By: Taylor McCann
Eco Development, a corporate sustainability firm out of Mason, Ohio that was founded in 2011, recently introduced a new “member” to its team on February 3, 2020: the XT700 Styrofoam Densifier. Eco Development is comprised of three business groups: Facilities/Energy, Commodities/Recycling and Logistics. The firm’s goal is to both introduce and increase efficiency for their clients in all of these areas.
Eco Development was started by two entrepreneurs, Kevin Carp and Ashley Chance, a graduate from Miami University. Carp and Chance differ in their backgrounds, but they each share a passion for creating a business whose value was achieved through a sound sustainability program.
The XT700 Styrofoam Densifier takes expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) and with the help of a high-volume hot melt densifier, compacts and removes all of its air, resulting in a 90:1 size reduction. The densifier allows the compacted material to be shipped and recycled more efficiently. The XT700 can process more styrofoam in one hour than Eco Development’s previous machine could process in one day, allowing the firm to be more efficient in its efforts to decrease the amount of loose styrofoam found in landfills.
Eco Development hopes that the XT700 Styrofoam Densifier will provide a channel for the Cincinnati area to properly dispose of their loose styrofoam. The firm hopes to eventually expand their efforts to major metropolitan areas throughout the country, heightening their impact on sustainable environmental practices.
The XT700 Styrofoam Densifier
The Eco Development team
The new XT700 densifier is not the only exciting thing about Eco Development, though. Two Miami University alumni, one being the owner, used their Miami education to land a career working at Eco Development.
The owner of Eco Development, Mr. Ashley Chance, studied Education during his time at Miami University. Chance started out in Business Development before shifting his focus to sustainability and a “cause and cost” model.
Chance wants current Miami students to, “Make sure you understand that making a change/impact is possible, but [it] will likely be… incremental change, so do not get discouraged and keep working at it.”
Chance continues to look back on the life long friends he made while at Miami and appreciates how his experiences at Miami taught him how to learn.
A second Miami University alum who found himself at Eco Development is Material Specialist T.J. Butler. While at Miami, Butler studied Sports Leadership and Management.
Butler’s story on how he landed a job at Eco Development reinforces the importance of having connections. A high school basketball coach in Mason, Ohio who was on the Sales team at the firm knew Butler was seeking a job and helped him get an interview with the firm. Butler got a position as LED Lighting salesman and soon moved up the ladder into the recycling and commodities side of the business.
Butler’s favorite experiences at Miami were with Open Fifth A Cappella and the Miami Men’s Glee Club. “These incredible organizations gave me opportunities to travel across the world and sing with some of my best friends in the world,” says Butler.
Butler advises current Miami students to “get as much hands on experience as you can get and to familiarize yourself with as many recyclable materials as you can.”
Eco Development is also currently implementing a local styrofoam collection/drop-off program. For more information on how to properly handle your styrofoam contact their hotline: 1-866-362-6326 or 1-866-FoamEco.
Photos courtesy of Eco Development