It’s a natural reflex. You finish a container of orange juice, or finish reading the newspaper, and with the flick of your wrist, it goes in the trash. The problem is, you're not just throwing away a product, you’re throwing away a valuable resource. You’re throwing away a future product, a future job, future revenue — an opportunity to make a difference in our communities. Instead, with the simple act of throwing that item into the recycling bin, you start a simple and profound revolution; a “recovery revolution”. By your own actions, you are helping our community, your family, our environment and our economic future. At ReCommunity, recycling is about much more than collecting and processing tons of aluminum cans, plastic bottles and reams of paper. We believe in the restorative power of recycling and what it can do to build jobs, to build revenue and to build a future for our communities.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, our country has thrived within an industrial-economic model that's allowed us to modernize. While this has helped us thrive with groundbreaking technological advances, the byproduct of that model has been a cumbersome and rapidly expanding waste stream. As we approach a global population of nine billion people, we find ourselves in a world of constrained commodities, reduced traditional energy reserves, overflowing landfills and shifting options. Every year, communities across America throw away millions of tons of aluminum, plastics, paper and other valuable resources that can be recycled or reused, turned into new products or made into green fuel. Up to 90 percent of trash goes into landfills; where it threatens our air, land and water and does not grow our economy. The first step in changing this trajectory is changing our perspective.
ReCommunity works with our community partners to recover discarded natural resources destined for landfills and convert them into clean, efficient and cost-competitive commodities, products and energy. We enable our community partners to generate additional revenue, recover community-owned resources, create new jobs, fund budget shortfalls and reduce their carbon footprint.
Together we’re building a community of shared responsibilities, shared benefits and shared values to find new ways to recover, recycle and reinvest these valuable resources back into our communities.
Our people and facilities create an impressive reduction in landfill usage, environmental waste and pollution. For example, the 1.8 million tons of material processed through ReCommunity Recycling facilities last year reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 5.3 million metric tons — the same as having +960,000 fewer cars on the road.For more examples, click here.
ReCommunity works with our community partners to create green jobs, generate revenue by recovering valuable resources from the waste stream, promote innovative recycling education and programs, and increase recycling value awareness via the critical factor of individual participation.
Our work creates wealth for our communities. Our efforts bring people together; united by a common cause — the continued well-being of our communities and future generations
What if – everything we purchased, everything we used, everything we considered to be trash and a liability, was actually a resource that has great value?
What if – we built a nationally-scaled enterprise based on creating total resource recovery solutions and long-term partnerships with the communities we serve?
What if – we were committed to discovering and developing the most innovative ways to increase recycling participation?
What if – we pledged to move as close to zero-waste as technologically possible?
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, ReCommunity currently works with 29 communities in 14 states. We process 1.8 million tons of valuable commodities each year, preserving 2.6 million cubic yards of landfill space and saving and generating millions of dollars for communities (it now costs up to $94 per ton to dispose of trash at landfills). All this, while reducing climate-changing gas emissions by 5.3 million metric tons, or the equivalent of almost 1 million fewer cars on the road.
We proudly employ more than 1,500 dedicated team members who work and live in the communities that we partner with and serve.
At first glance, the tons of valuable resources we process at our facilities may look like ordinary trash to the naked eye. What you are really doing is transforming raw materials that manufacturers use to create the products we use every day. Discarded paper becomes eco-friendly home insulation. PET and HDPE bottles become fresh new bottles or carpeting and clothing. Aluminum cans and containers can be infinitely recycled as cans over and over again, saving 95 percent of the energy it takes to harvest Bauxite ore, the raw material for virgin aluminum.
We are proactively and effectively extracting these resources from what others see as a waste stream (and we see as a resource stream) to preserve the ecology, economy and efficiencies in our communities.
When you think about it; what we're really doing is capturing molecules that we can then recycle and reuse over and over again. The items we recover aren’t just bottles and plastics and paper; they are a collection of carbon molecules that we’re diverting from the landfill and productively repurposing them back into our manufacturing and community economies.
With innovative people, processes and technologies, we are building a market-leading natural resource company, enabling united communities to transform their waste into valuable resource assets for economic, social and environmental value. We share the value we create with our community partners (state and local governments and businesses) in a manner that builds enduring and sustainable relationships. Our long-term goal is to recover all resources and direct them to their highest financial return and best environmental use for our community partners and over time, moving away from the need for landfills.
Our mission, driving strategy and Company name all convey a single idea; we serve communities.
Mecklenburg County, N.C., generated $4 million of community value last year working with ReCommunity. The Metrolina Recycling Center; which reopened in 2010 complete with a host of new hi-tech sorting technology, processed 74,203 tons of materials last year. Since 2000, Mecklenburg has almost halved the amount of waste it sends to landfills. Bruce Gledhill, the county’s solid waste director, told the Charlotte Business Journal: “These are really good numbers. Our performance so far has been stellar.”
ReCommunity’s 58,199-square-foot facility at Mine Hill, in Morris County, N.J., sorts and processes a single-stream of all recyclable materials. Single-stream means that residents can put all recyclables into a single container.
Kathleen Hourihan, district recycling coordinator, says that instead of paying high rates for landfill disposal, the county now gets thousands of dollars from reselling its materials each month. “The economics speak for themselves,” she told the Daily Record. “When you put something in a landfill, you pay someone to put it there, and that’s it, it’s done. There is so much [value] in materials that can be extracted, it doesn’t make sense not to recycle.”
Residents of Athens-Clarke County, Ga., recycled 14,689 tons of plastic, aluminum, glass and paper in fiscal 2011, generating a profit of $21 a ton for their previously discarded resources. Officials expect the volume to increase further in the years to come, following the reopening of ReCommunity’s Hancock Industrial Way single-stream facility last October.