Recycling 55,243 Mannequins for a Happier Planet

Recycling 55,243 Mannequins for a Happier Planet

The challenge? Find a way to recycle 55,243 mannequins across the country.
The team? CheckSammy and a client that cared about their impact.
The goal? To reduce carbon emissions and divert metal and plastic from the landfill.
The project? A success!

The Mannequin Project

The average store-life of a mannequin is roughly seven years. After that, it’s typically off to the landfills and in with the newer mannequins. This mannequin replacement process might not seem very harmful, but it’s incredibly taxing on the environment.

CheckSammy was tasked with the near-impossible: Recycle 55,243 mannequins for a nationwide retail chain from multiple independent locations and reduce emissions, and plastic and metal waste.

It’s been one of our most challenging and satisfying projects to date.

First, a closer look at exactly how this project was supposed to be executed.


Our team had to come up with a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution to recycling 55,243 mannequins for a large retail client. It was no easy feat, by any stretch. CheckSammy looked over various different methods for recycling, such as shredding, source separation, waste to energy, as well as standard recycling options.

By combining these different options across the country, we found that each method was complimentary, and created alternatives to landfilling challenging items.

We focused on meeting the needs of the client and on the logistics behind the company’s end-of-life destinations. The real challenge was dealing with hundreds of locations and making sure that all unusable items ended up in the right places. This was an increasingly difficult task to follow — but we had a plan!

Our team used a Hub and Spoke logistics model to transport all the mannequins from 669 different locations to 121 different staging facilities, where the mannequins would be held, consolidated and prepared to be sent to their final destinations. At the end of it, we used 20 different end destinations for the entire project.

Due to the sheer scale of this project, there were a thousand different moving parts that all had to work together in order for it to be successful.

The beauty of undertaking a project like this is that our team now has the ability to build a blueprint and recreate the same processes for this project and duplicate them for other similar country-wide projects in the future.

The Result

In the end, everything aligned to achieve the desired result for our client. Every single piece of the 55,243 mannequins ended up being recycled, without a single mannequin ending up in a landfill.

The specific results of the project are as follows:

  • 164 tons of CO2 reduced
    Because we were able to use facilities from across the country, instead of designated landfills, we reduced the amount of carbon being emitted into the atmosphere by over 164 tons.
  • 54 tons of metal recycled
    When you have around 55,243 mannequins on your hands, you’re dealing with a lot of raw materials. While mannequins are mainly plastic, our team was able to recycle their metal skeletons in the process, reducing 54 tons of metal waste.
  • 170 tons of plastic diverted
    The majority of what makes up a mannequin is plastic. During this project, our team was able to reduce approximately 170 tons of plastic waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, inevitably impacting the environment.

Another positive by-product of this project was that we were able to supply the equivalent of about eight homes with electricity for one year.

Waste-To-Energy is the process of generating energy in the form of electricity and/or heat from the confined and controlled burning of waste materials. WTE facilities lessen the amount of solid waste that gets disposed of in a landfill, reducing the need for more and more land. They also reduce methane and CO2 emissions from landfills, contributing to a reduction in global warming (EIA, 2018).

Waste materials used in WTE facilities include:

  • Biomass materials like paper, cardboard, food waste, foliage and wood.
  • Non-biomass combustible materials like plastics or other materials made from petroleum.
  • Noncombustible materials like glass and metals.

Recycling metal and plastics into electricity prevents a tremendous amount of greenhouse gasses being emitted into our atmosphere and recovers valuable natural resources that would have otherwise been lost in landfills.

Throughout this project, our team has kept the environment as our top priority. By working with other environmentally-conscious individuals and organizations across state lines, we’ve been able to reduce the total amount of plastic and metal landfill waste in America by over 220 tons.

To learn more about how we can help support your large-scale sustainability efforts, contact us today.

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