation of recycling programs. All four of these key elements also apply to the successful implementation of energy efficiency projects, but in my experience, the biggest barrier to an Energy Efficiency project happening is not a lack of knowledge, motivation or time… it’s capital. In fact, the #1 point that a project stalls or dies is when capital is requested. In a COVID-19 world, the challenges associated with securing capital are magnified significantly.

COVID-19: An Unprecedented Challenge

No single private citizen, small business, corporation, or government could have predicted the full scope & continually unfolding circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the current situation, most entities are strapped for cash. They...

View Article

​4 Keys to a Successful Recycling Program

by Erik Makinson

Over the past 12 years, I have had the opportunity to work with many companies that are interested in implementing recycling programs. What I’ve found is that successful programs, those that maximize capture rates and minimize contamination, are supported by four common elements.

Coincidentally, these are also the barriers which impede the success of most organizations’ programs – if they launch at all.

These elements are:
  • Capital
  • Time
  • Knowledge
  • Motivation

Interestingly, I’ve found it’s not enough to simply have two or three of these elements in place.  If an organization is missing even one of the four, the program won’t realize its full potential.

Let’s explore each element further.

Capital – Everyone expects energy or water efficiency initiatives to require capital, but the fact of the matter is that changing the flow of an organization’s was...

View Article

Why Resource Synergy?

by Erik Makinson

Many people have asked me, “Why would you leave, not only a steady job, but one leading an organization that you built yourself, practically from scratch” – referencing Ecova’s waste offering.

My response may surprise or confuse some.  But for others, it makes perfect sense.

First of all, Ecova is an outstanding company, filled with great people that make a tremendous impact on our world. I consider myself fortunate to have been a part of that organization for close to 7 years.

However, each day on my way to work, I drove past 5 office buildings with a trash dumpster and no recycling dumpster; from our office window, I stared at the trash compactor and much smaller recycling container, all the time knowing that 80-90% of office waste is recyclable. I also knew that recycling for Spokane businesses is 70-85% less expensive than trash disposal. Not only were these businesses missing an opportunity to reduce t...

View Article