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Working with Established Partners: Field Chemists at Heritage

Posted: 5/19/23


Service Type(s): #Lab Pack #Onsite Resource Personnel #Careers and Culture


In a highly regulated industry like waste management, having experienced partners you can trust is crucial. Our Field Chemists are on the front lines with our customers every day, and we chatted with two of our Field Chemists from our facility in East Liverpool, OH to learn more about their roles and discuss how they develop relationships and trust with our customers. Read on to learn more about how strong partnership not only defines customer relationships at Heritage, but also serves as the foundation for how our own teams work together.

Both Brittney Burt and Emilee Phillips started at Heritage as a lab technicians in 2019, learning our business and our customers on paper, and sampling different waste types to ensure they matched the profiles and met the requirements to be treated at our incinerator. Between 2020 and 2021, both moved into Field Chemist roles, which put them at a different point in the process: in front of customers. But what exactly does a Field Chemist do? Brittney said, “I drive our box trucks to customer sites to review, pack, manifest and transport hazardous material. This involves sorting and categorizing chemicals based on their chemical constituents and individual properties. I also review incoming Lab Pack inventories from other Heritage sites as well as our customers to ensure compatibility and acceptance to the incinerator.”

Field Chemists not only work with our customers, but also with other Heritage facilities to ensure that waste gets to the correct processing location. When asked what it meant to be a good partner, Emilee shared, “We build good relations with a lot of different plants, by being reliable, working with them to make shipments easier, and answering questions on how to classify wastes. Having a strong customer service mentality is huge for this role.”

At Heritage, showing up as a partner to our customers is equally important as showing up for each other in the workplace. Being a good partner means knowing how to problem solve, and being able to lean on coworkers and learn from managers can make a big impact. Emilee said, “I was fresh out of school when I started at Heritage and Jack Mumaw, another chemist in the lab, helped me out a lot. He gave me advice how to excel in this role and at this company, and how to be professional with customers and coworkers. I really appreciated that.”

Brittney had a few mentors along the way as well. “[Tech Services Project Managers] Brian May and Mark Nightingale have been outstanding mentors ever since I started as a field chemist. When I first started, Mark and I worked at the same location. Mark still works for Heritage but is stationed at one of our customer locations, and if I ever have a question I can still call him and he will guide me through it. Brian is our project manager and has shown me how to pack safely and what to do in difficult situations when things arise.”

Trust is built over time – and for Field Chemists at Heritage that’s accomplished by showing up reliably for pickups, helping customers through tough challenges, profiling waste correctly, and helping to answer any questions that may arise. Being an established partner is a key piece of our relationships with customers – and within our own internal teams. “I may come across different chemicals at the sites we pack at and am always learning something new in the hazardous waste industry,” Brittney said. “My coworkers seem like family and are always willing to help if I come across something I have never seen before.”




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