Heritage Invests in Future of Battery Recycling

  • The Heritage Group’s newly formed Heritage Battery Recycling announces collaboration with Romeo Power, Inc. and Heritage-Crystal Clean, Inc. – leveraging a well-established logistics network for spent lithium-ion battery collection, processing and reuse assessment
  • Shane Thompson joins the Heritage team as President of Heritage Battery Recycling

 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN. (Feb 10, 2021) – The Heritage Group and Heritage Environmental Services, Inc. (collectively, “Heritage”), a leader in environmental and sustainability services, launched a new division, Heritage Battery Recycling (HBR), in late 2020 to address growing market demand for safe, sustainable solutions for lithium-ion batteries near or at end-of-life. HBR’s goal is to recover and reuse critical battery precursor resources that exist in finite supply across the globe.

In collaboration with Romeo Power, Inc. (“Romeo Power”) (NYSE: RMO), an energy technology leader delivering large-scale electrification solutions for complex commercial applications, HBR will develop a battery reuse and recycling facility sited in the southwestern United States.

“By working directly with Romeo Power, we have a unique opportunity to provide a safe, environmentally sound end-of-life strategy for commercial truck manufacturers, commercial fleet managers and conscientious business owners who are investing in clean energy today,” said Jeff Laborsky, CEO of Heritage. “We are proud to be part of this long-term sustainability collaboration.”

“Romeo Power is thrilled to expand our end-to-end electrification strategy through the Heritage Battery Recycling facility” said Lionel Selwood Jr., CEO of Romeo Power. “We are committed to anticipating our customers’ long-term needs as they transition to electrification, and HBR will provide them with a turnkey solution to repurpose end-of-life batteries safely and responsibly.”

To jumpstart efficiencies in transportation and logistics for HBR’s battery collection operations across North America, Heritage partnered with Heritage-Crystal Clean, Inc. (“Crystal Clean”) (Nasdaq: HCCI), a leading provider of parts cleaning, used oil re-refining, and hazardous and non-hazardous waste services primarily focused on small and mid-sized customers. Crystal Clean’s extensive network of 89 branch locations, advanced logistic operations and long-standing customer relationships across the automotive sector position it as an optimal partner for HBR.

Together, Heritage and Crystal Clean bring HBR access to over 100,000 customer locations, 2,500 knowledgeable employees, a fleet of over 1,300 power units and 108 facility locations across North America.

“The creation of Heritage Battery Recycling, and our partnership with Crystal Clean, reflects our 50-year legacy of pursuing sustainable solutions for our customers, and further demonstrates our commitment to achieving our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals,” said Jeff Laborsky, CEO of Heritage.  “Our two companies together combine the strengths of Crystal Clean’s advanced collection capabilities with Heritage’s safe processing expertise.”

”Since its inception, Heritage-Crystal Clean has partnered with Heritage in an effort to provide value to our customers,” explained Brian Recatto, President and CEO of Heritage-Crystal Clean. “We’re excited about our commitment to invest in a new partnership with Heritage Battery Recycling because it not only furthers our valuable relationship with Heritage, but is demonstrative of our vision to protect the earth’s resources and our mission to provide environmentally sustainable solutions to our customers.

HBR is investing in technology, partnerships and people to help identify the highest and best use of reduced capacity electric vehicle batteries and establishing best practices for recycling or refurbishment. Heritage’s experience with safely handling hazardous waste and managing total byproduct programs with many auto OEMs, makes it a natural fit for collaboration with automotive manufacturers facing this industry-wide challenge.

Heritage announced today that Shane Thompson has been named President of newly formed HBR. “Shane is the right leader for Heritage Battery Recycling,” said Laborsky. “His extensive background in battery end-of-life management makes him one of the world’s leading experts in this rapidly evolving industry. We are confident that Shane’s strong business relationships and deep understanding of the battery value chain will quickly position Heritage Battery Recycling as a market leader in North America.”

“I was thrilled to be asked to join the team and launch Heritage Battery Recycling,” said Shane Thompson. “We’ve reached an inflection point in the electrification of vehicles across North America – and as those spent battery units move to recycling or reuse opportunities, Heritage Battery Recycling will be ready to meet the demand.”

About Heritage Environmental Services, Inc.

Heritage Environmental Services is a privately held, family-owned environmental services business with more than 1,600 employees across North and Central America. The company provides a full suite of tailored solutions from emergency response, waste disposal, and sustainability services to on-site support and technical solutions to thousands of customers in hundreds of industries and verticals. Throughout its 50-year history, Heritage Environmental Services has prioritized the safety of its employees while pursuing its purpose of protecting human health and the environment.

About Heritage-Crystal Clean, Inc.

Heritage-Crystal Clean, Inc. provides parts cleaning, used oil re-refining, and hazardous and non-hazardous waste services primarily to small and mid-sized customers in the vehicle maintenance sector as well as manufacturers and other industrial businesses. Our service programs include parts cleaning, containerized waste management, used oil collection and re-refining, vacuum truck services, waste antifreeze collection, recycling and product sales, and field services. These services help our customers manage their used chemicals and liquid and solid wastes, while also helping to minimize their regulatory burdens. Our customers include businesses involved in vehicle maintenance operations, such as car dealerships, automotive repair shops, and trucking firms, as well as small-to-medium sized manufacturers, such as metal product fabricators and printers, and other industrial businesses. Through our used oil re-refining program, we recycle used oil into high quality lubricating base oil, and we are a supplier to firms that produce and market finished lubricants. Through our antifreeze program we recycle spent antifreeze and produce a full line of virgin-quality antifreeze products. Heritage-Crystal Clean, Inc. is headquartered in Elgin, Illinois, and operates through 89 branches serving approximately 91,000 customer locations.

About Romeo Power, Inc.

Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Romeo Power (NYSE: RMO) is an energy technology leader delivering large-scale electrification solutions for complex commercial applications. The company’s suite of advanced hardware, combined with its innovative battery management system, delivers the safety, performance, reliability and configurability its customers need to succeed. Romeo Power’s 113,000 square-foot manufacturing facility brings its flexible design and development process inhouse to pack the most energy dense modules on the market. To keep up with everything Romeo Power, please follow the company on social @romeopowerinc or visit www.romeopower.com.

 

– ## –

 

 

Heritage-Crystal Clean, Inc. Safe Harbor Statement

This release contains forward-looking statements that are based upon current management expectations. Generally, the words “aim,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “should,” “will be,” “will continue,” “will likely result,” “would” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause our actual results, performance or achievements or industry results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other important factors include, among others: developments in the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting impact on our business and operations, future financial and operating results, future disclosures of historical financial and operating results, general economic conditions and downturns in the business cycles of automotive repair shops, industrial manufacturing businesses and small businesses in general; increased solvent, fuel and energy costs and volatility in the price of crude oil, the selling price of lubricating base oil, solvent, fuel, energy, and commodity costs; our ability to successfully integrate businesses we acquire; our ability to enforce our rights under the FCC Environmental purchase agreement; our ability to pay our debt when due and comply with our debt covenants; our ability to successfully operate our used oil re-refinery and to cost effectively collect or purchase used oil or generate operating results; increased market supply or decreased demand for base oil; further consolidation and/or declines in the United States automotive repair and manufacturing industries; the impact of extensive environmental, health and safety and employment laws and regulations on our business; legislative or regulatory requirements or changes adversely affecting our business; competition in the industrial and hazardous waste services industries and from other used oil processing facilities including other re-refineries; claims and involuntary shutdowns relating to our handling of hazardous substances; the value of our used solvents and oil inventory, which may fluctuate significantly; our dependency on key employees; our level of indebtedness, which could affect our ability to fulfill our obligations, impede the implementation of our strategy, and expose us to interest rate risk; our ability to effectively manage our extended network of branch locations; the control of The Heritage Group over the Company; and the risks identified in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 3, 2020 and subsequent filings with the SEC. Given these uncertainties, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We assume no obligation to update or revise them or provide reasons why actual results may differ. The information in this release should be read in light of such risks and in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this release.

Heritage Marks 10 Years as a SmartWay® Transport Partner

Today marks 10 years that Heritage has been a part of the SmartWay® Transport Partnership, an innovative collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the transportation industry. Since we joined the partnership in 2010, we’ve won two Excellence awards, which go to the top two percent of SmartWay Partners who have made significant contributions to reducing the impact of transportation on air quality.

Heritage serves customers all over North America, and participating in the SmartWay program for the past decade has played a major role in reducing our total carbon footprint.

Participation in the program means making smart decisions on equipment, routing, and driver behavior.  The process of data tracking creates a framework for measuring and encouraging year-over-year improvements. To be eligible to display EPA SmartWay decals, a tractor or trailer must each comply with strict program guidelines:

List of improvements made under the smartway program

 

By moving away from 2014 and 2015 model year tractors, Heritage saw an average of $6,730 in fuel cost savings per tractor. We also went to the Thermo King Envidia APU (auxiliary power unit). This APU allows our drivers to enjoy comforts of home while out on the road without having to keep our tractors idling during breaks. Along with investing in fuel saving technology, we’ve also focused on safety. We’ve added cameras, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning systems on the tractors to keep our drivers and all people on the roads safer.

Having an extensive transportation network enables us to safely treat and dispose of waste in the best way possible, regardless of where it is generated. But we recognize that transportation has an impact on the environment too, and by participating in EPA’s SmartWay program, we’re reducing our carbon footprint and making our transportation activities more sustainable.

For information about the SmartWay Transport Partnership visit www.epa.gov/smartway.

Heritage SmartWay Transoprt Partner 10 year certificate

Learn more about our Transportation and Hazardous Waste Services 

Earth Day Pollinator Project in Benton, AR

Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, our Benton, Arkansas facility started making plans for Earth Day and for continued employee engagement throughout the summer.  One part of the plan was to start an employee garden to grow fresh herbs and vegetables.  For the garden to be productive, the team considered bringing in a couple of beehives and planting wildflowers.

While we must postpone the employee garden until next year, our maintenance personnel (following facility social distancing guidelines) moved forward with as much of the project as possible.  Before Earth Day, they were able to sow 2 acres of wildflowers.  Additionally, they planted 50 live oak and 50 poplar seedlings!  And now this week the bees have arrived.  Two of our employees will serve as on-site beekeepers.  We will check back in later this summer to check on our wildflower fields and look at all pollinators, including the bees, butterflies and birds.

 

 

Transportation of Alcohol (Ethanol or IPA) Based Hand Sanitizer in the Era of COVID-19

Donating Critical PPE & Supplies to Local Businesses

When so many critical facilities are experiencing a shortage of necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitation supplies, several Heritage locations have stepped up to share.

An employee from our Interactive team shared that a local Indianapolis-area hospital where his wife works had a PPE shortage; “I received word last night that they are currently running very short on gowns to be used in the areas where they are caring for confirmed cases and are reaching the point of beginning to plan for carrying out their duties with limited or recycled PPE,” he said.

With the help of our Supply Chain Director, we were able to purchase and donate 1,050 protective suits to use in place of medical gowns for hospital personnel to the hospital.

In Benton, Arkansas, our team donated single use aprons, nitrile gloves, N95 masks and alcohol wipes to the  University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).  In the words of VP Ryan Dossey, “The doctors and nurses on the front line deserve the best support that we as a community have to offer and donating PPE to keep them safe in this fight is of utmost importance in these trying times.”

In East Liverpool, an assisted-living facility near our incinerator was reaching out to local businesses and organizations for help sourcing hand sanitizer, a vital resource in this coronavirus environment. Its supplies were running low, retail stocks were depleted, and its pending orders were uncertain.

After reviewing their inventory, our facility was able to assist by donating several boxes of hand sanitizer. Chris Pherson, President of Heritage Thermal, presented the donation, distanced appropriately, to the facility, which is in neighboring Beaver County, Pa.

We can get through this challenging time by working together and supporting our local communities – if you or your company has a surplus of supplies, please consider donating to local businesses who need it.

Helping Our Communities in Times of Need

At Heritage, our mission is to protect human health and the environment, and this extends beyond the scope of our day-to-day business operations. As the Coronavirus triggers an ever-growing number of shutdowns and closures, one of the biggest issues arising is concern for children and food insecurity. One in seven children struggle with hunger, and many students rely on public schools for one or even two of their daily meals. Heritage is dedicated to helping the communities where we live and operate, and making sure they continue to have access to food is one of the best ways we can help during this crisis.

Feeding America has been one of our three corporate charities for the past five years, and they support 40 million people through 200 food banks nationwide. Through their resources we’ve been able to connect with several local food banks in states where we conduct business.

• In Toledo, OH, we donated directly to the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank Backpack program, which gives kids who qualify for free lunch additional food to take home on Fridays.

• A local church in Tulsa Oklahoma provided a grant to match donations to the local food bank, and with the buying power of Feeding America, our $1,000 donation was doubled, enabling the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma to provide 8,000 meals in the community.

• In Iowa City, our donations will provide 80 boxes of food to kids and families

In total, we’ve donated $25,000 to 25 food banks in 18 different states where we operate, designating the funds specifically for children when possible.

We encourage you to find your local food bank, which you can do by typing in your zip code at https://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank and donating either nonperishable items or making a monetary donation. Heritage believes in sticking together, and supporting our communities is crucial in times like these. Each donation means more food, an extra volunteer, or more supplies for those in need

 

Wall of thank you letters from healthcare professionals and hospitals for donating food.

Thank you letters to Heritage from the food banks.

Int’l Women’s Week Spotlight – Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris

Vice President, Customer Experience

When did you start at Heritage (or previously acquired companies) and what was your first position?

1997, Field Chemist

Define a great leader—what are some traits you think great leaders possess?

To me a great leader is a source of inspiration for employees and provides direction with honesty, empathy and integrity.


What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career?

Getting employees to band together in times of major company change, some of which didn’t go as planned. This requires constant reassurance on the vision and reasoning for the change. Taking extra effort to share wins and positives in the face of adversity plus communicating the lessons learned.


Do you have any tips, strategies you’ve employed, or lessons learned throughout your career that you would like to share with aspiring female leaders?

There are always obstacles and they can take many shapes and forms and at the most unexpected times. Follow your intuition and don’t give up in the face of challenge. These experiences are what shapes you as an individual and builds character.

Int’l Women’s Week Spotlight – Angie Martin

Angie Martin

Vice President

When did you start at Heritage (or previously acquired companies) and what was your first position?

1988, Co-Op Education (intern).

Define a great leader—what are some traits you think great leaders possess?

Altruism, passion, common sense, empathy.


What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career?

I want to say work-life balance, but I want it all. I want a full family life, and a full work life. I think I have adjusted over the years to have as much of both as I could. I tried to show my girls that they could have what they wanted through hard work and dedication. I believe I am a better mother and grandmother because I do work.


Do you have any tips, strategies you’ve employed, or lessons learned throughout your career that you would like to share with aspiring female leaders?

Embrace who you are. All people are different and should use their differences, perspectives, experiences, and intuitions to solve problems and move an organization forward. I don’t think it should matter if you are a woman or a man or a martian. Use your strengths to move the ball.


Int’l Women’s Week Spotlight – Winde Hamrick

Winde Hamrick

Executive Vice President

When did you start at Heritage (or previously acquired companies) and what was your first position?

1991, Project Engineer


Define a great leader—what are some traits you think great leaders possess?

Leads safely, humility, lifelong learner, high integrity/honest, adaptable, instills confidence in others, hands on, cares about employees, knowledgeable, approachable, high expectations, accountability, deals with issues, mentors others

 

What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career?

Around 2006, our landfill was running out of space and I was told what our expansion plans were and that I needed to meet with the regulators to make it happen. The concept was a bit out of the norm and I knew the regulators would take forever to get their head around it, if at all. So instead I formed a small team to review our current land and develop a new and larger landfill on the northern part of our property. The result was a faster approval and a bigger landfill. It’s such a critical part of our business that the pressure was weighing on me. This example shows that Heritage is open to new ideas and/or better ways of getting things done – as long as it’s safe and compliant!

Do you have any tips, strategies you’ve employed, or lessons learned throughout your career that you would like to share with aspiring female leaders?

Take control of your career by learning as much as you can about our business outside of your current job. The great thing about Heritage is ‘the ability to learn and grow’. You may have to do that on your own, but our business is so interesting and the people are so welcoming that it is fun! Use your knowledge to become a valuable employee and your job will become a career with never a boring day. Also, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Own up to them and learn from them!