Wow. The past months have been a true whirlwind for ScrapDogs, and for the world. As the coronavirus pandemic exploded in the U.S. we, like many other small businesses, closed out of fear of contracting, spreading, and perpetuating the virus. In particular, we were worried about collecting, emptying, washing, and redistributing our customers' food waste buckets with the methods we'd been using. Suffice it to say, we were not ready for a pandemic. So we shut down and got to work.
Our first mission was to find a new space, a goal we've had since the birth of ScrapDogs. While we work collaboratively with Bo Lait Dairy Farm to process all of our food waste into compost, we have been using various temporary locations kindly offered to us for washing, storing, and preparing our buckets and other equipment. At the end of a long hunt, we signed a lease for a small warehouse space in the Rockland Industrial Park, and began making necessary improvements.
To solve our bucket washing challenge, we invested in a large, commercial-scale conveyer dishwasher that can wash and sanitize up to 239 buckets per hour (as long as we humans can keep up with it!). That, combined with big pre-soak tanks, will allow us to get our buckets cleaner, faster.
To accommodate the dishwasher, we installed a new hot water heater and tank, new plumbing, and upgraded electrical systems. We set up an office space to consolidate our administrative work and brought in our toters, buckets, and other equipment to organize and store inside. We purchased new PPE to protect ourselves during collection and washing too.
On top of all this, we also researched, tested, and launched a new customer portal that allows our customers to sign up, make payments, get updates, shop, check and edit their pickup schedules, and more - and it's all hosted on our own website! (So long, PayPal.) And as you may have noticed, we updated our website to accommodate the new system, and to give it a bit of a fresh new look.
While suspending our services was a difficult decision for so many reasons, not least of which was letting down our customers, we are grateful for the opportunity to dig deeper into what ScrapDogs was missing, and how we could improve upon this business. We have learned so much over the past two (!) years of operations, and we couldn't be more humbled by the chance to pursue this vision. That said, we're thrilled to get back on the road, back to the farm, and back to picking up your scraps. We couldn't have done it without you! P.S. Here's a sneak peek of another project we embarked upon during our suspension. More details to come soon!