It’s been a year of growth for Ingenium. The Escondido-based firm has added new revenue, new employees, new markets and new services.
Last month, the hazardous waste transportation company announced a new industrial services division that will allow the company to service special projects that involve transporting bulk materials for disposal.
“Adding industrial services makes Ingenium a complete resource for all hazardous and non-hazardous environmental needs,” said Ingenium CEO Heather Johnson.
Since 2006, the company has provided its clients a broad range of waste management services in disposal of hazardous, non-hazardous, biological, universal and radioactive waste. Ingenium collects hazardous waste from businesses in smaller trucks, stores it and then transports that waste in bulk on larger trucks to proper disposal facilities.
“Our familiarity in working in hazardous and non-hazardous environmental spaces provides our customers complete environmental and industrial services,” said Scott Manuel, industrial services division manager at Ingenium. “Ingenium manages any type of industrial/environmental project and can be a turn-key solution.”
The new industrial services division was created by expanding the company’s Southern California fleet, enabling Ingenium to drop off bins at special project sites such as an asbestos remediation or a demolition of a biotech lab for later pickup and eventual proper disposal.
“All that kind of stuff both fits in and is different from what we’ve traditionally done, so it opens up a whole new opportunity for us,” Johnson said. “We already understand the regulations around the hazardous waste. It’s just a matter of how the handling is different from the packaging to the transportation and the truck needs, even the disposal sites.”
Ingenium’s business model concentrates on the transportation side of waste removal and partners with disposal companies that operate landfills, incinerators, waste treatment and recycling facilities.
“We like to call ourselves a third-party distributor. How we’re able to really leverage ourselves is because we don’t own [disposal] technology,” Johnson said. “More specifically, we come at it from an environmental sustainability standpoint. People don’t want to burn or bury any more, they want to find repurposing solutions and we can look for the best thing out there for our clients in terms of their sustainability goals. That’s where we really shine.”
One area Ingenium shines in is helping biotech and pharma businesses reuse chemicals through the company’s Orphan Chemical Program, which picks up unwanted chemicals from one lab and delivers them to labs that will use them.
And a future “big deal” for Ingenium that the company is “just on the cutting edge of,” Johnson said, is its zero-waste certification program, Destination Zero.
“We literally come in with a team and dumpster dive and analyze what kind of materials are going into the trash,” she said, adding that the business is then informed of how the various kinds of trash like food waste, plastics and cardboard are being disposed. “Then we work with the company and figure out how to get those things going into better lanes. So what are commodities that can have future life as opposed to what just has to go into the landfill and helping them find recycling solutions for their trash. It’s of big interest to the biotech community. They’re the ones that are really embracing it.”
Adoption of zero-waste goals and sustainable disposal practices also comes from investors and regulators who are increasingly pushing for them. In late last year, Ingenium acquired consulting services company WSR, which allowed it to offer “the compliance element of the business,” Johnson said. “So we can ensure that people have proper permits and they’re in compliance. We’re really well-rounded with our service offerings.”
New Markets and Growth
Besides offering its services in both Southern and Northern California, Ingenium has operations in Washington, Oregon and Texas. This year, the company expanded its Texas footprint beyond its Austin operation to include the Dallas and Houston markets.
“We’re growing at a pretty fast pace. I think we’re going to do a 50% growth year-over-year from last year, which is really good for us in this space – especially when you’re in the tens of millions of dollars in revenues,” Johnson said, adding that Ingenium is projecting revenues of $44 million for 2022, up from $30 million last year.
Job growth has matched the pace of revenues. Ingenium started the year with 100 employees and currently has 125 – eight new jobs from the new industrial services division and the rest new hires in Dallas and Houston. “And we expect to be at 150 employees by the end of this year,” Johnson said.
CEO: Heather Johnson
Business: Provider of sustainable waste management solutions
Revenue: $30 million (2021)
Notable: Ingenium has regularly appeared on San Diego Business Journal’s list of Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies.