At times, the fleet of four dozen pieces of rolling equipment, ranging from tankers to vacuum trucks, not to mention skilled technicians and support staff, seem like an army, ready to rid the world of unwanted grease and many other waste materials.
But it’s just Kline’s Services LLC, an innovative waste removal company that handles both wet and dry wastes for clients in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. The Lancaster County, Pa., based company employs more than 100 people and tackles everything from ash and dust collection to silos to pumping stations and food wastes. What started as a family-owned company is now a division of Wind River Environmental.
Kline’s removes and then reuses the waste – it owns a methane digester that turns waste materials into electricity and runs a 750kw generator, enough to power over 400 homes. It also has its own DEP-regulated treatment facility and contracts with local farmers to provide fertilizer for their fields.
“Ninety percent of our waste is reused in one way or another,” says Brandon Kline, regional account manager (seen above).
He’s the fourth generation to work in the business. His great-grandfather started Kline’s in 1955 with just one truck, pumping out septic tanks for friends, and his grandfather continued the tradition. His father realized the potential, purchasing additional equipment and expanding the business to treat all types of non-hazardous wastewater, as well as other materials.
“They wanted to eliminate waste and people using the landfills,” explains Kline. “They were looking for a better way to do things.” The company’s vision is to take waste and turn it into energy.
Today, the company, whose motto is ‘Doing the Job Right,’ serves commercial, industrial, residential and municipal clients. It contracts with more than 2,000 restaurants to remove and recycle grease. While yellow grease from restaurants is in demand because it’s used in biodiesel fuel, Kline’s handles the unwanted brown grease, which can be converted to electricity in the digester or treated for use as fertilizer.
“That’s not going to a landfill – instead it’s going to farmers to help fertilize their crops,” Kline says. Along with restaurants, the company also serves food manufacturers and processors, bakeries, meatpacking plants, and breweries.
“For anybody who generates wastewater, or any waste that’s generated, we can deal with cleaning, hauling and reusing it,” Kline says. “A lot of times people say, ‘I don’t know who can do this’ – we come up with creative ways to handle non-hazardous waste.”
In 2013, Kline’s won the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.
• Specializes in removal and reuse of wet and dry wastes
• Emergency service available 24/7
• Won 2013 Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence
The company also handles larger jobs such as removing material from and cleaning large lagoons and tanks – employees are certified to work in confined spaces – and smaller ones, such as cleaning out the drains in the school science lab.
“Kids dump chemicals down the drain, and it needs to be neutralized to protect the pipes and prevent a chemical buildup that could cause a reaction,” Kline says. The company also is available 24/7/365 and responds to non-hazardous emergencies and spills.
In Maryland, Kline’s removes debris from storm drains, which are an important part of protecting the Chesapeake Bay.
“Catch basins fill up with trash and debris, and then they don’t work effectively,” says Jackie Epler, business development coordinator for Kline’s. “We are very successful at cleaning those.
Although Kline’s boasts many employees with long tenure, CDL technicians are always in demand, and the company, says Kline, “is always hiring. We like people who are looking to be a team player – we all work great together –and have a strong work ethic.”
Safety is emphasized constantly, and a robust safety program rewards technicians for achieving long-term goals. That’s not surprising in a company with core values of safety, accountability, innovation, team-based effort and community investment.
But fun is emphasized, too, with events like cookouts, a monthly ice cream stand and an annual holiday party.
Compliance is another area in which the company prides itself. “We work closely with government agencies to manage the health and welfare of our employees, clients and the community,” Epler says.
Certainly, the commitment to customer service helped the business succeed. But its growth also reflects the changes in the world since Kline’s great-grandfather started, with clients such as car washes and newer materials such as water-based paint and ink. At Kline’s, new waste streams represent new revenue – and new challenges to find successful ways to reuse them. I95