Being able to think outside the box and offer companies new and exciting ways to do business or, in our industry, be more sustainable, is an invaluable trait. It is exactly the kind of skill Cameron Funk, CheckSammy's chief sustainability officer demonstrates to his company and clients, working towards a circular economy every day.
The head of sustainability at the world’s largest bulk junk/recycler and bespoke sustainability operator got his start in the industry 15 years ago. Funk's positive attitude and proactive spirit have helped CheckSammy work with other companies and find new ways to help them be more sustainable and give them an extra bit of leverage with logistics.
“It takes thinking outside the box for a lot of this stuff to get something done and I’m really happy and proud that we’ve been able to provide that for our channel partners.” Funk told Waste360.
Funk’s ability work with different clients to find solutions led to him starting the CheckSammy Candle Recycling Program, in which CheckSammy can serve the needs of all kinds of businesses and find solutions for products that it never thought it could recycle before.
“We had a client we were working with, and it saw our capability to go out to all of their stores nationwide. … It went back to that whole partnership of thinking outside the box together and what could we do that traditionally has not been done before. … and that’s what led to the Candle Recycling Project, a very eager client who’s anxious with all things sustainability, and it got them thinking about a product they have a lot of that has been, traditionally, a sore spot for them to get rid of and now their thinking about it in a completely different light.”
Funk doesn’t just share a love for recycling at work, he’s also impressed with how different industries, companies, and individuals are changing their ways to push towards more sustainability everywhere. Funk said that everyone’s push towards having conversations about recycling is helping us in a big way.
“The sheer fact that people are thinking about it more … the title I hold, Chief Sustainability Officer, 10 years ago there may have been a handful of those people in corporate America. Now, just about every major company has one and it’s trickling down to the next phase of companies as well. I think we’re all doing a great job of talking about it [recycling].
Funk’s commitment to the waste industry has earned him a 40 Under 40 award from Waste360, an award he is more than deserving of through his work and passion for sustainability. However, this award has a more personal feeling for Funk as his family has close ties with the waste industry.
“I think for me, it’s a little more personal. … My dad and grandpa owned our local hauler. They had a transfer station and two rear load trucks. I saw my dad and grandpa, and two other employees, work and run those trucks and run those routes and bring a service to our small town where there was no other option. … For me to win that [40 Under 40 Award] I know that my grandpa would be extremely proud, and my dad was very proud. On a personal level, it was nice.”