Gather Round for Story Time About Omaha's First Zero Waste Provider ...
It all started with fistfuls of grit and earnest naivety one day when Andy Harpenau saw a dump truck drive by and said to his brother, "Well, how hard can that be?" So the Harpenau family got into the waste hauling industry.
Little did they know at the time, the journey would send Andy down a road to eventually create the Omaha area's first commercial composting farm, and subsequently usher in a new era of sustainability by enabling his community to go zero waste.
But first, let's go back to 2004.
It was that year that from the ground up, the Harpenau family founded a traditional landfill and recycling hauling company named Gretna Sanitation. While the business grew to include thousands of residential and hundreds of commercial clients, the Harpenau's realized that every spring, Gretna Sanitation trucks were overloaded with yard waste. And every spring, the Gretna Sanitation trucks would unload these incredibly heavy and dense trucks at the landfill.
But the thing is — the heavier the trucks, the more costly it is to dump waste at a landfill. So it soon became evident that composting this yard waste was not only an environmentally healthy alternative, but was also an enticing entrepreneurial opportunity.
So instead of sending yard waste to the landfill to put off methane gas and decrease the lifespan of our landfill sites, the Harpenau's strapped up their boots once again and founded Soil Dynamics in 2011.
Next to the sandhill cranes and roaming bison of the Wildlife Safari park in Ashland, Nebraska, Andy and team began composting Gretna Sanitation's yard waste and selling mulch and soil to local landscapers. In the process, they began diverting thousands of tons of yard waste from the landfill.
But it didn't take long to figure out that if you want to make the kind of soil that vibrant gardens thrive in, and that true plant and flower enthusiasts search for — you need more than just yard waste in your soil.
So this is where the magic happens: after many hurdles, Andy was granted a permit to begin composting manure and food waste along with yard waste. Through this one logistical maneuver, Andy created the Omaha area's first and only commercial composting farm, and set the stage for a zero waste hauling company to service southeast Nebraska.
To piece everything together, Hillside Solutions was created in 2017 to connect schools, apartment communities, and businesses with the landfill, recycling, and compostable hauling services of Gretna Sanitation, along with the composting soil conversion of Soil Dynamics.
In essence, Hillside Solution's is the waste hauling company of the future — one focused on diverting materials from the landfill, providing people with sustainable alternatives, and enabling our community to live a zero waste lifestyle.
Today, Hillside Solutions works with it's subsidiaries of Gretna Sanitation and Soil Dynamics to take on the big waste hauling sustainability needs of our community. Through a genuine zeal to see waste diverted from the landfill, Hillside Solutions and its crew continue to trail blaze new techniques and form a new paradigm of what the waste industry is capable of.