Recycling and reusing are more than just an ideal at Dutch Bros., a growing coffee chain in the Valley. It's a part of the company's commitment to being eco-friendly.
"We're all leaving a footprint," said Jim Thompson, the Phoenix-area franchise owner. "With eight stores, we're literally recycling tons of garbage."
Thompson sees recycling and reducing waste as part of his personal obligation.
The company has implemented two eco-friendly plans. The first is to reduce the amount of waste the coffee stands create; the second is to recycle much of the trash they do make.
Like many coffee stores, Dutch Bros. sells reusable plastic cups and tumblers. Every time a reusable cup is used, one less paper cup ends up in the trash. As an added incentive to customers, each time a customer uses a reusable cup, 25 cents comes off the cost of the beverage. (That's more than double the discount offered by another large Valley coffee seller.)
Much of what would normally be garbage can be recycled, Thompson said. As much as 80 percent of what goes into the Dutch Bros.' garbage is eventually recycled, thanks to a partnership with Waste Management of Arizona.
"Think about how many milk cartons we go through in a day," Thompson said.
With the new program in place, nearly everything that is shipped to the stores is either consumed or recycled, Thompson said.
Milk cartons aren't the only thing the company recycles. From the plastic bags that coffee beans come in, to the cardboard packaging, down to the coffee cups customers discard on the premises, most trash doesn't end up in a landfill.
The store doesn't have to worry about sorting the recyclables; Waste Management of Arizona provides the container and sorts it at their facility. Waste Management is the largest recycler in North America.
Thompson and his wife, Janice McCarthy, opened their first Dutch Bros. franchise in August 2007 at Rural and Apache in Tempe. Today, they operate eight stores, most of which are in the East Valley, with four more stores slated to open in the next few years.
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