The Retrofit Companies Blog

LED Tunable Lighting - 3 Types

 

LED Tunable LightLEDS Magazine

LED Lighting continues to offer consumers more than just energy efficiency, and with new types of tunable lighting technology becoming more readily available, there are a variety of additional benefits.

LED Luminaires, with the ability to deliver varying light color, have been on the market since early days of LED lighting, but the colors, controls and capabilities keep improving and their applications continue to grow. The US Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy states that these technologies are proving to have benefits beyond energy efficiency and may in fact improve environments and conditions in schools, hospitals, residential spaces and more.

Here we explore tunable lighting in general, the areas we are seeing this technology, and why you would want to consider putting tunable lighting in your business.

 

3 Categories of Color-Tunable Products

 

Dim to Warm

light scale

Lightology

 

  • These are also referred to as "blackbody dimming" or "incandescent-like" dimming
  • These products mimic incandescent or halogen dimming performance. They usually range from 2700K-3000K at full output down to as low as 1800K. The light color becomes increasingly warmer as the products dims.
  • These products are often used in places where you want a whiter light in the day, but a warmer light in the evening: restaurants, hotel lobbies and guestrooms, ballrooms, theaters and residential spaces.
  • Because dimming is linked to color changing in this type, Dim to Warm products only use one control signal per group of fixtures/luminaires. These can be equipped with a wireless receiver for control by a wireless transmitter.
  • A potential issue with these products is that some users want to reduce light output without changing color, and in that case white-tunable may be a better choice.

TRC Lighting Case Studies

White Tunable

white tunable

LightShowWest

  • These are also referred to as "tunable-white" or "kelvin-changing"
  • These products have two sets of phosphor-coated LED primaries; one with a warm-white color (around 2700K) and the second with a cool-white (between 5000k and 6500K).
  • By controlling the two different LED's (up or down), you can create a straight line that connects them on a "chromaticity diagram." This is called linear white tuning.
  • There are also luminaries that use three or more LEDs, which allows the capability to produce a wider range of color. These do not create a straight line, but follow the blackbody curve, much like the dim to warm version (called nonlinear white tuning). The colors created on the chromaticity diagram are not what you see.
  • White tuning is used for a range of reasons, including providing apparent cooling or warming to a room, providing a psychological effect, such as using cool-colored lights to make occupants feel cooler on a hot summers day, or to calm or invigorate students in a classroom. 
  • These products are often selected when a space undergoes a renovation or interior design remodel and the lighting needs to adjust to a new theme or color palette. White tuning is great in retails, and is also used to simulate daylight or match color of daylight in a windowed lobby, for example, or to assist with behavior control.
  • Potential issues include the fact that the control interface can be more complicated. Controlling two separate lights with the same switch, or two different switches, depending on preference, creates for more difficult wiring of the controls versus a fixed color LED.Consult a Lighting Professional

Full Color Tunable

full color tuningArchLighting

  • These are also known as "spectrally tunable" or "color changing"
  • Full color tunable products are just as they sound; full color and full tuning. These are the most versitile of the options, allowing you to completely change the space at any given time (from dim white to bright purple)
  • These products usually have three or more different LED primaries that can be individually varied in output to create a mixture of light that is white, a tint of white or a saturated hue.
  • The minimum for full-color tuning is three, but full color tunable systems have 4, 5, 6 or even 7 color systems for even more unique colors of individual LED’s.
  • You will find these in such applications such a theaters, theme parks, arcades or restaurants.
  • Full color tunable requires a more complex control interface, and must be powered separately from the luminaire.
  • Potential issues with full color tunable include initial and reprogramming of these controls are hard to handle in-house and require a professional. It is also easy to skew colors and oversaturate or undersaturate a space if not tuned correctly.

Cost of a Retrofit? Download Free ebook

What Are The Advantages of Tunable Lighting?

 

HCL-graph

Specifier

Light regulates our circadian rhythm, effecting our emotional and physical being. As the sun come sup the light levels increase and become cooler, helping us become more awake and active, and as the sun goes down, light levels decrease and become warmer preparing us for sleep. Both the intensity and spectrum of light can be used to stimulate or suppress hormones such as melatonin, impacting our mood, alertness and health. The ability to control interior light to affect the attitude, happiness, effectiveness and productivity of a person or group is an amazing advancement in technology.

tunablecontrols-p3

 

 

Tunable white is often used in schools giving teachers the adjusting light setting for given activities, with a remote or a switch on the wall. Many classroom studies suggest that the color and intensity of light can be modified to calm or invigorate students, or to focus their attention, and even provide a less stressful environment for students, while improving the overall learning environment.

Tunable Lighting in 3 TExas Classrooms

Many school districts are implementing this type of technology in special needs classrooms, replacing the need for the cloth curtain over the light fixture. TRC helped upgrade a small clasroom at McGuire Middle School (Lakeville, MN) to tunable lighting and we have received excellent feedback.

 

Tunable LED Elementary School Case Study & Videos

 

 
 

lighting controls in classroom

Lighting Controls Association

Tunable light is also being introduced in conference rooms to set the tone of the meeting, from intense to happy hour, in healthcare settings to help with the regulation of biological clocks, and retailers to better showcase colors that pop or better engage customers by adjusting lighting on demand.

 

You may also see tunable light popping up in Senior Living Facilities, such as this study conducted in Sacramento, CA. The study discusses the variety of products implemented throughout the facility and the variety of color temperatures utilized and their effects.

 

Senior Living TUnable Light Case STudy

 

Lighting Customer Testimonials

 

Tariffs - The Rising Impact On Your Lighting Project

cargo containers

What ARe Tariffs

 

Tariffs are essentially taxes on imported and exported goods. Tariffs date back centuries, however the most pressing issues on tariffs in the US are primarily focused on the continuing trade war with China, and other nations. The cost of delaying a lighting project could grow exponentially as tariffs continue to rise.

 

Consult a Lighting Professional

What's the Latest in Tariffs?

 

Tariff’s have been a growing concern for American importers since President Donald Trump’s first two rounds of tariffs on Chinese goods earlier this year. 

Most recently, Trump imposed a round of tariffs in September that covered $200 billion worth of goods, including everything from furniture, food seasonings, network routers and industrial machine parts. 

These tariffs impose a 10% increase, however they are estimated to increase to 25% by the end of the year. In addition to tariffs imposed earlier this year, the new penalties account for nearly 50% of the products that China sells to the US every year will be impacted by American tariffs. Trump’s administration states the tariffs are meant to punish China for alleged unfair trade practices, including intellectual property theft.

 

How Are Tariffs Impacting the Lighting Industry

 

Some argue that new tariffs could contribute to the reshoring of manufacturing jobs in the US, however many manufacturing and engineering companies are suffering from these new laws.

Specifically, the most impactful tariff will be the 25% tax on steel and 10% tax on aluminum, which most certainly impacts imported items such as LED fixtures, lamps, and lighting components. These costs will have a direct impact on the cost of any lighting upgrade project, and will likely increase the longer you wait.

Some manufacturers will need to take a new approach in manufacturing in order to keep prices in check or to engage the supply chain to source cheaper parts or different materials. In the mean-time, these additional costs are manifesting themselves throughout the process, often to the end user.

Consult a Lighting Professional

If you want more information on how these tariffs may impact your lighting project, please consult one of our experts and we will discuss the details with you.

 

Small Business Rebate Program Deadline: Oct. 19!


 

cash backAre you a Small Business planning a lighting upgrade project this year? 

You may qualify for great rebates through One-Stop Efficiency Shop (Xcel Energy), But you will need to act fast! 

 

 

 

 

What You Need to Know: 2018 Rebate Checks

The Center for Energy and Environment's One Stop Efficiency Shop is warning small businesses of rebate deadlines approaching this fall. The One-Stop Efficiency Shop is a full-service rebate program available through Xcel Energy's Minnesota service territory to small businesses with a monthly electric demand of 400 kilowatts or less.

In order to receive a rebate check through this program in 2018, please make sure to:

 

  • Submit a signed program Participation Agreement to CEE by Friday, October 19 so the project can be recorded as scheduled for installation in this program year.
  • Complete work and submit invoices to CEE by Friday, November 2.

 

Rebate checks for jobs completed in 2018 will be issued this calendar year if work is completed and invoices submitted by November 2. Jobs completed after the deadline will be rebated in 2019.

More information on Xcel Energy's other rebate programs can be found here; if you have questions or want to clarify how these deadlines may impact your project with TRC, be sure to contact your account manager or call us at 800-795-1230.

Consult a Lighting ProfessionalReady to start your lighting project? Contact our Lighting Experts to take advantage of this program.



 

 

 

 

 

Employee Spotlight - Jake Andrist

 

 

 

TRC has always focused on hiring great people to become part of the TRC family, and now it's time for you to get to know our employees a little bit better. Beyond their expertise, our team brings a unique mix of backgrounds, hobbies and special skills to the table. Check us out!

 

Introducing Jake Andrist

Jake Andrist Sales and Marketing Manager
 

Introducing Jake Andrist; Jake has been with TRC for approx. 6 years and has found success in sales roles over the years, now serving as the Sales and Marketing Manager for both the Lighting and Environmental division.

Jake has a passion for cooking, likes to escape for a concert or two with his wife Allison, is not a fan of superheroes and had a childhood run-in with a farm animal. Check out the video to get to know more about Jake! 

 

Name and Title

Jake Andrist, Sales and Marketing Manager

 

How long have you been with TRC?

I've been here a little over 6 years now. I started in Inside Sales for our Environmental Division.

 

What makes TRC Special?

We really care about our customers. It's really been a focus of ours since we started. In the Environmental division, there is not another Environmental Company in our area that provides the level of service that we do. With our Lighting division, it's not only our expertise and capabilities, but also that level of service of well. We don't take an off the shelf approach, everything is custom to what the customer needs. 

What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

I enjoy cooking, and with that I enjoy eating of course. I have been known to enjoy Taco Bell late night. No one really enjoys Taco Bell in the day time.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Me and my wife like going to concerts. Also, I spend a lot of time with my family. Three kids keep us pretty busy. 

 

What is something people may not know about you?

When I was four years old I got attacked by a llama. We were renting a house on a farm; nobody sustained injuries. And no, I don't have a llama complex.

 

If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you want to bring?

I would probably want to bring somebody that would help me build a boat to get off the island; some ship builder. Maybe Noah.

3 Types of Linear LED Tubes

3 LED tubes

CONFUSED ABOUT DIFFERENT TYPES OF LINEAR LED TUBES?

We break down the 3 most common types of T8 and T5 LED tubes used in LED lighting retrofit projects and their various pros and cons.

Consult a Lighting Professional

TYPE A LINEAR LED TUBES

 

Does your facility, such as a gymnasium, commercial or industrial building, have high ceilings?

Type A LED tube

Type A lamps are a good solution in many applications because of the increased ability to control the light via ballast factor.This is currently the only LED T8 lamp system that is capable of matching a T8 system operating on a high ballast factor.

Type A lamps are a fluorescent ballast compatible lamp with exceptions. These exceptions are expansive, in fact almost every manufacturer suggests consulting their list of compatibilities before installing LED T8 tubes. We have found that there are even scenarios where the LED lamp product is not compatible with ballasts from the same manufacturer.

 Additional benefits of Type A lamps are that they come in different wattages and beam angles, and lumen output for this type can be controlled by the existing ballast: Low Power (LP), Normal Power (NP), and High Power (HP). Most often, these lamps are installed as a simple “relamp” project, but it is important to consider the age of your ballasts when choosing this type. If you intend to change ballasts the week after you install these LED lamps, that may undermine the goals and objectives of your project. Whether or not type A is going to be the best solution for your project depends greatly on your maintenance story.

 

TYPE B LINEAR LED TUBES

 

Type B lamps are seeing a lot of changes in the industry due to their many risks.

Type B led tube

We are still seeing issues with the direct wire single-ended lamps, which require the ballast to be removed and the socket wired directly to line voltage. Risks include the possibility of lamp failure, sparks and even fires. These single-ended lamps may have been previously chosen to reduce maintenance time, but they pose such a large safety risk that the industry is shifting towards the double-ended lamp.

Double-ended Type B lamps mitigate many of the safety concerns because there is no longer a way for the electrical current to travel across the lampholder. This includes a situation where you install a fluorescent lamp . You also no longer have to install an unshunted socket due to the dual-end nature of the new lamps.

Some of the main downfalls of the new version of these lamps are that they are very limited in lumen output options (generally two light levels) and that there currently are no known lamps on the market that can reach high output light levels required in the applications mentioned above.

Another common downfall of Type B LED lamps is the "flicker" factor. This is an issue that used to be prevalent with T12 and was basically eliminated by T8 solutions. It has now come back with the Type B tubes, but it is not prevalent in Type A or Type C solutions. There are a couple of manufacturers that have come out with a flicker-free type B solution, but options are limited. The flicker is unnoticeable to many, but with some segments of the population it can be very debilitating (causing headaches, nausea, etc). 

TRC Lighting Case Studies

TYPE c LINEAR LED TUBES

 

Type C's are really the only “true LED system” among the T8 lamp options. 

Type C led tubeType C Lamps are an LED lamp with a fixture mounted driver, with drivers now available with three different standard outputs as well as programmable for more/less output depending on required light levels. The Type C lamp is similar to an LED fixture in that you have a light engine and a separate driver.

Type C's typically offer the longest life, and dimming capability that the others do not. The reason they’re not chosen as often is due to their higher price point. Total cost of owning a lighting system should be evaluated when considering whether these are your best investment. The type C lamp has just recently achieved controllability using different Mili-amp Drivers. The drivers are more expensive, but in some instances the will achieve a higher lamp life rating 60,000 versus 50,000 hours.

Type C lamps have their benefits, but as with Type B, most of the market offerings do not capture the high lumen output category. The other issue we have discovered with Type C is that virtually none of the systems are cross-compatible across manufacturers. This means that you could potentially be stuck with the manufacturer and product line that they have installed in the facility. You would most likely not be able to find a lamp or a driver from a different manufacturer that works with your existing system down the road if that system is discontinued, or the manufacturer goes out of business, in many cases resulting in a completely new system investment.

Consult a Lighting Professional

While linear LED lamps are popular now, that does not mean that it is the only option, or always the best option when upgrading to LED. You should consult a lighting professional to ensure that you are aware of all of the pros and cons for all options available to ensure you are meeting all of your project goals. 

 

Case Study - ISD #299 Caledonia Public Schools LED Upgrade

 

 

 

 

 

Case Study Interview and Project Spotlight with Craig Ihrke, ISD #299 Caledonia Public Schools Superintendent,
and Lee Morem, Facilities Director
LED Lighting Upgrade, Retrofit Light Fixtures, New LED Technology, Energy Savings

 

Project Overview

ISD #299 Caledonia Public Schools prides themselves on empowering learners for life and their strong ties to the community. In a school district serving Caledonia and the surrounding areas, it became abundantly clear to superintendent Craig Ihrke and his team that providing a welcoming environment was a necessity. “There are a lot of things that add to the pride in our schools, and lighting is certainly one of those things, said Craig Ihrke, superintendent of Caledonia Schools. 

A complete LED lighting retrofit across both buildings “provides a brighter, more welcoming environment, but more importantly it provides a lot of energy savings. We could save up to $10,000 annually,” said Ihrke.  

Middle_High School Sign

Caledonia Area Middle School and High School 

 

The most important factor for Caledonia Schools, which include Caledonia Elementary School and the combined building for Caledonia Middle and High School, was really focusing on the potential energy savings across both buildings. Lee Morem, Facilities Director at Caledonia Schools said “The Retrofit Companies, Inc. (TRC) helped us decide that retrofitting the lights was the best course of action, and the most economical. It has been a wonderful experience to see the buildings transform.” The decision to upgrade the lighting across the entire district not only impacted the staff working in the offices, the students learning in their classrooms, but also the athletes practicing before and after school. As an added bonus, the community gets to watch their all-state caliber athletes in efficient and even lighting.  

 

 Photo Aug 23, 9 51 26 AM

Caledonia Elementary School 

 

Outdated technology throughout district 

As The Retrofit Companies, Inc. fully inspected the district with an Investment Grade Audit and their team of experts, it became clear that there were a variety of issues at play, both with the interior and exterior of each building. Exterior lighting is very important, especially when we have events in the evenings and the MN winters get pretty dark. Having quality exterior lighting is important for safety and it also gives a welcoming feeling when you enter the parking lot” said Ihrke.  

Specifically, the buildings were running on outdated technology, which resulted in a high level of lamp failure and maintenance headaches. 

“We had a lot of exterior metal halide lights that we were having a lot of trouble with. The building is 18 years old and we were seeing a lot of things start to fail, both fixtures and ballasts” said Morem. 

From a security standpoint, we had a lot of dark spots, and when we do snow removal there were a lot of areas that were not well lit. That was a motivation for sure. With this in mind, it was apparent that TRC address the light levels through design using photometric layouts.  

The Caledonia Middle/High School was also undergoing a renovation in their main gymnasium; a pivotal area of a school that is known for their impressive athletic programs. Ihrke said “The importance of having quality light in the gymnasium, especially for our strong athletic teams...we are very excited about the lighting in the gym. The light has changed drastically and people are going to notice right away.” The Retrofit Companies, Inc. partnered with Caledonia Schools during multiple district renovations, both exterior and interior projects, including new sidewalks, that all showcase the pride that the district takes in providing the best educational facilities. The district had to ensure they found a partner for their lighting upgrade that could work with the many moving parts of an entire school district, their existing projects and the schedules of community buildings that never sleep. In the end, TRC and Caledonia Schools worked together to create a smooth upgrade across all facilities.  

 

Photo Aug 23, 11 23 30 AM-1

Caledonia Area Middle and High School Gymnasium 

 

Making the Investment

“This was a peculiar project; we actually went out and created our own bid form for this project; it was very involved. Chris Wendling at TRC was very helpful in guiding us with what specifications were needed for this large project. It was very helpful to have Chris help with that part of the process. The audit that TRC provided had the existing technology, the recommended replacement, as well as additional recommendations for replacements. You could clearly see what was the best way to go” said Morem. 

When considering alternative solutions, the Investment Grade audit provided by TRC gave a clear choice as to the most economical and financially responsible solutions. 

Morem said We went from a T8 fixture, with 32 watts per lamp, to 15 watts per lamp, so we cut it in half. We were told from the outset that we would see considerable savings right away, and to take your total load and to cut it in half is substantial. I don’t know of anything else in your building system that you could do that with; you can’t cut your heating costs in half, or your cooling in half by making one change. To see over 50% of your consumption reduced with an overall better quality light, the answer was clear.”  

In fact, the proposed cost savings was a reduction in annual energy costs by 58%. Based on hours of operation, the existing energy costs under the old technology would have been $82,124. With the implemented solutions they are expected to see operating costs of $34,536.30. These savings not only came from lamp replacements but also from retrofit kits and fixtures to offer longer life solutions in areas where maintenance issues were a concern. Breaking that savings down, Caledonia School district is saving $130.38 a day.  

 

 Elementary 1st & 2nd Floor_Page_1-445118-edited

Caledonia Elementary School Light Layout 

 

Keeping it Local

TRC worked diligently to accommodate the many challenges and variables of this project. In general, summer is a busy time for schools to get projects of all kinds completed, this was no different. TRC worked with the painters when they needed to get in to paint the gym ceilings, and change their installation schedule as necessary. “These buildings never really sleep...the high school is a living organism and is always going. From people lifting weights at 5am to evening events that push 11pm.” With facilities that have such a high demand for light usage, it was imperative that TRC provide a full scope of work in their Investment Grade Audit, detailing the various parts of their buildings and their unique demands. It was very exciting to work with Retrofit (TRC) about how detailed the audit was, how everything fell together in exactly the order in which they said it would"...

"The timelines and schedules were met without any issue, and most of the times in advance. Scheduling was very easy, if there were needs for the building, the team would be flexible and work on another area. This could actually be done with school in session, that’s how easy it was to work with TRC Morem said.  

“I was also very happy to see that they hired a local contractor to sub out the work down here in the elementary building. We like to have community involved and we like to have local contractors; it’s a small community and we take pride in keeping things local” said Morem. TRC always supports the area being served, and working with a local contractor is part of the full circle of service provided that matches the TRC company values. 

 

 library

Caledonia Elementary School Library 

 

LED Lighting Transformation

The only surprise I had was how quickly an area had progressed. You return to a room and all of a sudden it is transformed. You could do this project with school operating, the crew kept things tight, clean and I was surprised at how smooth everything went.”  

 Photo Aug 23, 11 34 00 AM

Caledonia Area Middle and High School Hallway LED Lights 

 

When asked about how the new light has been received by staff and faculty, Morem said “In recent weeks as school starts to start up again, and students coming in for sports programs, we have heard many times how much brighter it is in the building, noticing things they have never noticed before” even if that means needing a fresh coat of paint on the walls. “Especially the impact at night, the color and the quality of light makes an impact. It’s almost like you are getting a new chance at a new room.”  

Schedule a call with our lighting consultant
 

Local School Cleans Out Chemical Stockpile

 

Fourth Baptist Christian School

Lab Pack and Chemical Clean Out

 


Take a look at the video below to see how a simple chemical clean out can be very eye-opening!

 

 

  Customer Spotlight, Fourth Baptist Christian School

Chemical Waste Clean Out, Lab Pack Service

 

 

CHEMICAL STOCK PILE IN SCHOOLS

 

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Fourth Baptist Christian School
Plymouth, MN

  

IMG_1504

Fourth Baptist Christian School is 53 years old, and many years ago (possibly 25-30 years) the school accepted a donation from a local university with a full lab of miscellaneous chemicals. After years of storage, the Science Department determined they do longer had a use for most of these chemicals and could better utilize all of that valuable storage space. Alan Hodak, Fourth Baptist School Administrator and Executive Director of the MN Association of Christian Schools, and his team decided it was time to find a safe and responsible way to dispose of this mysterious stockpile. Alan's team decided to reach out to TRC and call in their team of Chemical Waste Experts to assess the situation and help properly remove these potentially dangerous chemicals with their Lab Pack service.

 

"Something had to be done, and the timing was right," - Alan J. Hodak, Administrator at Fourth Baptist Christian School

 Request a recycling pick up

Do You Have Radioactive Materials in Your School?

As TRC's team worked through the stockpile, properly identifying, sorting, packaging, and preparing, they came across some Radioactive material. This is more common than you may think, but can be easily removed with the help of an expert

Radioactive material 1Example of Radioactive Material found in schools

 

Radioactive materials have long been used in schools to demonstrate this fundamental concept.  These materials may be dangerous if not properly handled and stored.  We often find that these materials were purchased long ago, by staff who have since moved on.  As regulations change and new staff arrive, it can be a challenge to keep training and licensing current.

 

Depending on how long your chemicals sit around or how they are being stored, there may be other high risk items that you would never realize unless thoroughly assessed. We often assist schools in similar situations as Fourth Baptist Christian School and in the process discover items that they never even knew they had.

 

Best Practice for SChools with Chemicals


Our TRC Chemical Waste Experts have encountered many schools with similar chemical waste issues, and our recommendations for best practices are as follows:

Chemical Clean Out Lab Pack
Fourth Baptist Christian School Chemical Clean Out - Lab Pack Services
After chemicals have been properly sorted and packaged

  • Only carry inventory of items you will use within your curriculum
  • Keep cabinets organized and labeled
  • Plan an annual inventory and Clean Out
  • Reduce your risk by avoiding mysterious donations

Hazardous Waste Inventory Download

 

Request a recycling pick up
 

Community Recycling Events in 2018

SPRING is RECYCLING SEASON

TRC Collection Event - Steele County Owatonna Recycling

 

Despite our extended winter weather, spring really is coming!

Every year The Retrofit Companies, Inc. partners with communities across the Upper Midwest to host Recycling Collection Events, accepting things like:

 

  • Electronic waste
  • Appliances
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Batteries
  • Ballasts...and more!

All scheduled events for 2018 are listed below, with more information on our Facebook page. Find the event near you!
 

Is your community interested in holding a community recycling day? Check out our easy how-to blog post.

 

 

April Collection Events 

Wednesday,  April 11th - Winona County 

Maplewood COllection 2017 2
    • 225 W 2nd St, Winona, MN 55987 
    • 12pm-3pm 
    • Collecting Lamps/Ballasts 
    • For residents of Winona County only 
    • Click HERE for more information 
 

Saturday, April 21st – Clay County FLYER

  • 205 Front St., N, Barnsville MN 56514 
  • 8am-12pm 
  • Collecting Electronics 
  • Free for residents of Clay County 

 

Saturday, April 21st – Maplewood FLYER

  • 1850 White Bear Ave., Maplewood MN 55109 
  • 8-1pm 
  • Collecting Electronics & Appliances 
  • For a full list of items accepted and associated fees, please see the Maplewood Spring Clean-Up Flyer HERE 

 

Saturday, April 28th – Roseville FLYER

ewaste_recycling_collection_MN.jpg
  • Dale Street Soccer Field Parking Lot 
  • 2555 Dale St., Roseville MN 55113 
  • 8-3pm 
  • Collecting Electronics 
  • For residents of Roseville only 
  • Click HERE for full list of fees and information from the city.  
 

 Saturday, April 28th – Vadnais Heights FLYER 

  • Community Park 
  • 661 E County Road F., Vadnais Heights, MN 55127 
  • 8-2pm 
  • Collecting Electronics & Appliances 
  • For residents of Vadnais Heights only 
  • Click HERE for full list of accepted items and fees. 
 
 

May collection events

Thursday, May 3rd - Martin County 
  • Fairmont Former K-Mart Parking Lot 
  • 1215 N State St, Fairmont, MN 56031 
  • 9-1pm 
  • Collecting Fluorescent Bulbs & Ballasts 
  • Click HERE for full list of accepted items and fees. 

 

 Saturday, May 5th - White Bear Lake 

  • Public Works Building 
  • 4200 Hoffman Road, White Bear Lake, MN 55110 
  • 7am-1pm 
  • Collecting Electronics, Appliances and Lamps 
  • Click HERE for full list of accepted items and fees 
  • For residents of White Bear Lake only 

 

Saturday, May 12th - Clay County/Moorhead 

  • 1300 15th Ave. N., Moorhead, MN 56560 
  • 8am-12pm 
  • Collecting Electronics 
  • FREE for Clay County residents Maplewood Collection 2017

 

Saturday, May 12th – Austin FLYER 

  • Mower County Fair Grounds 
  • 700 12th St. SW, Austin, MN 55912 
  • 9-2pm 
  • Collecting Electronics & Appliances 
  • For residents of Austin only 

Saturday, May 12th - East Grand Forks 

  • 1001 2nd Street NE, E. Grand Forks, MN 56721 
  • 9am-3pm 
  • Collecting batteries, lamps, electronics, ballasts 
  • Click HERE for full list of accepted items and fees 

 

Friday, May 18th – Freeborn County FLYER 

  • Freeborn County Fairgrounds 
  • 1031 Bridge Ave, Albert Lea, MN 56007 
  • 10-2pm 
  • Collecting Electronics & Appliances 
  • For residents of Freeborn County only 

 

Saturday, May 19th – Clay County/Hawley 

  • 716 Front Street, Hawley, MN 56549 
  • 8am-12pm 
  • Collecting Electronics 
  • Free for Clay County Residents 

 Austin Colleciton

Saturday, May 19th – Shoreview 

  • 1425 Paul Kirkwold Drive, Arden Hills, MN 55112 
  • 7am-1pm 
  • Collecting electronics 
  • For residents of Shoreview & Arden Hills 
  • Click HERE for full list of accepted items and fees 

 

Thursday, May 24th – Clay County Business Collection 

  • 8am-10:30am - Landfill 
    • 716 Front Street, Hawley, MN 
  • 12pm-4pm - Moorhead 
    • Family Service Center7th Avenue & 9th Street NMoorhead, MN  
  • Collecting lamps, ballasts, electronics 
  • Click HERE for location, accepted items and fees 

 

Thursday, May 31st - Mille Lacs/Milaca FLYER 

  • Mille Lacs County Public Works Garage 
  • 565 8th Street NE, Milaca, MN 
  • 3pm-7pm 
  • Collecting Electronics & Appliances 
  • Click HERE for more information 

 

June Collection Events

Saturday, June 2nd – Owatonna/Steele County FLYER Maplewood Colleciton 2017 3 Lines

  • The Retrofit Companies, Inc. 
  • 1010 Hoffman Drive, Owatonna, MN 55060 
  • 9-1pm 
  • Collecting Electronics & Appliances 

 

 Saturday, June 2nd – Cook County/Grand Marais FLYER 

  • Cook County Recycling Center 
  • 630 5th Ave. W, Grand Marais, MN 55604 
  • 9-1pm 
  • Collecting Electronics & Appliances 

 

Thursday, June 7th - Mille Lacs/Wahkon FLYER 

  • Mille Lacs County Public Works North Maintenance Facility 
  • 6813 Highway 27, Wahkon, MN 
  • 3pm-7pm 
  • Collecting Electronics & Appliances 
  • Click HERE for more information 

 

Saturday, June 16th - Aitkin County 

  • 36488 400th Ave, Aitkin, MN 56431, United States 
  • Click HERE for more information 
  • 10-2pm 
  • Collecting Electronics 

 

July collection events

Saturday, July 21st – Cook County/Tofte FLYER 

  • Tofte Transfer Station 
  • 198 Sawbill Trail, Tofte, MN 55615 
  • 9-1pm 
  • Collecting Electronics & Appliances 

 

August COLLECTION EVENTS

Saturday, August 25th – Cook County/Grand Marais FLYER

  • Cook County Recycling Center
  • 630 5th Ave W., Grand Marais 55604
  • 9-1pm 
  • Collecting Electronics & Appliances 

 

September collection events

 Saturday, September 15th – St. Paul

  • Washington Technology Magnet High School
  • 1495 Rice St., St. Paul, MN 55117
  • 8-1pm 
  • Collecting Electronics

 

Friday, September 21st – Freeborn County FLYER 

  • Freeborn County Fairgrounds 
  • 1031 Bridge Ave, Albert Lea, MN 56007 
  • 10-2pm 
  • Collecting Electronics & Appliances 
  • For residents of Freeborn County only

 

Saturday, September 29th – St. Paul

  • Shepard Road
  • Between Davern St. and Alton St. (enter from the East)
  • 8-1pm 
  • Collecting Electronics

 

October COLLECTION EVENTS

 Saturday, October 6th – City of East Grand Forks

  • East Grand Forks Public Works
  • 1001 Second St. N.E. East Grand Forks, MN  56721
  • 9-3pm
  • Collecting E-Waste and Universal Waste
  • Fluorescent lamps, ballasts, batteries, E-waste, TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers, Cell Phones, Telephones, Mice, Keyboards, small Household Appliances, and all other electronic waste.

 

Saturday, October 6th - City of White Bear Lake

  • Public Works Building
  • 4200 Hoffman Road, White Bear Lake, MN 55110
  • 7-1pm 
  • Fluorescent lamps, Appliances, and E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

 

Saturday, October 6th - Shoreview

  • Arden Hills Public Works Building
  • 1425 Paul Kirkwold Drive, Arden Hills, MN 55112
  • 7-12pm
  • Electronic Waste
  • TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste. 
 
Follow us on Facebook for new events and the latest updates!
 
 

Would you prefer to schedule a recycling pickup for your business?

Request a recycling pick up
 

Customer Spotlight - Crown Plastics

 

4 reasons we decided to upgrade our lighting

 

Photo Aug 02, 9 58 41 AM-084782-edited

Crown Plastics, Inc.
Plymouth, MN

  

 

1). "To Invest In Our Employees"

They say a company will never succeed without being employee-centric, and this is the approach that Matt Van Beusekom, Operations Manager at Crown Plastics, Inc., fully believes in. Taking pride in this family business not only means pleasing the customers, but it also means taking care of their employees and providing them with an excellent place to work.

 

2) "We Needed Light"

As with any business, Crown Plastics, Inc. has a variety of areas throughout their facility that require very different light depending on the work space. The ceilings in the office areas are lower, and employees are working on computers and conducting meetings, whereas in the production areas, the ceilings are much higher, employees are working on both large format machines as well as very fine detailed fabrication work, and the hours of light usage vary. These are just a few of the unique details that were considered when our TRC Lighting Experts developed a full re-design for each space that was custom fit to the needs of Crown Plastics, Inc.

 

"We just took a look at our overall lighting, mainly from our production areas, and they were all either running T8 or T12 fixtures, some metal halide...and they were failing. I was done switching them over. I didn't want to do it one by one...I knew there had to be a better solution out there," -Matt Van Beusekom. 

Crown Plastics Before and After

3) "To Save Money"

When our lighting expert LuAnn Verduzco met with Matt at Crown Plastics, Inc. to discuss his facility, she knew that this project would benefit from our expert level attention to detail, starting with a custom Investment Grade Audit. The full scope of work provided with this IGA showcased a proposed energy reduction of 45,584 kWh, or a nearly $5,000 annual savings just in energy costs. This is the equivalent of saving 30.2 acres of forest from deforestation in 1 year, or saving 70,647.6 lbs of CO2, which is the leading cause of global warming. This project not only provided Crown Plastics, Inc. with a 13.37% ROI, or a simple payback of 8.8 years, but it also had a significantly positive impact on the environment.

 

"To be honest, that was probably one of the biggest reasons why I chose to go this direction...being able to see the light output of each area, the recommended solutions and the reduction in energy costs, I felt more comfortable seeing the math behind it," -Matt Van Beusekom

 

Crown Plastics PRO 1

 

4) "To Showcase What We Do For Our Customers"

Having pride in your business and your services not only means you are confident in your results and your customer satisfaction, it also means you have invested in your facility; this is something that every business can relate to. When a business is proud to show their customers through their work space, showcasing their custom processes and their expert level in-house talent, the whole package comes together with a much stronger impact.

 

"We are a custom fabricator and distributor of plastic sheet rod and tube...what we do is really unique. 98% of what we do is driven by our customer demands; we are a custom job shop." Matt Van Beusekom, Operations Manager at Crown Plastics, Inc.

 

Take a look at the video below to see how this project provided a complete transformation to the multiple work areas of Crown Plastics, Inc.

Customer Spotlight, Crown Plastics, Inc.

LED Lighting Upgrade, Retrofit Light Fixtures, New LED Technology, Energy Savings, Investment Grade Audit

Schedule a call with our lighting consultant
 

Wendy Fry Featured in Local Magazine

 

Wendy River Valley Woman

River Valley Woman Magazine

Applauding the dynamic women of the MN River Valley.

Wendy Fry, the fearless President of The Retrofit Companies, Inc., is featured in this month's newly released edition of River Valley Woman Magazine. It should come as no surprise that Wendy was approached by the magazine when the mission of their publication is to applaud and support successful women of the MN River Valley.

Wendy's success story is worth a read, not to mention the insights that she shares with readers regarding how to find success in any business. Take it from the woman that worked her way up through the ranks and finds herself at the helm of a decades-long successful business that is growing at a rapid pace in the Lighting and Environmental Services industries. 

 

 

 


rvw pg 1-1
 

Wendy Fry, President of The Retrofit Companies, Inc., featured in River Valley Woman Magazine, August, 2018.

  

Want to learn more about TRC and how you can become part of our successful team? Check out our job openings in your area.

TRC Lighting Division Jobs


TRC Environmental Jobs 

 

Employee Spotlight - Clay Leidall

 

TRC has always focused on hiring great people to become part of the TRC family, and now it's time for you to get to know our employees a little bit better. Beyond their expertise, our team brings a unique mix of backgrounds, hobbies and special skills to the table. Check us out!

 

Introducing Clay Leidall

Clay Leidall
 

Clay joined TRC at the beginning of June as a Summer Intern working in the Sales and Marketing departments. Clay primarily works at TRC's Owatonna location but you will also find him in the Little Canada office from time to time learning other aspects of the business.


Clay is studying at the University of Minnesota, has a passion for sports and plays on his local baseball team in Owatonna, MN. 
Check out the video to get to know more about Clay! 

 

Name and Title

Clay Leidall, Sales and Marketing Intern

 

How long have you been with TRC and what do like most about working here?

I just started here in June. The thing I like most so far would be the work environment, the people are all very helpful and nice, and it feels like a family right when you walk in.

 

Where do you go to school?

I go to the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities. I'm studying Supply Chain and Operations and maybe Marketing. I'm hoping to graduate in 2020.

 

Before working at TRC, what other jobs have you had?

I've worked for my dad's carpet cleaning business, I have also coached little league baseball and worked at a grocery store. Coaching was really fun but the others not so much.

 

What is your dream job?

I always wanted to be a sports agent and work with some of the bigger names in either baseball or basketball.

 

Why did you choose to get an internship at TRC?

I chose to get an internship to get some real-life experience just to help myself out after college. I picked TRC mainly because I knew it was reputable and a good sized company with 2 locations. This is their first time doing an internship, and I thought it would be a good learning experience in a great environment with a lot of great people.

 

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I love sports, and play amateur baseball in Owatonna. Also pheasant hunting and a lot of other outdoor activities.

Rebate Cuts Proposed by Xcel Energy


 

led stock photoAre you planning a lighting upgrade project this year? 

Your rebates through Xcel Energy may be changing as soon as September, 2018. 
 

 

 

 

Will these changes impact me?

New rebate levels have been proposed in Minnesota to the Xcel Energy Commercial Lighting Efficiency Program. If approved, these changes may go into effect as early as September 1, 2018. If you are planning a lighting project this year, the new details of Xcel's rebate program may impact you.

More information on Xcel Energy's rebate programs can be found here; if you have questions or want to clarify how this will impact your project with TRC, be sure to contact your account manager or call us at 800-795-1230.

 

 

xcel rebate proposed changes
Rebate Categories with Proposed Changes:
 
  • LED troffers
  • LED exterior lighting
  • Lighting Controls
  • Shelf-stocking LED lamps
  • Fluorescents

 

Download Xcel Energy Rebate Changes
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Lithium Batteries Are a Fire Hazard


lithium ion battery

 

Is your business in need of a recycling program for lithium batteries? These popular batteries pose dangerous risks and are quickly piling up into hazardous, potentially explosive scenarios in nearly every business you can imagine.

 

Do I have Lithium Batteries?

Lithium batteries have become common in everyday items, powering our computers, cell phones, pace makers, clocks and even our vehicles; it is more likely than not that you have lithium ion batteries in your facility. They have become the new normal, however many are unaware of the risks that they pose and how to properly dispose of them. With such a large volume of these batteries everywhere, it is vitally important that you and your business are aware of how to properly handle lithium batteries.

 

Lithium Ion Batteries (1)Lithium Batteries are Commonly Found In:
 
  • Digital Cameras
  • Clocks
  • Computers
  • Cell Phones
  • Pace Makers
  • Watches
  • Thermometers
  • Laser Pointers
  • MP3 players
  • Calculators
  • Computer backup systems

 

Why are Lithium Batteries Dangerous?

These batteries are more likely to catch fire than other rechargeable batteries due to their chemistry, containing a flammable electrolyte. These batteries are also pressurized and pack more energy into a small space, causing them to be more popular but also more dangerous.

 

If the batteries have a flaw, are damaged, overcharged, packed too closely together or are exposed to high temperatures they can overheat. This can be a very dangerous situation where uncontrolled positive feedback can cause other nearby batteries to overheat, triggering a domino effect of what is known as "thermal runaway." 

 

How do I Properly dispose of them?

To avoid dangerous situations with your lithium batteries, be sure to follow proper disposal guidelines. For full details and up to date information on lithium battery regulations please visit the eCFR - Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. 

 lithium ion batteries

 

TRC can assist with properly disposing of your lithium ion batteries. Please click below to contact one of our team members and they will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Free Hazardous Waste Consultation

 

EPA Launches New E-Manifest System

 

New Regulations for All Hazardous Waste Manifests

 

EPA E-Manifest Rules Page 1

The EPA is in the final stages of developing their nationwide Electronic Tracking System, with a compliance target date of June 30th, 2018.
Click the button below to learn how TRC is making it easy for you to stay compliant.
EPA E-Manifest Flyer
 
 


 

Customer Spotlight - Steve Grandgenett, Algona Municipal Utilities

 Algona Lobby

Algona Municipal Utilities
Algona, MN
  
"In the process we were able to reduce the amount of energy we use per fixture by 45-50%." - Steve Grandgenett, Algona Municipal Utilities

Located in the small town of Algona, Iowa, approximately 3 hours south of the Twin Cities, the Algona Municipal Utilities (AMU) recently renovated their office building. AMU supplies electric, water, cable, internet, and phone to Algona and the surrounding areas and always strives for energy conservation and efficiency. Built in 2003, this office not only needed some remodeling to better suit the needs of their employees and customers, but they also quickly realized that they wanted to couple this remodel with some important lighting upgrades throughout the facility. Ken Gleason, a Senior Sales Executive at The Retrofit Companies, Inc., has been working with Algona and the surrounding areas for 11 years, and was pleased to partner with them for this project. Ken and Steve Grandgenett, the Safety and Energy Efficiency Coordinator at AMU, discussed the priorities of the project, what their company was striving for, and determined their main goals were both aesthetic upgrades to match the look and feel of their office, as well as address energy conservation. Energy reduction and efficiency are cornerstones of both AMU and TRC, making for a very well suited business partnership. 

Photo May 15, 10 00 26 AM

 

An office remodel often brings forward some lighting issues that can be easily addressed with the proper expertise, and AMU quickly noticed some problems throughout their space. Uneven light levels throughout conference rooms, offices and common areas, as well as frequently failing lamps and ballasts were causing an unnecessary amount of maintenance. This was slowing down regular business, reducing efficiency of their staff and causing unnecessary out of pocket costs for operations. The remodel project also brought forth the desire to upgrade the look of the lights to match the design and functionality throughout the building. 

 

TRC met with Steve and his team to discuss their specific needs, possible solutions and was shown a fixture selection to ensure AMU found the light fixtures they were really looking for to match their decor. Our lighting experts guided them through this process by providing expertise and unique recommendations for their space. For each area of their facility, for example small spaces with no natural light versus large open areas with high ceilings and windows, multiple solutions were considered based on factors such as frequency of use, the amount of natural daylight and the types of individuals using the space and for what functions. A conference room is better suited to lighting controls, allowing meeting attendees to dim the lights for presentations on a projector, and a lobby area is better suited to controls that automatically adjust according to the amount of natural sunlight through daylight harvesting. Occupancy sensors in the office spaces, as well as new LED fixtures throughout, proved to be an integral part of the lighting redesign. 

 

When the desired solutions were identified, the project came together quickly and TRC ensured that the installation was done with no interruptions, working around employees’ schedules and also taking into consideration customer traffic. Our design team was able to use customer suggestions along with their lighting design expertise to best fit the needs of AMU.  

For this office space of approximately 8,000 square feet, we reduced the overall lighting energy consumption by 45-50%, and met the needs of all occupants. By switching to LED and smart lighting, the energy savings is equivalent to recycling 4.85 tons of waste instead of landfilling, or the equivalent of reducing greenhouse gases by 13.9 metric tons. 

After a few months of regular usage following the new lighting installations, we checked back in with Steve at AMU to see how things were going with the lighting upgrades. We were pleased to hear that employees felt the space was not only brighter and more evenly lit, but that the controls throughout the facility were truly helping out with employees’ daily functions allowing them to customize their lighting in their own offices as well as saving energy. 

 

 

Customer Spotlight Interview with Steve Grandgenett, Algona Municipal Utilities

LED Lighting Upgrade, Retrofit Light Fixtures, New LED Technology, Energy Savings

Schedule a call with our lighting consultant
 

Customer Spotlight - Nate Cardin, Southern Hills Golf Course

 

Photo May 10, 11 03 44 AM_preview-593376-edited  Southern Hills Golf Course

Farmington, MN

“The first thing that our customers noticed is just how much warmer and inviting the atmosphere was. The Retrofit Companies, Inc. made it so easy.” – Nate Cardin, General Manager

 

The frustration of continuously changing and replacing burnt out light bulbs and ballasts is a maintenance nightmare for anyone, and Nate Cardin, the General Manager at Southern Hills Golf course, was experiencing this daily hassle before he decided to give TRC a call.

 

We checked in with Nate to talk about the recent interior lighting renovation and his experience working with TRC. Southern Hills and TRC have partnered many times in the past, and today Nate tells us about their clubhouse remodel and why it was important for them to upgrade their lighting and why he chose to work with TRC.

 

The new technology has helped reduce their overall energy consumption by nearly 50%, equating to nearly a 50% lighting energy cost savings! That is a huge improvement and TRC worked hard to ensure Southern Hills received their maximum rebate dollars, making the decision even easier to invest in the upgrade.

 

LuAnn Verduzco, Lighting & Energy Design Consultant at TRC, talked through the maintenance problems that Nate was facing, and what options would best suit their space when replacing the old technology. Nate was looking for new fixture options that would last, require minimum maintenance, as well as enhance their interior decor and highlight the features they were investing in for their clubhouse.

 

In addition to lowering the required maintenance, the new LED technology that was installed provided a drastic improvement on the distribution and quality of light throughout their entire facility. The changes were noticeable immediately, and both customers and staff alike felt that the new lighting worked with the natural light of the clubhouse and brought a warmth to the space.

 

 

 

 

Customer Spotlight Interview with Nate Cardin, Southern Hills Golf Course

 

LED Lighting Upgrade, Retrofit Light Fixtures, New LED Technology, Energy Savings

Schedule a call with our lighting consultant
 

Employee Spotlight - Brett Weber

 

 

TRC has always focused on hiring great people to become part of the TRC family, and now it's time for you to get to know our employees a little bit better. Beyond their expertise, our team brings a unique mix of backgrounds, hobbies and special skills to the table. Check us out!

 

Employee Spotlight Brett Weber

Introducing Brett Weber

Brett joined TRC just over 6 months ago, and already he has become part of the family by connecting with both our employees and customers. You will find Brett bright and early in the office supporting both the Sales and Customer Service components of the business, not to mention his keen ability to make a fine cup of coffee.

 

You can always count on Brett for a great story about a recent athletic adventure, whether it's hockey, softball or golf. This guy was the class clown growing up, and we get to enjoy his laughter and spirit every day. Check out the video below to get to know more about Brett!

 

 

Name and Title

Brett Weber, Account Manager

 

How long have you been with TRC and what do you like most about working here?

About 6 months. A lot of companies will say it's like a family, but here you actually feel it on a daily basis. Whether you've been here twenty years or 1 week, everyone treats each employee with the same respect.

Before working at TRC, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I was a pool boy...and it's not all that it's cracked up to be. A lot of weird animals end up in pools.

What did you want to be growing up?

Sports Center Anchor was one of my dream jobs. I would have to come up with my own catch phrase.

 

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I played a year of junior hockey after high school. I got into probably 5 fights that year; one of them I definitely lost. My career hockey fighting record is 4-1, so I'm satisfied with that.

 

What is your favorite movie?

Happy Gilmore. It combines both golf and hockey and it's a classic.

 

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I'm in a golf league, softball league, and hockey league. I like to stay active.

Industry Expert NALMCO Highlights LED Project

LM&M Magazine

 

A Must-Read in the Lighting Industry.

LM&M, the official NALMCO publication, provides information on the latest industry trends and developments in planned lighting maintenance and lighting technology — content that’s beneficial for NALMCO members as well as owner-occupiers and other industry professionals.  

 

TRC is thrilled to grace the pages of the NALMCO LM&M Magazine as a featured Project Spotlight in the newly released May issue. NALMCO is an organization that has really set the standard for Lighting Quality Management and brings together business experts in the Lighting Industry.

We are a proud member of NALMCO and are honored to share our case study, focusing on LED lighting, design and energy savings in schools and school districts, with the loyal LM&M readers. We get a lot of questions from our customers regarding success stories that they can relate to, and so many businesses face similar challenges to those that were resolved in this project. Check out the original case study Lakeville School District - Lighting Case Study.

 

LM&M May Cover

 

 

Are these issues sounding familiar? Take a look at our Investment Grade Audit E-Book to learn why this the likely the next step for you.get a smart start to your lighting projectReady to take that next step and improve your lighting? Have questions about if you should go with LED lights and why?

Talk to a Lighting Expert

 

 

Customer Spotlight - Bob Shellen, Amesbury Truth

 Amesbury Truth

Amesbury Truth, Owatonna, MN
Manufacturer of Window and Door Products
  
“Michelle, Jeff and her team have done very well taking care of Amesbury Truth; not just our universal and non-hazardous waste, but hazardous as well.” – Bob Shellen, Amesbury Truth

 

Today we checked in with Bob at Amesbury Truth in Owatonna, MN to talk about their business and working with TRC.

We have partnered on both Environmental Services projects and Lighting projects over the years, and today Bob tells us about one of the very first projects that was a success and why he continues to work with TRC.

 

 

 

Customer Spotlight Interview with Bob Shellen, Amesbury Truth
Lab Packs, Universal Waste, Hazardous Waste, Chemical Waste

Request a recycling pick up
 

Employee Spotlight - Michelle Gwin

 

TRC has always focused on hiring great people to become part of the TRC family, and now it's time for you to get to know our employees a little bit better. Beyond their expertise, our team brings a unique mix of backgrounds, hobbies and special skills to the table. Check us out!

 

Michelle Gwin_headshot-1-284350-edited.jpg

Introducing Michelle Gwin

On any given day you can find her interacting with customers, keeping spirits high around the office and making sure our Environmental Services are thriving.

 

Michelle has been with TRC for 10 years coming up in September, 2018 and has grown with the company, now representing Business Development in the Environmental Services division.

 

Outside of work you may find Michelle enjoying a new favorite craft beer, getting physical on her Roller Derby team, or having fun outdoors at her family cabin on the boat, the ATV's or on a hike!

 

 

Name and Title

Michelle Gwin, Business Development

 

How long have you been with TRC and why do you choose to work here?

10 years coming up in September. I love working here because it's basically like working for a family. We work hard, we play hard, we hang out outside of work, it's a fun time.

 

What do you like most about working at TRC?

Definitely the people. Where else can you find a company that is environmentally friendly, locally owned, small business, and cares about every single one of their customers and employees? It's a phenomenal company to work for.

Before working at TRC, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I used to sell Real Estate for 10 years and have seen just about anything you can imagine in people's home. Yeah, that got weird.

What is one of your guilty pleasures?

Craft Beer. I love traveling to different states, trying new breweries and different styles of beer. 

 

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I have decided, at the age of 42, to start a Roller Derby team. I'm going to be the President of the Owatonna Steel Wheels, and we are hoping to have our first bout in 2019! I'm hoping to create some diversity in the community I live in.

 

What is your favorite movie, book or band?

There's Something About Mary is definitely my favorite movie. She is quirky and I can relate to that!

 

If you could be any super hero, who would you be?

Wonder Woman.

 

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Roller Derby, total body workout classes, and my kids!

 

What would be a dream vacation?

My dream vacation would be to sit on a beach in Hawaii for a week, or two. I would bring my daughter.

 

What did you want to be growing up?

A firefighter. I thought it would be cool to lug somebody over your shoulder.

 

5 Ways Lighting Can Save Our Planet

 

Chances are that your business has discussed ways to limit their carbon footprint, be more environmentally friendly and maybe even kick starting some green initiatives. Learn more about how easy it is have a positive impact on our planet with this 5 Easy Ways Lighting Can Save Our Planet infographic. 

 

Lighting Can Save the Planet - Infographic

How-To Find the Best Energy Rebates


03_SCM_7.jpg

 

You probably know that there are a lot of energy rebates out there that may save you money upfront or have a great payback in the end. But are you sure you are maximizing your savings through energy rebate programs? Do you hear about rebate programs in your area but are not sure what you quality for?

TRC has a team of experts that help you find rebates through utility companies and other programs to reduce upfront costs and increase your payback. We pride ourselves on serving our customers with a full service rebate program from start to finish, providing the research, expertise and best possible options for each project as we stay on top of the ever-changing rebate programs.

Step 1: Make rebates easy

This is the easy part, just call one of our experts and we will help you find the best rebate programs in your area.

Schedule a call with our lighting consultant

But if you want to know a little bit more before calling...

Step 2: Know your market

The LED market is expanding rapidly and this energy-efficient lighting is becoming more affordable. The utility companies are adjusting the rebate levels based on these trends. Rebates for some LED lighting categories have reduced in 2018, but new lighting categories get added to the rebate programs as the lighting technologies continue to change and develop. There is still time to take advantage of the opportunity to save on your energy efficient LED lighting.

Step 3: find the right rebate program

We can help you determine what programs you qualify for and where you can maximize your savings. Many businesses will qualify for programs under the following utilities, however most utility companies (small or large) offer some sort of rebate program. Call us and we will do the work for you!

Xcel Energy

  • Prescriptive and custom rebates
  • Larger users often qualify for Xcel rebates
  • Rebate Finder Tool

New Call-to-action

CEE (Xcel Energy territory program)

  • Calculated based off of total energy savings
  • If you are a smaller user within an Xcel territory, you may qualify for these rebates

SMMPA (Southern MN Municipal Power Agency)

  • Prescriptive and custom rebates

Step 4: take it a step further for more savings

Have you considered installing lighting controls in your building for even greater savings? Lighting controls can save thousands on annual energy bills while increasing comfort in your building and making it easier to run. As part of Xcel Energy’s Efficiency Controls program, you may qualify for a cash incentive that corresponds to the energy-savings potential of your control system.

The more energy your project saves, the more your business can earn rebate dollars.

  New Call-to-action

By working with our rebate experts, you could be saving your business hundred or thousands of dollars just by letting us guide you. It’s so easy, call us and we will walk you through the simple steps.

Schedule a call with our lighting consultant


 

Lakeville School District - Lighting Case Study

 

Lakeville Schools (MN) and The Retrofit Companies, Inc. (TRC) recently partnered to discuss the district’s 2 and 10 year plans at Eastview Elementary School. Both of the strategic plans included goals of implementing energy saving lighting solutions across the entire district. Specifically, the 2 and 10 year plans included exterior lighting along with a parking lot that needed to be completely replaced. The goal was to complete these projects by the end of summer 2017 before the start of the school year. These projects were a combination of replacing old, damaged light poles, with new, and replacing all of the existing inefficient exterior lighting. This school would be the first of many completed during the first two years of their strategic plan. With a goal of improving light quality, increasing light levels, while creating a standard technology for the school district, Sara Guyette of Lakeville Schools and LuAnn Verduzco of TRC developed a plan to perform a study on the exterior lighting along with a district wide study to replace all interior and exterior existing metal-halide inefficient and unsafe fixtures. Partnering with TRC, Lakeville School District was able to make an educated decision to properly address their lighting concerns while implementing energy savings.

 BEFORE W LIGHT POLLUTION-1.jpg

BEFORE: Parking lot with light pollution

PROBLEM:

The district lacked a focused energy-efficient plan that could be utilized across the board, and with multiple goals in their strategic plans, Sara and the Board saw the value in partnering with lighting design and energy efficiency experts at TRC to help them address their needs.

 AFTER NO LIGHT POLLUTION-1.jpg

AFTER: Parking Lot with no light pollution

ANALYSIS AND SOLUTION:

Lakeville partnered with TRC to conduct the district wide Investment Grade Audit to determine the full extent of their lighting needs. Photometric layouts were also provided to Lakeville Schools to ensure industry standard light levels would be installed and would meet their long term strategic goals. Through the study, Lakeville decided to move forward and requested competing bids using the equal scope of work, fixture specifications, and performance standards. TRC was awarded the work and recommended the proper solutions and design expertise for their parking lot and exterior lighting as the first phase of their district wide strategic plan.

Lakeville photometrics.pngEastview Elementary School Exterior Photometrics

Implementing the project presented certain challenges across the board, including construction deadlines and project management for all key partners involved in the total project. With a parking lot replacement, there is a strategic plan involved all the way from coordination of materials, the architect, the sub-contractors and the building engineers being available to provide access to the building when needed.  Some unforeseen circumstances came up during the project, but TRC and all other partners involved were able to work an alternate schedule to ensure the project was wrapped up before the start of the school year. Having confidence and trust in the vendors and contractors that you use for projects is vital to timely implementation and problem solving.

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BEFORE: Basketball Court 

PROJECT GOALS & SUCCESSES

  • Replace and recycle all metal halide and other inefficient fixtures
  • Drastically improved light quality, distribution and levels
  • Decreased lighting energy costs by 44%
  • Annual energy savings of $2,500.00/yr.
  • Simple payback of 7.35 years
  • Cut maintenance costs, new fixtures have 5 yr warranty, minimum of 10 year life rating on new fixture components
  • New fixtures contain no mercury and are much better for the environment

AFTER BASKETBALL-1.jpg

AFTER: Basketball Court

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

  • Carbon Savings: greenhouse gas reduction metric tons equivalent to 22.7
  • Passenger cars not driven for one year: 4.4
  • Gallons of gasoline saved: 2,540.50
  • Acres of forest preserved from deforestation: 0.22
  • Tons of waste recycled vs. land filled: 7.90

 

Schedule a call with our lighting consultant

Shedding some light on led lamp recycling requirements

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It is undisputed that LED lamps have become the leading lighting technology, offering the benefits of energy savings, longevity and quality of light. With the rise of their popularity, several of our customers have inquired as to the regulations regarding their proper disposal and recycling.

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s publication W-HW4-62: “Although the bulb portion of most light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are not hazardous and thus not (Universal Waste) lamps, the circuit board to which the LEDs are attached is a regulated electronic waste in Minnesota.” See more from the MPCA on E-waste recycling here.

Some of the reasoning behind the MPCA’s decision to regulate these devices is found in the materials used to construct the lamps themselves. Circuit boards have long been known to contain toxic lead solder (along with several other toxic substances), and is regulated in the State of Minnesota.

To help illustrate the situation, we have taken apart several screw-in style LED bulbs to show the hidden circuit board. Red arrows annotate the photographs and highlight the silver colored solder.

IMG_5855_ARROW EDIT.jpg

 If you happen to be outside of the State of Minnesota, be sure to check with your local authorities as to the regulations in your area. Even if your State permits you to “throw them away”, the better choice is to recycle them. After all, why would you just landfill them, knowing that your decision will have a lasting impact on our environment, and the world that our children will inherit.

With over 25 years in the lighting and environmental business, we know about LED lighting and waste regulations!

If you have any questions or would like more information regarding the regulations of LED lamps and fixtures: 

Consult our haz waste team

If you have not yet made the change to LED lighting, we can help there too! There are many things to consider when making the move to LED; don't take on the project alone:  

Consult a Lighting Pro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing a Reputable Partner Minimizes Your Risks for Regulated Waste Related Fines

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One of the most important concepts for generators of waste to understand is Cradle-to-Grave.  You can see the EPA’s definition HERE.  But, in a nut shell, this means that the generator of waste is responsible to ultimate disposal.  Nothing will relinquish a generator of this responsibility and there’s no expiration date or time limit.  Hiring someone else to transport and dispose of your waste does NOT transfer responsibility. 

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/cradle-to-grave.html

 

Recently, charges have been filed against two vendors who were previously trusted to properly handle their clients’ waste.

Luminaire Environmental and Technologies Inc. Plymouth, MN

http://www.startribune.com/plymouth-waste-disposal-operators-charged-in-fraud-scheme/446253773

Recycletronics Sioux City, IA

https://resource-recycling.com/e-scrap/2017/08/17/sioux-city-crt-stockpiles-prompt-enforcement-action/

Because the actions of your chosen vendors can also negatively affect your company image, as well as result in fines and other additional fees for you, it’s important to know the following about anyone you allow to manage your regulated waste:

  • Can they provide names and contacts to current customers (similar to you) as references?
  • Does the vendor have adequate insurance? They should be able to provide not only commercial liability, but also pollution coverage.
  • Where does the waste go? Can the vendor provide all downstream channel and facility information?
  • What documentation and paperwork is provided? Depending on the waste type, waste profiles and hazardous waste manifests may be required. Certificates of Recycling/disposal should be provided every shipment, and your vendor should be able to provide you with usage reports, as requested.

You should be prepared and have a plan. [Check out our blog for help preparing a waste management plan.] Monitor and manage your plan, and the service provided to ensure you are in compliance should never be overlooked.

At The Retrofit Companies, your environmental compliance is our top priority. We offer a range of environmental services, assisting with material inventories, legal documentation, and access to approved packaging options. In addition to proper shipping procedures and an extensive network of disposal partners, rest assured that your waste handling and recycling needs are covered by TRC. We're here to be the hazardous waste recycling and disposal partner you are looking for.  

Consult our haz waste team

 

Another interview with Darin at Wausau Supplies : Exterior Lighting LED upgrade

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Darin is the Central Regional Manager for Wausau Supply, overseeing five Wausau Supply locations. As you may remember, Darin has provided us with great feedback on the previous lighting upgrade/energy projects that we have worked on in the past.

(In case you missed it, here is his last interview: http://blog.retrofitcompanies.com/blog/interview-with-wausau-supply-hid-to-led )

Earlier this year, we completed his exterior lighting LED upgrade project, and he was nice enough to let us know how it went.

What problems or issues did you have with your exterior lighting, and what were you hoping to accomplish with this lighting upgrade project?

"The outside of our building had traditional metal-halide bulbs on the building and on light posts.

Very poor lighting and not cost effective at all…We were throwing money away!!

It also was very unsafe since we have employees coming in at all times of the morning and they could not see ice in front of them."

 

What solution did The Retrofit Companies bring to you to address these issues?

"TRC came out and analyzed the situation and came up with a great, cost effective option

LED lighting …strategically placed so we could get the most bang for our buck

Now when it is dark outside these lights come on and light up the place just like it was daylight outside!!

Very impressive! Satisfaction beyond our expectations!!"

 

Why did you chose The Retrofit Companies to be your partner on this project?

"We used TRC on several other projects and they did an awesome job for us. So when it was time to make the move to LED, it was a pretty easy decision, once they showed us what they could do to  solve our problem. The rebates were an added bonus…payback will be pretty quick compared to our old lighting."

Any other thoughts that you have on the project, your sales rep, or TRC in general?

"Working with good, honest people always helps to calm any concerns we might have!"

THANK YOU DARIN!

BEFORE:

Wausau before.jpg

 

AFTER:

Wausau after.jpg

Did this interview help you get some insight on what it's like to work with The Retrofit Companies? You can read more customer stories here, get our guide to help you ask the right questions when choosing a partner for your next lighting project, or just schedule a call with one of our lighting specialists!

11 questions to ask a lighting contractor

read more case studies on TRC blog

Xcel Energy Efficiency Awards 2017

Thank you to Xcel Energy, once again, for including The Retrofit Companies in this year's Energy Efficiency Partner Award recipients! This is the 3rd year in a row that TRC has received this award. (See 2015 Award and 2016 Award)

Please read below for their press release and information on the recent awards event:

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Greg Olson of Xcel Energy presents the Energy Efficiency Partner award to Wendy Fry and Jake Andrist on May 4th, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS (MAY 11, 2017) – Xcel Energy recently recognized 39 Minnesota businesses for their outstanding efforts to help customers save energy and reduce their environmental impact. The awards, presented May 4 at Pinstripes in Edina, recognized the top contractors, equipment suppliers and engineers that contributed the greatest electricity and natural gas savings to Xcel Energy’s Minnesota conservation programs in 2016. These are the top 39 trade partners out of the 1,475 partners working with Xcel Energy.

The rebates submitted by these 39 companies saved customers 81 gigawatt-hours of electricity and 54,000 dekatherms of natural gas. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, that’s the equivalent of powering 8,800 homes for a year.

Xcel Energy offers incentives, such as rebates and funding for energy efficiency studies and upgrades, to its business and residential customers to encourage them to make energy-efficient choices. Through the help of this group of partners, Xcel Energy distributed more than $5 million in energy efficiency rebates for the various projects completed, which is about 15 percent of the total amount of rebates paid in Minnesota by Xcel Energy last year.

The rebates dollars also helped fund capital projects and create jobs. The Minnesota Department of Commerce reports an 80 percent increase in energy efficiency businesses in Minnesota since 2000 and a 49 percent increase in energy efficiency jobs.

“Xcel Energy’s trade partners are valuable allies that really make these projects happen,” said Greg Olson, Xcel Energy trade relations manager. “They help us reach our aggressive energy conservation goals, save customers money and help them reduce their environmental impact.”

The 39 companies recognized were: Apadana ● Apollo Heating and Ventilating ● Campbell-Sevey Inc. ● Home Service Plus ● Coles Electric, Inc. ● Compressed Air Concepts LLC ● Corporate Mechanical ● Data Center Systems Inc. ● Egan Company ● Energy Management Collaborative ● Graybar – Minneapolis Branch ● Golden Valley Heating & Air ● HomeSmart ● Inflow ● Ingersoll Rand Minnesota ● JIT Energy Services ● John Henry Foster ● Johnson Controls Plymouth ● JT Electric Service Inc. ● Louis Degidio Inc. ● Master Mechanical ● Midwest Mechanical Solutions ● MSP Plumbing, Heating & Air ● Mulcahy Company Inc. ● NHA Heating and Air Conditioning ● Northern Air Corp. ● Noble Conservation Solutions ● Premier Lighting Inc. ● Pronto Heating & Air Conditioning ● Standard Heating & Air Conditioning ● State Supply ● Strebe Energy Services ● The Retrofit Companies ● The Snelling Company ● Trane St. Paul ● UHL Company ● Viking Electric Minneapolis ● Voss Lighting ● Yale Mechanical

For more information on Xcel Energy’s energy efficiency programs, visit www.xcelenergy.com.

 

For additional information on rebates and programs contact us for a consult any time!

Talk to a Consultant About Rebates

Tank Talk: Tank Maintenance and Cleaning Services

To continue to provide the environmental services that our customers need from us. We have recently started promoting our tank cleaning and maintenance services.

Tanks can be found in all kinds of buildings, including schools, manufacturing, and any building that, at one point, used a boiler. Some tanks will get used and maintenanced regularly, while others will be forgotten, until there is an issue.

We can help with either scenario, no matter what type of tank it is. Let's take a look at the different kinds of tanks that require service and cleaning: 

Neutralization Tanks:

Neutralization tanks are attached to sewer lines and serve to neutralize any acids prior to discharging into the sewer system.  These tanks are commonly found in schools and other lab-type facilities, where chemicals get, intentionally and unintentionally, poured down the drain. Even if no acids are being sewered, the tanks still fill up with sediment and can clog over time. 

Here is a diagram of a tank to give you a better idea of how they work.  Our service includes removal of old rock/sludge, packaging, testing, disposal, and installation of new rock.  The old rock/sludge can have enough heavy metals built up to be regulated as hazardous waste, testing will inform that process.

Tank Diagram.jpg

Holding Tanks:

Holding tanks are used in all kinds of manufacturing processes.  Anytime a manufacturer has large quantities of liquid product that they need to hold and use continuously they’re likely to have some sort of tank system for storage. The tanks are used to store a product necessary for the manufacturing process.  Regardless of the product, these tanks will occasionally need to be cleaned out to remove sedimentary buildup, impurities, and to check the tank integrity.  Often times, holding tank work is completed during regular plant closures in order to avoid interrupting the manufacturing process. 

Maintenance Equipment/Tanks

If your facility operates a boiler, it’s likely you have back-up fuel tanks to continue operation in the absence of municipal gas.  Virtually every school and multi-story office building is operating a boiler. 

These tanks vary greatly in size depending on the size of the boiler.  Many facilities are switching from #6 fuel oil to #2 fuel oil.  If this is happening in your facility, the old #6 tanks need to be cleaned out before they can be decommissioned.  Additionally, the #2 fuel oil tanks may require maintenance due to contamination or gelling of oil. 

Download our Tank Cleaning Profile to gather information on your tanks. Then, consult our team to help get your tank service scheduled!

Get the Industrial Tank Cleaning Profile Form

 

Consult our haz waste team

 

 

 

Community Recycling Events in 2017

 Believe it or not, Spring is coming and so is Collection season! Every year The Retrofit Companies partners up with communities across the Upper Midwest to host Recycling Collection Events, accepting things like electronic waste, appliances, fluorescent light bulbs, batteries, and ballasts for recycling.

All scheduled events for 2017 are listed below, with more information on our Facebook page.

Do you want to learn more about how your community or your business can plan a recycling collection?

ewaste-recycling-collection.jpg 

APRIL 22nd

City of Barnesville, MN (Clay County)

FREE Residential Electronic Waste Recycling Collection Event

205 Front Street North

Barnesville, MN 56514

8AM-NOON

Waste Collected- E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

ALL OF THIS ELECTRONIC WASTE ACCEPTED FROM CLAY COUNTY RESIDENTS FOR FREE!

City of Vadnais Heights, MN

Electronic and Appliance Waste Recycling Collection Event

651 East County Road F

Vadnais Heights, MN 55127

8AM-2PM

Waste Collected- Appliances and E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY OF VADNAIS HEIGHTS FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PRICING.

City of Maplewood, MN

Electronic and Appliance Waste Recycling Collection Event

Aldrich Arena

1850 White Bear Avenue North

Maplewood, MN 55109

8AM-1PM

Waste Collected- Appliances and E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY OF MAPLEWOOD FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PRICING.

APRIL 24th-MAY 8th

City of Little Canada (Drop-off @ The Retrofit Companies)

Electronic and Universal Waste Recycling Drop-off Event

2960 Yorkton Blvd

Little Canada, MN 55127

7AM-4PM MONDAY, APRIL, 24th-FRIDAY, MAY 8th AND SATURDAY, APRIL 29TH 8AM-NOON

Waste Collected- Fluorescent lamps, non-PCB ballasts, batteries, appliances and E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

Fee Schedule

Screened items (TVs and Monitors) -$15.00 each

All other Non-Screen E-waste (computers, laptops, printers, etc.)- FREE

Microwaves- $25.00 each

Ballasts- $5.00 each

Fluorescent lamps- $1.00 each

Broken fluorescent lamps- $5.00 each

APRIL 29TH

City of Moorhead, MN (Clay County)

FREE Residential Electronic Waste Recycling Collection Event

1300 15TH Avenue North

Moorhead, MN 55127

8AM-NOON

Waste Collected- E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

ALL OF THIS ELECTRONIC WASTE ACCEPTED FROM CLAY COUNTY RESIDENTS FOR FREE!

City of Roseville, MN

Electronic Waste Recycling Collection Event

2555 Dale Street

Roseville, MN 55113

8AM-3PM

Waste Collected- E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY OF ROSEVILLE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PRICING.

MAY 4th

City of Ada, MN (Al’s Disposal)

Universal Waste Recycling Collection Event

808 East Main Street

Ada, MN 56510

10AM-2PM

Waste Collected-Batteries, fluorescent lamps, and ballasts

PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY OF ADA OR AL’S DISPOSAL FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PRICING.

City of Fairmont, MN

County Residents- Lamp and Ballast Waste Recycling Collection Event

1215 North State Street

(Old K-Mart Parking lot)

Fairmont, MN 56031

9AM-1PM

Waste Collected- Fluorescent lamps and ballasts.

PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY OF FAIRMONT FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PRICING.

MAY 6th

City of White Bear Lake, MN

Lamps, Appliance and Electronic Waste Recycling Collection Event

4200 Hoffman Road

Public Works Building

White Bear Lake, MN 55110

7AM-1PM

Waste Collected- Fluorescent lamps, Appliances, and E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY OF WHITE BEAR LAKE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PRICING.

City of East Grand Forks, MN

E-waste and Universal Waste Recycling Collection Event

1001 2nd Street NE

East grand Forks, MN 56721

9AM-3PM

Waste Collected- Fluorescent lamps, ballasts, batteries, , and E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY OF EAST GRAND FORKS FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PRICING.

Keep Columbus Beautiful-Columbus, NE

Electronic Waste Recycling Collection Event

First United Methodist Church

2710 14th Street

Columbus, NE 68608

9AM-1PM

Waste Collected- E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

PLEASE CONTACT “KEEP COLUMBUS BEAUTIFUL” FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PRICING.

MAY 13th

City of Austin

Electronic Waste and Appliance Recycling Collection Event

Mower County Fairgrounds

700 12TH Street SW

Austin, MN 55912

9AM-2PM

Waste Collected- Appliances and E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

NOT ACCEPTING: fluorescent lamps, broken glass/lamps, Mercury containing devices, smoke detectors, liquid waste, PCB ballasts or capacitors, or any other hazardous waste.

Fee Schedule

CRT/Flat TVs and Monitors- $10.00 each Console/Projection TVs- $15.00 each

Household Appliances (White Goods)- $20.00 each

Microwaves and Small household Appliances- $5.00 each

*Freon Appliances- add $25.00 each

Computer/Laptops, hard drives, printers, copiers, vacuum cleaners, large speakers- $2.00 each

*Hard drive cleansing- add $25.00 each

Mice, Keyboards, computer speakers, cables, and wires- FREE

City of Hawley, MN (Clay County)

FREE Residential Electronic Waste Collection Event

716 Front Street

Hawley, MN 56549

8AM-NOON

Waste Collected- E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

ALL OF THIS ELECTRONIC WASTE ACCEPTED FROM CLAY COUNTY RESIDENTS FOR FREE!

MAY 20th

City of Albert Lea (Freeborn County)

Electronic Waste Recycling Collection Event

Freeborn County Fairgrounds

1031 Bridge Avenue

Albert Lea, MN 56007

10AM-2PM

Waste Collected- E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

Fee Schedule:

TVs and Monitors (CRT and Flat)- $15.00 each

Console and Projections TVs- $20.00 each

Computers, laptops, printers, copiers, speakers, microwaves, small household appliances- $3.00 each

Misc. cables, mice and keyboards- FREE

City of Shoreview, MN

Electronic Waste Recycling Collection Event

1425 Paul Kirkwold Drive

Arden Hills, MN 55112

7AM-NOON

Waste Collected- E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY OF SHOREVIEW FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PRICING.

Owatonna, MN-Steele County

Universal and Electronic Waste Recycling Collection Event

The Retrofit Companies

1010 Hoffman Drive

Owatonna, MN 55060

9AM-NOON

Waste Collected- fluorescent lamps, Mercury devices, batteries, ballasts, appliances, and E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

Fee Schedule:

Fluorescent lamps- $0.50 each

HID and Shatterproof lamps- $1.00 each

Incandescent and LED lamps- $0.25 each

Mercury devices and Non-PCB ballasts- $5.00 each
 

Alkaline, NiCad, Sealed Lead Acid Batteries- $0.50 per lb.

TVs and Computer Monitors (CRT and Flat)- $20.00 each

Computers, Laptops, printers, copiers- $3.00 each

Mice, keyboards, cables, and all other misc. E-waste- FREE

Household Appliances- $20.00 each

MAY 27TH

City of Hawley, MN (Clay County)

Business Waste Collection Event

3301 190th Street

Hawley, MN 56549

8AM-10AM

Waste Collected- Fluorescent lamps, ballasts, and E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

PLEASE CONTACT CLAY COUNTY FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PRICING.

City of Moorhead, MN (Clay County)

Business Waste Collection Event-

1300 15TH Avenue North

Moorhead, MN 55127

NOON-4PM

Waste Collected- Fluorescent lamps, ballasts, and E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

PLEASE CONTACT CLAY COUNTY FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PRICING.

ewaste_recycling_collection_MN.jpg

 

JUNE 3rd

City of Grand Marais (Cook County)

Electronic Waste Recycling Collection Event

630 5th Avenue West

Grand Marais, MN 55604

9AM-1PM

Waste Collected- Fluorescent lamps, ballasts, batteries, appliances, and E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

Fee Schedule:

TVs and Monitors (CRT and Flat)- $15.00 each

All other E-waste- FREE

Household Appliances and Microwaves- $25.00 each

Small household appliances- FREE

JUNE 10th

City of Aitkin, MN (Aitkin County)

FREE Residential Electronic Waste Recycling Collection Event

Aitkin County Recycling Center

36488 400th Avenue

Aitkin, MN 56431

10AM-2PM

Waste Collected- E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

ALL OF THIS ELECTRONIC WASTE ACCEPTED FROM AITKIN COUNTY RESIDENTS FOR FREE!

AUGUST 26th

City of Grand Marais (Cook County)

Residential Electronic Waste Recycling Collection Event

630 5th Avenue West

Grand Marais, MN 55604

9AM-1PM

Waste Collected- E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

Fee Schedule:

TVs and Monitors (CRT and Flat)- $15.00 each

All other E-waste- FREE

Household Appliances and Microwaves- $25.00 each

Small household appliances- FREE

SEPTEMBER 22nd

City of Albert Lea (Freeborn County)

Electronic Waste Recycling Collection Event

Freeborn County Fairgrounds

1031 Bridge Avenue

Albert Lea, MN 56007

10AM-2PM

Waste Collected- E-waste: TVs, Monitors, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers Cell Phones, Phones, Mice, Keyboards, Cables, small Household appliances, and all other electronic waste.

Fee Schedule:

TVs and Monitors (CRT and Flat)- $15.00 each

Console and Projections TVs- $20.00 each

Computers, laptops, printers, copiers, speakers, microwaves, small household appliances- $3.00 each

Misc. cables, mice and keyboards- FREE

...new events being added to TRC's Facebook Events as they are scheduled. Be sure to follow us for these notifications.

Interview with Darin at Wausau Supplies : HID to T8 to LED

 

Wausau Sign.jpg

 

About Darin & his work at Wausau Supply:

I’m currently Central Regional Manager for Wausau Supply, so I have five locations I watch over. I started in 2000 at Wausau Supply and came in as a day shift manager. I progressed to Operations manager, running just this location. After that I started the position they call District Manager, doing what I do now for the Central Region, watching over five locations.

Sounds busy! Are all of your locations in Minnesota?

It’s quite a bit of travel. The locations I oversee are in Minnesota, Iowa, and Kansas.

I know you’ve worked with TRC in the past on projects at one of your facilities back in 2009, and again most recently in 2016 on a different lighting project – can you tell me about that?

The first project was in 2009, and that was to address the metal halide bulbs that we had. We saved a ton of money when we switched to T8’s, which was the most current technology at the time. We still have that system in the warehouse. It saved a lot of money and it’s still saving compared to what it would have been if we continued to use metal halide.

Then we were talking to TRC rep, LuAnn, and she was proposing LED lights for us. We decided to give them a try in the space for this most recent 2016 project, and they’re fabulous. The lighting is so much better. You can see all the way to the ground underneath the shelves even. Before the upgrade, the bottom shelf would be dark. With the LED lights we get all the way down there and can see things on the bottom.

How did you originally connect with The Retrofit Companies?

One of your sales people just stopped in. The rebates were really good back then, 2008 or 2007, and she stopped in and said, “Do you mind if I take a look in your warehouse to see what you have for lighting?” And we said yes. So they looked at it and said, “We could really save you a lot of money if you just let us give a proposal to you.” We sat and listened, and ended up rolling out that plan at five or six other locations.

We knew it was kind of dumb to have metal halides, even at that time, when there’s so much better technology out there.

For your most recent LED project, you decided to purchase the Investment Grade Audit reports from TRC. Did you take that plan to any other contractors to get comparison bids?

No, but since we have a pretty good relationship with TRC, every once in a while someone will randomly stop in and want to propose to us. Then I’ll send it on to LuAnn, and say, “LuAnn, shoot some holes in this proposal for me.” She’ll say, “Oh my gosh, they’re not even talking about this!” or “They don’t even know the lighting level.” The competition is just trying to undercut everybody, and a few years down the road you’re probably not going to be too happy with it.

With the investment grade audit you know what to expect. It does cost a little bit more, but then you do know what you’re getting and they ask for your input, too.

The next project we’ve already greenlighted is the exterior lighting. It’s all metal halide and long overdue. Your team looked through it, asked some questions and determined that we needed one more light on a building. So, they’re redesigning it a bit based on our conversation.

So, you’ve seen a difference between The Retrofit Companies and our competitors?

I feel more comfortable that TRC is doing a complete job. We don’t want the cheapest job, we want a complete job – something you’re going to stand behind, that you’re going to do it the way that we want it, and listen to us. We’ve found that to be true with The Retrofit Companies, so I haven’t really needed to competitively shop.

Back in 2009, the TRC rep presented an opportunity to save with your upgrade from metal halide (HID) to T8 fluorescent, and now you have this opportunity to improve again with LED technology. What are your goals for this project?

We’d like to save somewhere in that vicinity again. We’re doing it in small bites because the philosophy at the corporate level is that we’ve got a few locations much worse off (lighting efficiency-wise) than we are here. So, if we can do that LED project somewhere else as a proving ground it will help – for example in our Montana facility which is still all HID.

We’re doing these small bits at our facility, the lockroom and exterior, but maybe another facility will be lucky enough to get their entire warehouse in LED. We’ll be able to do that eventually, it makes sense to within the next few years.

With the recent lockroom project, going to LED lighting, were there any surprising results? You mentioned earlier about the light reaching the bottom of the racks, and that it never had before.

The lighting is even and it’s not harsh at all. It’s subtle, like a daylight feel. We were hoping it wasn’t going to be a drastic change where it wouldn’t give us headaches or like the fluorescents that would sometimes have a harsh glare. Everyone likes the light, it’s nice and even and bright throughout the whole space – not overly bright. Everyone has said they like it, no one has had any complaints. Usually, when you get some kind of a new lighting system someone’s going to think it’s too bright, it gives them a headache, or something, but I haven’t heard any complaints at all.

BEFORE:

Wasuau Shelving before.jpg

AFTER:

Wausau interior w Darin.jpg

In your job, I’m sure you worked with many different contractors on various types of projects, and you’ve now worked with TRC at least twice on projects over the years – is there anything you can say about your experience with TRC, how it might have changed, or how it might be different from your experience with other contractors?

This latest project was all good, the install was very quick. They were attentive to what we were doing because they had to work around us, and did a great job keeping everything neat and organized. For example, the used fixtures were out of the way, not in our way, and your electrician did a favor for me. I asked him if he could take a couple of the old T8’s he was taking out and put a cord on there for us so we could use them as shop lights in our tool cage where we had some terrible lights. He said, “No problem,” and threw on two cords so we could also have new lights in that tool cage. I thought that was pretty cool, he didn’t even think about it at all, it was no problem.

Are there any other aspects of the installation or bid process that stood out to you?

This project was only an 8 light switch over, so it was a small project. The electrician came in at 8 a.m. and he was done by 3. All cleaned up and had our pallet of old fixtures ready to recycle, and they had someone from TRC come out and pick them up. At least I think they did, I have to check…

Well, if they haven’t yet, let us know and we’ll have someone come out for you!

Sure thing!

Have you been able to take advantage of utility rebates with your projects? Did TRC help with that?

Every project we’ve done has had rebates involved. The first one (2009 warehouse project) was pretty huge, about 30-40,000 dollar rebate and it really helped out. This last one, was a smaller project so a smaller amount, but the upcoming exterior project anticipates a fair amount of rebate. I probably wouldn’t do it if there wasn’t a rebate. We would probably wait because rebates seem to cycle in and out every few months so it would be dumb not to use a rebate.

How about sensors? What has been your experience with sensors on your lighting systems?

They have sensors on them now, they’re all sensored. That is something that should always be sold with a project. It saves us TONS of money because most of these companies (warehouses) aren’t flying around in all those aisles all night long. The sensors save us a lot. We had metal halides burning the whole time the warehouse was open, and now with sensors on the fixtures those lights might stay off 3 or 4 hours at a time. Consider all the hours saved in a year and that’s a lot of money.

Last question, do you have any advice for other companies that are just beginning to research energy-efficient lighting projects, or just starting out with hiring contractors for energy-efficient lighting project?

I would say, let them show you the numbers. The numbers don’t lie. Let them show you the proposal, show you what the project could save you if you switched over to new fixtures, the breakdown of how quickly it will payback. If the payback is within five to seven years it should be a no-brainer to anybody, whether you’re putting in carpeting or lighting. It would definitely be well worth an hour of your time, especially if you have metal halide lighting. What you’re going to save is going to be phenomenal. You’re going to be a hero within your company for doing it. =

Did this interview help you get some insight on what it's like to work with The Retrofit Companies? You can read more customer stories here, or go ahead and get our guide to help you ask the right questions when choosing a partner for your next lighting project!

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