We recently had the opportunity to visibly represent one metric of how long Ralph E Jones has been in business. We took a look in our little warehouse and discovered 22,000 pounds of old paint and chemicals laying around. Getting it cleaned out seemed to be a huge task, but we decided to attack it. As we were working on it we asked ourselves, ‘How did we get to this point with all this leftover paint?” One mathematically inclined team member said, “Yeah it looks like a lot, but then if you just count in 2 gallons left ever every week for 25 years you get all this paint.”

Ok, you might say, but why wait 25 years to get rid of it?

That is a valid question. Most people would have poured some down a drain or into a ravine or a farmer’s field long ago. We never felt good about doing that. We always wanted to find the ‘responsible’ way to dispose. And frankly, that desire to ‘do it right’ lead to our procrastination.

But recently we determined to ‘suck it up’, devote the time and the resources to this project. It was a costly one, but we feel it was money well spent to get it done right.

We found a responsible waste management company who properly disposed of the paint.

So now we have a plan moving forward. We have some new procedures in place to minimize waste in our everyday work process. We also have a plan in place so that we do the right thing and regularly dispose of extra paint and chemicals — the right way.