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customer feedback

Customer Feedback:

Innovation Through Conversation

OCC Outdoors takes customer feedback very seriously. It’s this feedback — whether positive or critical — that confirms that we’re on the right course, that a decision we made was the right one. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve the experiences of our customers, whose satisfaction with their OCC Experience is extremely important to us. From offering volume discounts on select products, to determining the most cost-effective packaging and shipping — the OCCOutdoors team does everything they can save you money without sacrificing quality.

Internally, we utilize the well-established, lean-manufacturing principles of Kaizen: a long-term, systematic approach that seeks to achieve incremental changes in processes specifically to improve efficiency and quality.

Though much of our growth and development is brought on as a result of this internal process, we get a lot of inspiration from customer feedback.

Customer Feedback

We value the feedback that we receive from our customers. Such constructive input reinforces our continued effort to improve the designs of the outdoor furniture that we offer, and helps us identify areas we may still need to review and research.

Many of our new products have been born out of this continued conversation with our customers. Our dual- and triple-Broadway recycle bins, for example, as an example. Customer input also inspired the development of several different models of memorial benches, a sign bench, and our newest trash receptacle — the Catalina.

catalina waste management receptacle

Introducing: The Catalina

The Catalina is one of our most versatile receptacles to date, with several customization options available to fit your exact requirements.

The Catalina is a 24-, 36-, or 55-gallon square top-load bin that can be used for either trash or recycling. The removable side panels, located on the base, can be used as advertising signage. This makes the Catalina not only visually appealing and fully functional for your commercial property, but also perfect for reminding your site visitors about upcoming events or current promotions.

Shop the Catalina Today!

Our customers' feedback is important to us!OCCOutdoors thanks our many customers for their continued patronage — and their feedback, which continues to help us provide the best service possible.

Have some customer feedback you’d like to share?

We’d love to hear it!


View more images of the Catalina Trash & Recycle Receptacle below.


catalina waste management receptacle
catalina waste management receptacle
catalina waste management receptacle
catalina waste management receptacle
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Cigarette Ash Urns - Still Needed?

Are Cigarette Ash Urns Still Needed?

People Still Smoke

The undeniable truth is quite simple: people still smoke. In 2015, 15 out of 100 adults in the U.S. still smokes cigarettes regularly. This is down roughly 25% from 2005. And all throughout the U.S., city ordinances have been striking down public cigarette smoking — from beaches to state courthouses. Does this mean that cigarette ash urns in publics spaces are no longer needed?


Where There’s Smoke, There’s Butts

Are cigarette ash urns needed? Cigarette butt litterCigarette butts, to be exact. In spite of the drop in adult smokers, cigarette butts remain the most littered item in the U.S., according to a report from the American Legacy Foundation (now Truth Initiative).

In their 2009 survey, 77% of responding participants said that they didn’t consider cigarette butts as litter. This attitude worsens at so-called ‘transition points.’ (A transition point is any area where a smoker has to extinguish a cigarette or cigar before entering — retail stores, restaurants, hotels, office buildings, beaches, and the like.)

The industry standard available for commercial and public spaces to deal with this truth are the bins and receptacles with the ashtrays affixed on top. This option is certainly functional, and better than nothing, but having a lid-affixed ashtray presents its own set of problems — namely, the weather.

OCCOutdoors developed an inexpensive solution to address this problem.


Introducing: Side-Mounted Cigarette Ash Urns

cigarette ash urns - side mountOur side-mounted cigarette ash urns are a unique fixture that can be retrofit to almost any steel trash receptacle. With a little ingenuity, it can fit other types of receptacles and recycle bins as well. If it can’t be made to fit, the ash urn can be ordered as original equipment as well.

There are plenty of benefits of having our side-mounted ash urn. Fairly enclosed, the ash urn keeps refuse dry from the weather. And, with its large capacity, the urn will hold hundreds of cigarettes.

Save 25% on Our Side-Mounted Ash Urn: Now Just $75!


Saving Your Facility Money

Most cigarette ash receptacles rely on a snuffer material in the bin to actually extinguish the disposed butts. Snuffing materials tend to be either water, gravel or, more commonly, sand — and represents an additional cost in the initial purchase of the media and with upkeep. After a heavy rain, this material can become densely packed and must be replaced.

With our side-mounted ash urn, no such additional cost is needed. The urn’s oxygen-depriving design does not require a snuffer. Your facility’s maintenance supervisor need never “sift” through the urn to keep it fully functional and clean.


Easy Installation

cigarette ash urns - side mountThe key to keeping your facility as clean and litter-free as possible is making sure trash and recycle bins are plentiful and easily accessed. To make it easy for facility and site managers, we’ve designed our side-mounted as urns to be easily installed.

Each urn comes with an optional mounting kit that works well on the vertical slats of most recycle bins and waste receptacles. The kit makes installation incredibly easy and eliminates the need for any tools other than a couple of wrenches.


A Smokeless Future

One day, it might be close to impossible to find cigarette butts on the ground in public spaces. Until then, a site manager’s best bet is to make it easier on visitors to properly dispose of their cigarettes throughout the facility, paying particular attention to transitions areas. To that end, our side-mounted cigarette ash urn is the perfect, affordable, low-maintenance solution.


Find the Perfect Cigarette Ash Urn for Your Facility Today!

Side-Mounted Ash Urn Smoker’s Ash Receptacles

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4 Insanely Simple Ways To Give Back To Your Community

4 Insanely Simple Ways To Give Back To Your Community

Finding the perfect way to give back your community isn’t always easy . . .

Many business owners take pride in the neighborhoods where their businesses flourish. With that pride comes the desire to help to same community. In fact, this desire is driven by the same passion used to propelled their company to success.

But finding the perfect way to give back their community isn’t always easy, so we’re giving you four ways you and your business can give back to your community.

“Charity Begins at Home”

The adage is an apt one. If your business has public space, you should make sure that your own outdoor furnishings are in order. This means that recycle and trash bins are fully functional; picnic tables and park benches, easily accessible; and everything looks good and well kept.

This might require replacing some items — a hefty cost, in some cases. But it’s a cost that can be offset in the future by finding alternative, low-maintenance solutions.

Unsightly Rusted Steel Tree Grate - Try Recycled Plastic InsteadIn our last blog, for example, we compared tree grates made from steel and those made from recycled plastic. Steel tree grates look great, but they rust and are costly (and difficult) to replace. Try replacing rusted out steel with cost-efficient, low-maintenance recycled plastic.

Maintain a clean, accessible, and inviting environment in and around your own site goes along way in showing just how much you value the neighborhood where you do business.

Donate Furniture to Organizations, Schools, or Parks

A well-kept public space can keep crime-rates down even as it attracts tourists and business investments. And quality outdoor furnishings provide a welcoming environment for people gather with friends and family while enjoying the outdoors.
Friends enjoying a donated park bench from OCC Outdoors
But a local park may not have the funds for replacing dilapidated furniture. Donating site furnishings is an easy way to help promote community pride. Benches for parks. Recycle bins for river walks. Bike racks for schools.

These are just some of the commercial furniture your business could donate.

Help Create Quality Public Spaces with Local Agencies

The Project for Public Spaces lists ten benefits to creating good public spaces, from lowering crime rates and attracting tourism to improving public health and building community pride. Studies have explored how low-income urban neighborhoods are more likely to lack features that support walking, such as clean and well-maintained sidewalks, trees, and attractive scenery.
Coordinated Bench and Waste Bin Combo from OCC Outdoors
Placemaking projects have successfully addressed these issues, generating a list of positive community outcomes — increased social capital, opportunities for civic engagement, local economic development, and improved safety and crime reduction, to name a few.

Engage with the agencies that handle local parks or public safety in your area to find opportunities where your business or expertise can help.

Remember Local Community Leaders

Nothing brings people together faster than remembering a beloved neighborhood leader. From a backless memorial park bench to custom-engraved plaques and signage, OCC Outdoors has several options your business can take to help keep a local leader’s memory alive.

Donate a Memorial Plaque or Signage from OCC OutdoorsDonate a sign to the school or a commemorative plaque to local playground will provide a long-lasting service to your community.

There is no one right way. We encourage you to find your own unique way of building community pride.

“The Business That Gives, Prospers.”

Friends spending time on a donated park bench from OCC Outdoors.

These are just four easy ideas on how you and your business can give back to the community that helped your company flourish — but there is no one right way.

We encourage you to find your own unique way of building community pride. Let us know in the comments what you come up with!

It’s vital to show support for the residents and community that supported your business and helped it grow. You’ll find that doing so will prove favorable to your company, while improving the area you live in.

And truth be told, it just feels good!

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Recycled Plastic Tree Grates from OCC Outdoors

Tree Grates: Steel vs Recycled Plastic

When people think of tree grates, they typically think of the grates made from old steel or cast iron. But tree grates made from metal present a number of problems for today’s businesses. They are expensive to manufacture. Due to their weight, they’re also expensive to ship — especially since most of them are made overseas.

But there is a better option for companies who wish to save time and money while still enjoying the benefits that come with protecting your site’s trees with a tree grate: recycled plastic.


Recycled Plastic Tree Grates – The Better Alternative

Stolen Steel Tree Grate
Missing steel & copper tree grates, stolen for scrap metal.

Tree grates made from steel or copper have another kind of value — the scrap scavenger market.

In 2012, The NY Times reported on the rise of copper tree grate thefts, like the one shown here. This was brought on by a “surge in the value of copper, iron and other metals” that fueled a wave of thefts from sidewalks, roadways and rail yards.

With recycled plastic tree grates, you do not have this issue!

Our 100% post-consumer recycled plastic tree grates are just as durable as iron and copper tree grates, though are a third of the cost!

While they are a smart Green solution for companies wanting to show their commitment to sustainability, there are plenty other advantages to grabbing a recycled plastic tree grate from OCC Outdoors.


Shop for the Perfect Tree Grate Today!


The OCC Advantage

Recycled Plastic Tree Grates from OCC Outdoors
Recycled Plastic Tree Grates from OCC Outdoors
Recycled Plastic Tree Grates from OCC Outdoors
Recycled Plastic Tree Grates from OCC Outdoors
Recycled Plastic Tree Grates from OCC Outdoors

Durable, long-lasting – Our recycled plastic tree grates are made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) recycled plastic materials. Ultraviolet inhibitor additives are added to retard color degradation associated with outdoor use, ensuring the grates will last for years without fading or growing brittle, even under the harshest conditions!

Lower Shipping Costs – Though they come in a variety of sizes and shapes, OCC Outdoors tree grates are lighter than steel. And that means you’ll save money on shipping. Smaller orders can even ship via FedEx!

Easy Installation – There’s no need for clunky specialized, expensive installation tools with our recycled tree grates. They’re quick to install and light enough for an installation team of one.

Low-Maintenance – Rust and corrosion are a thing of the past with our recycled plastic tree grates. We mold color through the integrity of the entire product — they will never need repainting!
Tree grates too small are too snug for the tree to prosper.
Hassle-Free Expansion – Trees are supposed to grow. But their roots will grow upward if there is insufficient room for it to grow outward. A tree without enough space can push a sidewalk upward, creating a pedestrian danger. Our tree grates can be quickly and easily expanded to accommodate the growth of the tree, which will protect the tree and passers-by.

Environment-Friendly – The post-consumer HDPE plastics of our tree grates maintain a smaller carbon footprint by more than 15% compared to typical cast iron solutions. This is achieved through reduced fuel consumption and lower carbon emissions at the warehouse.

Not only are these tree grates completely recyclable, they are also non-toxic and will never leak harmful contaminants into surrounding soils.

Benefits of a Tree Grate from OCC Outdoors

Recycled Plastic Tree Grate from OCC Outdoors
Recycled Plastic Tree Grate from OCC Outdoors
Extremely Light yet Durable Recycled Plastic Tree Grate from OCC Outdoors
Recycled Plastic Tree Grate from OCC Outdoors
Extremely Light yet Durable Recycled Plastic Tree Grate from OCC Outdoors

Our ADA-compliant tree grates are designed to protect trees and keep pedestrians safe in streetscape environments. The radial design pattern is both functional and beautiful: easily and quickly expand the diameter, for instance, to accommodate future tree growth.

As landscape design company AHBE points out:

First, in urban areas with a high density [. . .], these grates keep the surrounding soil around the tree from being compacted. Compacted soil is a major reason why trees suffer in urban settings. Tree grates also [slow] down the evaporation of the water around the tree.

And while using a tree grate is a forgone conclusion, you can still save time, energy, and money by using a recycled plastic tree grate from OCC Outdoors.


Shop for the Perfect Tree Grate for Your Facility


Recycled Tree Grates from OCC Outdoors
Recycled Plastic Tree Grates from OCC Outdoors look great in a variety of outdoor spaces.
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7 Tips to protect yourself from Freight Damage Claims

Headache-Free Freight Claims

7 Tips to Ensure Your Freight Claim Gets Paid-In-Full

From the bigger stores like Amazon to the more niche markets of Etsy, more and more consumers experience the satisfaction of finding something wonderful online and having it delivered straight to their home or office. With this new convenience, however, comes new potential headaches: freight claims.


The Headache of Transit Damage

iPhone 7 Damaged in TransitReddit user kroopthesnoop posted about one such headache when they received their shiny new iPhone 7: transit damage. You can view the original images here.

Kroopthesnoop eventually received a replacement iPhone, and all is right in the world. But his story illustrates the importance of working with companies to report shipping damage at the time your order is received.

“Something happened between the factory and delivery,” is all the phone’s owner had to say. We agree. That ‘something‘ is transit damage.

Statistics show that approximately 1-2% of freight is damaged during transit. The Internet is littered with horror stories of people receiving damaged packages. Check out this video of a major shipping carrier, throwing packages around and kicking them with his feet.

What can you do to protect your investments from freight damage? If you have to make a freight claim, how can you be assured that your claim will be paid in full, 100%?


OCC Outdoors’ 7-Step Guide to a Headache-Free Freight Claim

Only the freight companies can know exactly when and where a freight is damaged. The best thing you can do as a consumer is protect your investment. We put together a handy guide to help mitigate any potential headache from transit damage:

1) Inspect every item in your order before signing anything and unloading it.

Note any damage of any kind on the driver’s Bill of Lading. You can be specific (e.g., “3 pieces bent”) or simply write “DAMAGED”.


2) Determine what exactly is stolen, missing or damaged.

Don’t be intimidated by the driver and do not allow the driver to talk you out of inspecting your shipment before signing. The driver may claim he or she is in a hurry for the next route, but you have a right to record all details as necessary.


3) Take photos of the shipment and damage. Have the shipper take photos as well.

We cannot repeat #2 & #3 enough; it’s vitally important! Failure to inspect the shipment will result in the carrier refusing to pay for or replace damaged product. (If, however, the driver will not allow you to inspect the shipment, write “POSSIBLE DAMAGE – DRIVER REFUSED INSPECTION” before signing.)


4) Do not refuse a shipment and never discard damaged freight.

If shippers get rid of the freight, you will have no way to verify damage, which means you might not be paid the full freight claim amount. Keep all freight and packages intact if possible.


5) Pay the freight bill as soon as possible.

You are still responsible for payment of goods’ transportation, even if there is damaged, lost or stolen freight. The claim will be processed by an insurance company.


6) Report the damaged/lost freight — the sooner the report, the better!

Try to report damages and shortages to the carrier within five (5) days of receipt of the load.


7) Keep all necessary documents:

These can include, but are not limited to:

+ A copy of the bill of lading
+ A copy of the paid freight bill
+ A copy of the invoice showing the amount paid for the goods
+ A copy of the packing slip
+ A standard claim form or a letter identifying the shipment and claim amount
+ Photos of the damage

And it goes without saying: if you are not the person that will be receiving the shipment, please pass this information to the correct person.

We’ve already talked about how we help our customers save money with shipping costs. On our end, OCC Outdoors does everything in its power to reduce the chances of transit damage by packing products with expert care and precision. And we’re constantly evolving our packing process, continually researching the market and choosing the shippers with the lowest percent of claims.

Once your items are sent to the shipper, however, it’s out of our hands. This is where we need our customers to work with us when receiving our products. Freight companies will rarely pay for damaged shipments that are not checked and noted prior to signing. It’s worth noting that, as a company policy, OCC Outdoors does not pay for the replacement of items that are damaged in transit.

Still, in our experience, following our those seven tips is the best ways to safeguard your investment and save yourself time, money, and a whole lot of headache!

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