Dan Agajanian – Founder/President of Direct Disposal.
In 1989, when the California State Assembly passed Bill 939 mandating that 50 percent of all municipalities’ waste be diverted from sanitary landfills, waste industry veteran Dan Agajanian saw both a business opportunity and an environmental responsibility. It was the passing of this new bill that lead Agajanian to take action by adding a construction and demolition (C&D) recycling facility to his existing waste hauling company in East Los Angeles. Since its establishment in 2003, Agajanian and his staff at Direct Disposal have made it their mission to provide their southern California community with an eco-friendly, cost-effective solution to avoiding landfills.
“Recycling has come a long way in California in recent years,” states Agajanian. “Unlike many other facilities, more than 75 percent of all C&D waste delivered to Direct Disposal is turned into reusable commodities. Our current recycling rate meets the State of California’s guidelines and goals for the year 2020, something we take great pride in as a company.”
One of only a handful of businesses to take this initiative, Direct Disposal is permitted to accept up to 174 tons of C&D waste daily including materials such as steel, metal, aluminum, copper, wiring, plastics, wood waste, dry wall, clean dirt, clean asphalt, clean concrete, mixed inert, tires and roofing material. The company accepts waste in various ways including customer drop offs and through the company’s rental and hauling service of roll off containers. Once the waste is received at the facility it is “processed” or sorted and separated into piles by type before being loaded into trucks and taken to other facilities for grinding, melt down and/or reuse in various forms.
To manage this expansive undertaking, Agajanian relies heavily on his equipment. “We move 200-300 tons of material around our facility on a daily basis,” states Agajanian. “Without the proper equipment in place, it is nearly impossible to keep up the necessary pace.” To assist in managing the incoming and outgoing waste at such a high rate, Agajanian decided it was only necessary to add a new piece of equipment to his fleet. It was then he connected with George Davis, Sales Manager of Heavy Equipment Sales, a Hyundai Construction Equipment dealership with two locations in Corona and Pacoima, CA. Upon understanding the needs of Direct Disposal, Davis recommended a HL740-9 Hyundai wheel loader for the job. Agajanian was immediately impressed by the high-quality build and standard features the machine had to offer, not to mention, the competitive price. In November 2012, Agajanian purchased the Hyundai loader and has continued to be impressed by its performance and productivity ever since.
“Before this purchase, we were bursting at the seams and having a challenging time doing our daily tasks with our old equipment,” states Agajanian. “Since we started working with the Hyundai loader our productivity has doubled and in a crucial industry like recycling, that speaks volumes.”
Direct Disposal uses the loader in multiple applications, but primarily for sorting and separating waste into piles and loading the waste onto the vast amount of trucks entering the yard to be taken to other recycling facilities. According to Agajanian, the machine loads approximately 80-100 tons of waste onto 3-4 large, high-sided trucks per day and works a consistent 8-10 hours per day, 5 days per week.
Of the many features, the HL740-9 has to offer, Agajanian has found the three engine mode selections, economy mode for light duty work, standard mode for general work and power mode for heavy duty work to be one of the most beneficial. This feature is designed to allow the operator to customize the machine’s engine power in order to increase productivity and reduce fuel consumption, which Agajanian has seen first-hand. Direct Disposal has saved 100 gallons of fuel per month since purchasing the Hyundai loader and with the cost of off-road diesel at around four dollars per gallon the company will be saving approximately $4,800 per year.
Direct Disposal has also found the advanced 5.7” wide color LCD screen and Hi-mate Remote Management System to be critical tools, especially when used in conjunction. The loader’s color monitor features an integrated load weight system which allows operators to view the bucket’s current load-capacity to prevent over and under loading, which contributes to work efficiency. This data along with many other types of diagnostic data is stored and can be accessed through the Hi-mate Remote Management System from anywhere with internet access. Agajanian accesses this crucial information approximately once per week through a daily reporting function and monitors the machine’s total cycles and daily tonnage moved in and out of the facility per day. With these tools combined, Direct Disposal has been able to increase their total tonnage of waste moved, as well as their cycle times, by 50 percent.
Enabling the Hyundai HL740-9 loader’s power and productivity is its reliable, fuel-efficient, 143 HP, Cummins, Tier-III QSB6.7 engine. The machine has an operating weight of 26,460 lbs, a bucket capacity of 3.0 cubic yards and a bucket breakout force of 24,800 lbs, all of which allow for the moving heavy waste materials.
“We have had numerous different types and brands of machines over the years, but with the Hyundai loader there is no comparison,” states Agajanian.