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The 33rd Southeast Recycling Conference & Trade Show (SERC)

The 33rd Southeast Recycling Conference & Trade Show (SERC)

The 33rd Southeast Recycling Conference & Trade Show (SERC)The 33rd Southeast Recycling Conference & Trade Show (SERC)The 33rd Southeast Recycling Conference & Trade Show (SERC)

Presentation Title

How McCormick Spice, #1 Sustainable Food Manufacture, reduces waste (cost) and increases recycling and reuse (revenue) and got to “Zero Waste to Landfill”


McCormick’s largest plant is now landfill-free and the cost of their Waste-to-Energy program is offset by the return, reuse, resell and recycling programs implemented.  All commodities, vendors, activity and diversion rates are tracked online via real-time software allowing McCormick to view market changes, make adjustments and continuously improve.   This joint presentation (McCormick and UCB) will walk through the process of identifying opportunities, quantifying financial and economic value, implementation of process changes and the obstacles encountered along the way.

Jeff Blankman


Jeff Blankman, Sustainable Manufacturing Manager McCormick & Company


Jeff is the Sustainable Manufacturing Manager for McCormick & Company, the world’s leading producer of spices and seasonings.  In this role, he establishes best practices for McCormick’s retail manufacturing and distribution facilities for energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste reduction, and other sustainability initiatives.  Prior to his current role, he worked for over 10 years in Project Engineering at McCormick, installing packaging equipment and new packaging production lines.  He has 20 years of project management experience in manufacturing.  Jeff serves on the Company’s Corporate Sustainability Committee and is a member of the Baltimore County Sustainability Network.  Jeff has both a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Maryland.

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Marty Metro


Marty Metro, Founder / CEO. UsedCardboardBoxes & UCBZeroWaste


Marty Metro has a unique, “if at first you don’t succeed” attitude… and a track record to prove it! He risked it all to be an innovator, and failed miserably. In 2002, he started a chain of eco-friendly retail stores to buy and sell USED moving boxes in Los Angeles. He had dreams of a national franchise, but his attempt was premature, undercapitalized and riddled with logistic flaws. After 3 long years without an income, Metro was forced to cease all operations, leaving him and his wife, not just an empty bank account, but $300,000 of personal debt. 

Devastated but not discouraged, Metro took a “day job” as a technology consultant and spent nights and weekends, pursuing his dream. His relentless entrepreneurial drive lead him to revise business plan, raise capital and re-launch a scalable, tech-centric model to buy and sell millions of used boxes, just one year later. This time, he succeeded.  That plan grew to a national logistics firm now working with some of the largest companies in the country, and has been covered by most major news outlets. Entrepreneur Magazine featured Metro and in an article entitled:  “From Business Failure to Multimillion-Dollar 'Green' Niche“.  

Metro is an inspirational example of balancing financial returns with environmental responsibility.  Rather than claim to know “how to succeed,” Metro embraces his mistakes and proudly shares them with audiences.  Today, Metro is a proud member of the Walmart Sustainable Value Networks (SVNs) for both Packaging and Waste, invite-only groups of Walmart suppliers, academics and government agencies exploring challenges and developing solutions that benefit business, local and global communities.  Metro has served as co-chair of the Los Angeles Venture Association’s “LAVA Green,” Head of the Technical Council for Reuse at the California Resource Recovery Association and Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization in Los Angeles.  

Metro graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maryland and earned an MBA in Information Systems from the University of Arizona, before beginning his career as a supply chain consultant with Andersen Consulting. After over a decade of helping large companies increase profits by utilizing enterprise technology, Metro is a nationally-recognized eco-entrepreneur, working with some of the largest organizations in the country, to create value with reuse.