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Cardboard Recycling Transforms Into A Reading Center

Cardboard Recycling Becomes Rocket Ship For Reading Corner

At Bekins, we take pride in recycling more than 90 percent of all waste that comes through our facilities. However, we find it more fascinating when someone can reuse our waste. Recently, a local school turned our cardboard recycling into a beautiful reading space for their students.

cardboard recycling turns into a rocket ship

Our Warehouse Manager, Brian, receives many requests for the big cardboard boxes that cover some of our major appliances.

We love seeing how schools and organizations use them. For example, a kindergarten class at Immaculate Heart of Mary school in Grand Rapids really showed creativity. The class turned cardboard recycling into a rocket ship for their reading center.

The ship wraps around the reading corner in their classroom and the class made control panels on the inside of the ship as well. Not only does the design spark their imagination before they start reading, it coincides with their March Is Reading Month theme “3,2,1…read!”

learn how others use our Cardboard Recycling

How Whirlpool Inspired Bekins To Be A More Green Company

Bekins Recycling Efforts - Green company

We not only take care of our customers at Bekins, we also take care of the environment. We believe we are the greenest appliance dealer in the nation, by recycling more than 90 percent of waste in our facilities. Company President Scott Bekins says a visit to the Whirlpool Corporation headquarters right here in West Michigan inspired him to make Bekins a more green company.

“We realized the lengths they go through to recycle and protect the environment,” Scott said. “I thought we should really be doing that. When we built our Coopersville Service Center and Warehouse in 2015, we made a commitment to become one of the greenest appliance dealers in the nation.”

it’s not easy being green

“Many people are not aware of how appliances are packaged these days,” Scott said. “They think it just comes in a cardboard box and we flatten the box.”

However, many appliances do not come in a cardboard box anymore. It takes plastic, banding, corrugated cardboard, styrofoam and other products. We do a lot more than just collapse cardboard.

Recycling at Bekins making a big impact

While some of it appears small, two aspects really add up:

  • We employ more than 100 people.
  • We receive thousands of packaged appliances and electronics every year.

We take the time to not only recycle, but also sort them every day. The commitment in space and time for the cause can really add up as well.

“It does cost more to recycle than to simply throw it away, but it’s worth it,” Scott said. “It’s worth it for our environment and for future generations.”

being a more green company helps the environment

With the help of Louis Padnos, we have tracked how much our recycling has impacted the environment. Since moving into our Warehouse and Service Center in Coopersville in Spring 2015, we have saved:

  • 836,621 KWH of energy
  • 11,967 gallons of oil
  • 2,016 trees
  • 830,340 gallons of water
  • 7,116 pounds of air pollution effluents
  • 442 cubic yards of landfill space

$4,944 of landfill space


Bekins Recycling Efforts - Green company

For many of us at Bekins, it’s just a simple walk to throw one piece of cardboard into the recycling bin. Multiply that by 100 employees, the hundreds of days we work each year, plus the thousands of appliances and electronics we install, then it adds up to quite a large effect on our environment.

We recycle more than cardboard. We also recycle styrofoam, plastic ties, old appliances and much more.

Padnos in Holland keeps track of all that we recycle each year, and lets us know what effect it has on the environment. We store most of our recycling at the Bekins Service Center in Coopersville. It has been open for almost three years now and the impact of our recycling during that time has been astounding.

recycling at the bekins service center

Since opening our Coopersville Service Center and Warehouse in 2015, our commitment to recycle has helped save:

  • 530,892 KWH of energy
  • 7,567 gallons of oil
  • 3,175 pallets
  • 610 reusable appliances
  • 529,550 gallons of water
  • 4,538 pounds of air pollution effluents
  • 1,286 trees
  • 280 cubic yards of landfill space


Companies that give back recycle photo 2
Companies that give back recycle photo

bekins recycling in 2017 alone

Our recycling numbers for just 2017 were impressive too. We break it down in the graphic below.

Bekins 2017 Recycling Report

how we do it

Our efforts to recycle does not save us money. It takes time, effort and space. However, we do it to reduce our carbon footprint. You will have a difficult time finding a greener appliance and electronics dealer in the nation.


Not only do we work with companies that recycle materials and reusable appliances, we also donate boxes to people around West Michigan.

Here are just a few examples, but you can also find more on our Facebook page.

CAPS Recycle Fire Truck 2


Washers & Dryers at Bekins Energy Star

At Bekins, we take many efforts to reduce our carbon footprint. We offer new Whirlpool washers that will save water and rate well with the Energy Star standards. Their new features help the environment but may leave some customers confused.

ENERGY STAR GUIDELINES changing expectations

If you start seeing detergent residue on your clothes with a newer washing machine, especially one that rates well with Energy Star, we offer simple solutions to try before calling our service department.

As a way to use less water with each wash, new Whirlpool washers have changed their “Normal Wash” settings. For years the rinse cycle in a “Normal Wash” setting offered a deep wash. The tub would fill with water, agitate the clothes, then drain the water.

Washer Options Energy Star

Newer washers now spray the clothes with water in the rinse cycle, then drain the much less remaining water.

The solutions?

  • You can use less detergent, because your normal wash cycle is using less water. This option can save you both time and money.
  • You can also activate various “options” to tell the washer that you want the tub to still fill with water, agitate and drain for your rinse cycle.
  • Which options? That depends on the model so you need to consult your Use and Care Guide.


That’s why we have a service department. We want you to be thrilled with your purchase. That means helping you use it correctly and making sure your appliances work.

Have any questions, give our Service Department a call at 616-288-1020.

Bekins Appliance Repair - Energy Star

Bekins Recycling Report – First Half of 2017

Bekins Recycling

You may have heard us refer to ourselves as one of, if not the, greenest appliance dealer in the country; but what does that mean?

Bekins understands that a company our size has the potential to make a negative impact on our environment. That is why we have made it such a priority to reuse or recycle over 90% of all waste that go through our facility.


One of our favorite ways to help the environment and our community is to donate our items for new and creative uses. Here are a few recent recreations.

Cardboard Box Firetruck

Bekins recently donated large appliance boxes to Coopersville Public Schools. These boxes nurtured the imagination of local preschool children as they turned them into a firetruck!

Cardboard Box Robot

Coopersville Reformed Church was happy to have some of our cardboard boxes for their Vacation Bible School. The 5th graders turned them into fun structures that lined the hallways of the church.

Cardboard Chariot Races

UpStreet Children’s Ministries in Grand Haven took their Roman theme to new levels with the use of our cardboard boxes for chariot races!


For all items we are unable to reuse, we recycle! Our Coopersville Service and Distribution Center was specifically designed to be able to house the storage space, cardboard balers and other machinery necessary to recycle cardboard, cores, plastic ties and film, styrofoam and old appliances.

This is not a money making effort for us but we truly believe in the cause and enjoy seeing how large of an impact our recyclables are making.

Our recycling efforts from January through June of 2017 have helped save:

  • 107,170 gallons of water
  • 94,218 KWH of energy
  • 1,209 gallons of oil
  • 919 pounds of air pollution effluents
  • 260 trees
  • 51 cubic yards of landfill space

Below is a full report of what we have recycled and the resources saved for the first half of 2017.

2017 Recycling Report - January through June