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Cintas ramping up sustainability efforts, aims for zero waste to landfills

Cintas Distribution Center Employees Sorting Supplies And Recycling Cardboard

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - "Everything that we generate, whether it is something that may look like trash to somebody, we want to look at that as more of an asset. What can we do with that to give it a second life?" said Krista Jaeger, the manager of sustainability at Cintas Corporation.

You may know Cintas as a uniform or business services company, but Cintas has made sustainability a big part of their business in recent years.

"We're saving paper, plastic, and aluminum all over the entire [distribution center]," Mark Metzger, a production manager at Cintas Corporation.

Employees in the distribution area aren't just recycling bottles and cans. They are breaking down and recycling containers from their suppliers instead of sending them to a landfill.

Metzger explained, "All of these cases, as you can see around here...that's a lot of cardboard. We have set up with Rumpke, and they pick up 3 times a week, into a huge bin that we slide it down into and compact it into."

"We've completed five audits in five of our [distribution center] facilities to date and earning gold level at each one of our [distribution centers]. It's a big accomplishment that we are really proud of. [We're] looking to drive our diversion rate of 90% or more away from landfills," said Jaeger.

Sustainability at Cintas is also about reusing products, including donating goods to organizations like Matthew 25 Ministries.

Jaeger said, "When there is a garment that still has life left, can still be utilized by somebody, and isn't logoed, then we definitely like to do the donation route."

Cintas' focus for the future centers on a zero-waste-to-landfill initiative in their distribution centers, rental laundry facilities, and throughout their supply chain.

"We've got some goals in place for 5 years out and want to get even better at reducing our carbon footprint," explained Jaeger.

For decades, Cintas has been focused on providing its customers with quality products and services. More recently, in addition to doing that, they have also put a focus on sustainability and protecting the environment not just because it’s the right thing to do but because their customers are encouraging Cintas to do it.

Jaeger said, "They want to make sure they are doing business with a company that cares about environmental stewardship just as much as they do."

Cintas believes their efforts to be sustainable are good for the environment, the community, and all businesses.

"We want to make sure that we're treating our planet and our people very well. We aren't going to have businesses down the road action today to make sure that we are being responsible," said Jaeger.

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