Five years ago, on April 27, 2009, Norcal Waste Systems was rebranded as Recology. Why the name change? Well, it’s because the new name more accurately reflects who we are today and where we see ourselves in the future.
The company’s new name is deeply rooted in its heritage dating back over 90 years ago as one of the nation’s first urban recyclers. Recology, with its name clearly associated with the words recycling, renewal, reuse and reduction, intends to lead the evolution of the industry by eliminating waste from the vocabulary of consumers and municipalities alike.
Our name, Recology, continues to support our vision to see a world without waste and to follow our mission to build exceptional resource ecosystems in the communities we serve.
Mike Sangiacomo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Recology, explained the company’s re-branding best five years ago:
“Our industry is no longer about waste management – it is about waste zero. Our new name, Recology, will help move us away from the mentality of disposal as a mandate, to use less of what we have, and get more from what we use.”
Recology has lived up to the name. We’ve hit some exciting milestones in the past five years:
- On October 5, 2012, Recology and the City of San Francisco achieved an 80% diversion rate – the highest in the nation. Residents of San Francisco sent 367,300 tons of garbage to landfill in 2011, compared to 730,000 tons in 2000 – a 49.7% reduction.For more information on San Francisco’s recycling and diversion programs, view the documentary Recycling in America’s Greenest City.
- Recology’s high-quality customer service and innovative diversion programs have reached a growing number of communities in the last five years. In 2009, Recology served 50 communities across California. Today, Recology partners with 116 communities in California, Oregon, and Washington.Recology works closely with the communities it serves to find effective ways to increase diversion. When Recology assumed service for the 12 jurisdictions of the South Bayside Waste Management Authority (which includes the City of San Mateo) in 2011, the overall diversion rate rose from 56% to 66% in the first year.
- In November 2011, Recology and the City of San Francisco reached one million tons of compost through the curbside compost collection program (green bin). This is equivalent to offsetting emissions from traffic on the Bay Bridge for more than two years.Recology started collecting food scraps and yard trimmings for composting in 1996. Today, over 200 vineyards in Napa and Sonoma use Recology compost.
- Recology was honored to receive the 2013 ESOP Company of the Year Award for the California/Western States Chapter of the ESOP Association. Recology is a 100% employee-owned company through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
Recology remains at the forefront of new sustainability programs. Today, Recology is piloting waste-to-energy projects, implementing state-of-the-art recycling and composting technologies, and finding new efficiencies for its collection services. We can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve together in the next five years!
Recology San Mateo County invites you to participate in our Earth Day Giveaway on Facebook. As we gear up for Earth Day on April 22nd, we’re asking San Mateo County residents and businesses to share their tips, photos, or videos that illustrate how they are “going green” this Earth Week.
How to enter:
- “Like” Recology San Mateo County on Facebook.
- Share a green tip, photo, or video on our Facebook page using the hash tag #EarthDay2014 by 10 am on Tuesday, April 22nd to be eligible for the giveaway.
- Share your entry with friends!
Winners will receive a $50 Whole Foods gift card and earth-friendly goodies, including garden-ready herbs, compost, reusable water bottle and bag. Winners will be chosen by number of likes, shares, and Recology staff votes. The winner will be announced on our Facebook page on April 22nd, Earth Day!
How will you celebrate Earth Day? #EarthDay2014
Terms and Conditions:
- Must be 18 years or older to participate, and be a resident or employee in San Mateo County. Recology employee-owners are not eligible to enter, however friends and family of employee-owners are encouraged to participate.
- By entering this contest, you agree to a complete release of Facebook from any or all liability in connection with this giveaway. All entries then become the property of Recology Inc.
- The RSMC Earth Day Giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
2014 marks the 17th year of the Recology Yuba-Sutter Invitational golf tournament. By the time the last putt drops, Recology Yuba-Sutter will have raised almost $1/2 million dollars for our community.
From 1998 – 2011, the support provided grad night parties for eight area high schools. These parties provide a safe environment for high school students to celebrate graduating before moving on to the next stage of their lives. In 2011, when school budget cuts hit Shady Creek’s Outdoor Education program, Recology Yuba-Sutter stepped up with a 4-year commitment to the program to send students to a week-long environmental camp.
The Recology Invitational has been our signature event for almost two decades. Our employee owners are proud of what we’ve accomplished with the funds raised. As our community continues to grow, so does the Recology vision – to continue serving the needs of our region. This year’s tournament will be our last golf fundraising event as we now turn our attention and future efforts toward even bigger and better ways to support our community.
17 Years of Yuba-Sutter Golf:
16 Golf Events
82,880 raffle tickets
1 million thank you’s
Would you like to play?
Golf Entry is $125 (includes golf, lunch and dinner)
Plumas Lake Country Club
Four Person Scramble, Shotgun start at Noon
Lunch served from 10:30-11:45am
Dinner follows golf, 5:30
To RSVP or for more info contact: Jackie Sillman
Recology compost programs are designed to return nutrients back to our soils, and essentially back to our dining tables. Composting turns food scraps and yard trimmings into useful materials; the best and highest use of natural resources.
- Compost is a viable alternative to chemical fertilizers because it adds many nutrients to soil and doesn’t pollute groundwater, wells, or waterways.
- Composting keeps organic waste out of landfills, which supports more efficient land use and reduces methane gas emissions, a greenhouse gas.
- Compost sequesters carbon deep in the soil, which helps maintain essential nutrients in soil. This is especially useful when compost is used to grow cover crops, like mustard or beans.
- Compost promotes healthy microbial activity in soil, which makes micronutrients available to plant roots and discourages soil diseases.
- Compost improves soil structure, thereby protecting topsoil from erosion.
- Soils fed with compost retain far more rainwater, conserving our water resources.
- Compost helps grow plants and food crops that are rich with nutrients needed to sustain good health.
- Composting is easy and fulfilling!
- Compost collection programs return nutrients to local farms and support green jobs.
- Farms that utilize compost achieve higher yields than conventional farming that uses nitrogen fertilizers. This means farms produce more organic fruits and vegetables to support your good health.
- Composting reverses the course of waste from decay to new growth, turning coffee grounds, cantaloupe skins, and chicken bones into sweet carrots, juicy tomatoes, and fine wines.
- Composting helps our cities get closer to achieving zero waste.
- Composting helps California save tremendous amounts of water.
Litterati: Using Technology to Clean the Planet
Exhibition - March 26 to May 9 (gallery hours: Tuesdays 1-3pm, and by appointment)
Reception – Friday, April 25, 5-8pm (with talk by Beth Terry at 7pm
Where: Environmental Learning Center, 401 Tunnel Avenue, San Francisco, CA
Admission is free and open to the public, all ages welcome, wheelchair accessible.
From March 26 to May 9, Litterati: Using Technology to Clean the Planet, will be on view at the Recology Environmental Learning Center. Sponsored by the Recology Artist in Residence Program, this exhibition features photographs from Litterati, a movement that encourages the public to document litter using the photo-sharing service Instagram, and then properly dispose of the trash. Since its inception in 2012, more than 40,000 pieces of litter have been photographed, cataloged, and properly discarded. The exhibition will feature photographs from locations around the world, demonstrating this innovative use of social media to address environmental issues and initiate positive change.
Litterati was created by Jeff Kirschner, after his family went for a walk in the Oakland hills and encountered a plastic tub of kitty litter dumped in a stream. His 4-year-old daughter—baffled by what she saw—exclaimed, “Daddy, that doesn’t go there!” which prompted Kirschner to think more deeply about what he could do to leave a more environmentally stable planet for his children. Drawing on his background in start-up technology, Kirschner envisioned a way to engage and inspire individuals to take action whenever they could, wherever they were. The instructions are simple: photograph litter using Instagram, add the hashtag #litterati, and recycle, compost, or throw away the litter. Says Kirschner, “individually, one can make a difference. Together, we can create an impact.”
The idea is also to stop litter before it starts, and images of cigarette butts and fast food containers are a stark reminder of the need for new strategies for reaching the public who still casually discard such items. Outreach to manufacturers is also part of the plan. Through keyword tags, the project documents the products and brands that generate the most litter, enabling Litterati to work with producers on sustainable solutions.
Images in the exhibition reflect both the range of what has been discarded and the diverse locations materials were found. Photographs were taken across the United States, as well as around the world, including in Austria, Thailand, and the US Virgin Islands. The photographers have been invited to add their own thoughts about the photos they took, and responses will accompany images in the exhibition.
A public exhibition will be held on Friday, April 25, from 5 to 8pm, coinciding with Earth Week. Gallery hours are Tuesdays, 1-3pm and by appointment. In conjunction with the exhibition reception, author Beth Terry will speak at 7pm. Terry is the author of Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too and the blog, My Plastic Free Life. Begun in 2007, after Terry read about the crisis of plastics in the ocean and committing to eliminate plastics from her life, the blog is now a widely read and respected resource. Terry combines useful information about plastic-free alternatives with personal stories, and has become a leader in the crusade against the overconsumption of plastics. Copies of her book will be available for sale/signing.
About the Recology Artist in Residence Program Since 1990, the Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco has encouraged the conservation of natural resources while instilling a greater appreciation for art and the environment in children and adults. This one-of-a-kind program enables artists to work in studio space on site for four months, use materials recovered from the Public Disposal and Recycling Area, and speak to students and the general public about reuse and their residency experiences. Over one-hundred professional Bay Area artists have completed residencies. Applications are accepted annually in August.
Recology San Mateo County is currently collecting donations for our annual Bare Necessities Toiletries Drive. Each year we partner with CORA of San Mateo County to collect toiletries for CORA’s housing and shelter programs. CORA is a local organization that helps support victims of domestic abuse. They are a great asset to our community, and we love to help support their programs.
To donate, please drop off your items at the Recology San Mateo County office by March 31:
Recology San Mateo
225 Shoreway Road
San Carlos, CA 94070
CORA is the only agency in San Mateo County with the sole purpose of serving victims/survivors of domestic violence/abuse. We are a multicultural agency committed to serving victims/survivors, regardless of age, ethnicity/race, financial status, language, sexual orientation, immigration status, class, religion, gender, mental or physical ability.
CORA provides free and confidential emergency, intervention and prevention services, including the county’s only emergency shelter and transitional housing for victims/survivors and services in Spanish and English.
Last years combined total donations:
6 packs of diapers
6 packs of toilet paper
6 hand gels/body moisturizers
1 bottle of contact lens solution
4 packs of dental floss
7 bottles of baby shampoo/baby lotion
2 nursing care kits
18 bars of soap
17 Regular size packs of toothpaste
49 Travel size packs of toothpaste
20 bottles of shampoo/conditioner
3 quart size bags with misc soaps, conditioners, shampoos, and lotions
11 packs of baby wipes
56 bottles of mouth wash
24 bottles of oral rinse
4 Kleenex boxes
13 hair brush/combs
Guest blogger, Chris Choate, VP of Sustainability at Recology, leads us through the dynamic world of creating biofuels.
Recology is driven to find the social, environmental, and economical solution to power our fleet of vehicles with fuel produced from the residual resources (waste material) from your trash. We’ve spent a lot of time evaluating and researching ways to generate and utilize bio-methane from our landfills and anaerobic digesters to power our trucks.
Our solution has proved to be a good one thus far. We’ve found a way to integrate biofuels into our fleet fuel sources by transitioning to alternative fuel equipment and utilizing compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and B20 biodiesel.
Recology continues to partner with the City of San Francisco in an effort to lead the nation in diverting material from landfills to achieve the highest use of all materials. Over 80% of the material diverted is collected through an integrated system of reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting. Even with all of these collection processes, over half of the current material going to the landfill is degradable and a good source of biomass material.
Recology is fortunate to have these alternative fuels accessible to us through our collection, recycling, and compost facilities. We not only rely on our recycling efforts to divert and reuse materials, but we rely on the nature of biology to also help our goals of zero waste.
SF Environment created the City’s Zero Waste Plan from our overarching environmental principles that include:
- Reusing materials at a level that is their next best and highest use
- Avoiding high-temperature conversion (incineration)
- Achieving the highest carbon footprint reduction possible
- Employing local and biological processes that mimic nature
Currently, biological processes are used, managed, and exploited to stabilize thousands of tons of organic material a year through our compost programs. It is consistent with Recology’s sustainability goals, and the City’s overarching principles, to further utilize natural processes to produce biodiesel from the City’s waste stream.
Happy Lunar New Year – Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Join Recology in celebrating Chinese New Year at the San Francisco Chinese New Year Festival and Parade.
When: February 15, 5:15 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Market and Second Street to Kearny and Jackson
For more information, visit www.chineseparade.com/route.asp
Recology Sunset Scavenger and Recology Golden Gate have been collecting recyclables and trash in San Francisco for well over 80 years. We’re excited to celebrate another year of service at the San Francisco Chinese New Year parade on Saturday, February 15th. Our Recology Drill Team and the Recology Dragon and Pearl will make an appearance at this years parade to welcome the Year of the Horse.
The Recology Dragon and Pearl, created by San Francisco artists Dana Albany and Flash Hopkins, is constructed out of 100% recycled materials. As a “tip-of-the-hat” to our history, the Recology Drill Team will be showing the crowd what they can do with a packing can. In the past, they carried these cans on their backs, house-to-house, up and down stairs, and into backyards collecting trash before carrying it back out to the street to dump into the truck. These folks have to be in shape, since each can weighs 40 pounds when empty!
Following the award-winning drill team, will be “Old Red,” an antique garbage truck built in 1948. While “Old Red” was state-of-the-art in the 1940s, today Recology’s entire fleet of modern collection vehicles are powered by clean, alternative fuels such as liquid natural gas and bio-diesel.
Last in line will be the “Green DeMartini,” an antique truck from 1954. This truck collected materials from the streets of San Francisco for over 30 years!
The Recology Family invites you to celebrate Lunar New Year with us! GUNG HAY FAT CHOY!
Parade route map:
We often think of recycling as the right thing to do to protect the environment, and that’s very true. But did you also know that the process of recycling paper, bottles, and cans is a powerful work engine creating steady, year-round, local jobs for residents in urban and suburban communities?
A major study conducted by the Tellus Institute two years ago found that by increasing the national recycling rate from 33 percent to 75 percent we could create 1.5 million new jobs in the U.S. Reports published in recent weeks note that individual states, taking their lead from California, are creating tens of thousands of jobs by recycling more of their waste.
A Minnesota study reports that recycling supports 37,000 jobs in the northern state. Environmental Protection Agency statistics show 32,000 people in Florida work in recycling. Another report states recycling employs 85,000 people in California.
The Tellus study, titled “More jobs, less pollution: growing the recycling economy in the U.S.,” reported that waste disposal generates a meager 0.1 jobs per 1,000 tons landfilled, but processing recyclables generates 2 jobs per 1,000 tons diverted from landfill disposal.
Economists tell us that creating jobs has a multiplier effect that benefits the greater economy. That makes sense as people with steady jobs are able to pay their bills, buy food for the table, and put money back into the local economy.
So let’s all put a little thought into what we are throwing out, toss a lot less into our trash bins, and recycle and compost as many of our discards as possible. Doing so will help sustain and create a lot of new jobs and help protect the environment, both things that improve lives.
Learn more about recycling and composting: www.recology.com