Community First with Sunshine Disposal & Recycling


November 16, 2018 by Alena

It’s Flashback Friday!

Time flies, especially when you are having fun telling the stories of others (even if that means your own blog gets neglected). We started working with Sunshine Disposal & Recycling back in 2014 as they expanded their services and further invested in their transfer station in Spokane Valley. Sunshine is a unique, local, family-owned business that is able to compete with larger waste and recycling companies by being invested in their employees and their community. And they are excellent at what they do. This time last year, we had the chance to enjoy the freezing temperatures under bright blue skies, capturing their team in action for a new video that invites deeper understanding into the world of recycling.

At Rogue Heart, we are really excited about recycling. All the time. We love it. So learning more about recycling here at home from our friends at Sunshine Disposal & Recycling was awesome. They have been in the waste and recycling business for generations, and Adrienne Torre (fellow EWI Member representative and Human Resource Director extraordinaire), shared how her family started the business in Seattle almost 100 years ago in the early 1920s. Back then, there was no garbage service in the city, so her great grandfather and grandfather used a horse and buggy to collect garbage from the curb. It’s been 35 years since they came to the Inland Northwest, and they are very invested in the communities they serve, giving back and volunteering in a variety of ways. We could tell: everyone at Sunshine has pride in the company and what they do because of how they get to invest time in their community. And it’s still a family-owned business: Adrienne and her brother Marc continue to steer Sunshine’s growth, and it is impressive to see their kids getting a start in the family business, too.

It’s always impressive to work with clients that invest in innovation. Sunshine makes our region proud by using their cutting edge investments in technology to increase productivity and to be more environmentally responsible (like investing in more eco-friendly trucks). In addition, they are involved in the conversations that impact policy with industry leaders and stakeholders from across the state. It will continue to be exciting to learn from what the do and how they continue to adapt and serve.

This shoot was also an excellent opportunity to put the drone (and Mike) to work, capturing footage of the trucks cruising around more rural stretches of Spokane Valley. To take our minds off the cold, we made the most of down time with some behind-the-scenes shenanigans like this 360 video while Mike got another shot with his feet hanging out the back (don’t tell OSHA). Megan was filming in the collection vehicle with Sunshine’s driver, so she was unaware of this at the time… and also arguably warmer.

Perhaps the coolest fact about Sunshine is that being a local company, the revenue they generate gets recycled back into the community, and the way they operate is by treating customers like neighbors – because they are. Like having lollipops and dog treats for your ride-along passengers when you drive through their Spokane Valley Transfer Station. It was also really impressive to see the actual results of their recycling: they gather and bale TONS of recyclable materials at their facility, and actually find a market for those things to be repurposed! Be still, my heart!

The more we learn, the more we take to heart the unique missions of our clients. We are grateful when we get to look back on years of working together, and see how much has changed. Here’s to hoping we’ll be sharing more stories of recycling with you again soon…. and again… and again….

Keep crushing it, Sunshine. Thanks for all that you do.

Alena Schoonmaker

Written By Alena

Alena is a writer, filmmaker, and office coordinator who brings a love of organization and a hatred of gluten to the Rogue Heart team. She volunteers her time at the Spokane International Film Festival as a film programmer and volunteer coordinator, where she enjoys bringing stories by diverse directors and writers about underserved communities to Spokane. Though a major cinephile, she also volunteers with animals at Pawsitive Outreach Spay/Neuter Advocates in Newport.

Click to See What Else is Happening at Rogue Heart