Beyond the trust pertaining to fiscal responsibility, the distributors must also trust that Schupan Recycling, Tomra of North America and their UBCR joint venture will continue to provide reliable collection and processing services.
For UBCR, this means maintaining and servicing a growing number of reverse vending machines and keeping trucks and drivers on the road.
The third-party pick-up and processing system offered by UBCR has helped put in place a deposit-and-return system that minimizes the obligations of the beverage and grocery industries.
The Schupan Recycling subsidiary of Schupan & Sons, Kalamazoo, Mich., formed the UBCR (Used Beverage Container Recovery) LLC joint venture with Tomra North America, Stratford, Conn., in 1997.
According to the UBCR Web site, the company was formed "to be an industry solution for the collection, transportation and processing of empty beverage containers in the state of Michigan."
Now, UBCR has more than 40 drivers, 20 tractors and 140 trailers and handles more than 100 million cases annually, serving some 540 retail locations and 140 distributors or wholesalers.
Acting as the exclusive pick-up agent for the Michigan Soft Drink Association and the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association, UBCR has concentrated on keeping backroom storage and collection areas clean and in efficiently maintaining reverse vending machines.