Our mission & vision


Recology sees a world without waste


Recology builds exceptional resource ecosystems

The Recology mission represents a fundamental shift from traditional waste management to resource recovery. Our vision at Recology is to create a world without waste by developing and discovering sustainable resource recovery practices that can be implemented globally.

This begins by building an exceptional Resource Ecosystem – one that both protects the environment and sustains the local community. It’s a ‘closed loop’ ecosystem that makes it possible for the communities Recology serves to achieve high landfill diversion and meet sustainability goals.


  • Collection – Identify the needs of the community and propose and implement programs to collect and process materials.

  • Recovery – Design sorting strategies, deploy a three-bin system, and establish outreach and education programs.

  • Processing – Build infrastructure that includes machinery and technologies to extract and sort raw materials.

  • Marketing & Commodities – Ensure that recycled commodities are sold to manufacturers that will create further recyclable consumer goods.

Employee Ownership

Because Recology is 100% employee owned, we have a heightened sense of commitment to the company, our goals, and to customer satisfaction in the communities in which we serve. How we perform is a direct reflection of us as individuals, and we take that very seriously.

How Employee Ownership Benefits Your Community

We are dedicated partners to the many communities we serve, as we are members of those communities ourselves. We have local offices in every service area, which means that our employees often live and work in the communities they serve.

We have a strong culture of teamwork and accountability, and our incentive for improvement comes from the inside, as we’re not bound to external shareholders. This means we can quickly push forward with new innovations and environmental initiatives, discovering new methods for reaching our mission of Waste Zero.

Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)

Recology became 100% employee owned in 1986, through the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). To give a sense of the longevity of many our employees, current CEO Mike Sangiacomo and CFO Mark Lomele were part of this agreement nearly three decades ago. The Recology ESOP provides our employees with a supplemental retirement plan alongside their 401(K) or pension, and comprehensive benefits package.

Interested in working with Recology and becoming an employee-owner? Apply here.

Meet an Employee Owner


Sean, Driver, Recology Vacaville Solano
: Fairfield
Joined Recology: 1986
“Over the years, I’ve gotten to know customers along on my route, and therefore have friends to see everyday. There’s even a mom and son duo that wait for me outside their house every week. Her little boy loves trucks. I always wave, and one time I stopped to let him look inside the cab at the controls. Small things like this make my day.”



Mia, Waste Zero Manager, Recology San Mateo County
: San Carlos
Joined Recology: 2010
“As a third generation Recology employee, I grew up with a fascination and love for the industry. My grandfather joined the company after he migrated from Italy in 1956 and was one of the original scavengers with Golden Gate Disposal. To this day, my dad has worked for Recology as a long haul driver for 40 years, and I have been on board for 7 years and was just promoted to my new role of Waste Zero Manager.

Where we serve

RecologyServiceAreasRecology has over 45 operating companies that provide integrated services to more than 733,000 residential customers and 109,000 commercial customers in California, Oregon, and Washington.

Operated Transfer and Recycling Facilities:

      • 13 Transfer Stations
      • 10 MRFs
      • 10 Organic Processing Facilities
      • 3 Landfills

Interested in bringing Recology to your community? Let us know!

Over 100 Years of Service

We’ve been recycling long before there was even an industry for it. Our founders immigrated to San Francisco in the mid 1800’s looking for opportunity and they eventually found work doing what no one else wanted to do – picking up other people’s garbage.

They called themselves scavengers – in fact, the Recology Sunset Scavenger company name is a nod to these same founders. The original scavengers sorted through trash to find what was salvageable by rewashing, repackaging, and selling bottles, and by sorting and separating rags and papers from other refuse materials. Little did they know that they were creating a foundation for our current business model today.

To this day, many of our employees are descendants of our Italian founders, including our CEO, Mike Sangiacomo.

Some key milestones from our history:
  • By 1921, the San Francisco scavengers became an organized business, along with other small collectors in the area. Two major companies emerged – Scavenger’s Protective Association and Sunset Scavenger Company. Both companies were given exclusive refuse collection licenses for the City of San Francisco. These licenses are still held today.
  • In 1935, the two collection companies formed Sanitary Fill Company (today known as Recology San Francisco), the first of a number of jointly owned subsidiaries. Sanitary Fill Company’s charter was to develop disposal capacity for the increasingly large amount of refuse that was overwhelming the City. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, both San Francisco collection companies grew and expanded their services to keep pace with San Francisco’s growth.
  • In 1965, as part of a modernization program, Scavenger’s Protective Association changed its name to Golden Gate Disposal & Recycling Company. Sunset continued to operate from a site that had previously been a landfill near the San Francisco/San Mateo County line.
  • In 1983, with aim toward expansion, the company – called Golden Gate Disposal – was reorganized as Norcal Solid Waste Systems.
  • In 1986, Norcal was sold to its 570 employees and their Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) to ensure Norcal’s independence.
  • In 1987, Norcal purchased Envirocal (formerly Sunset Scavenger). With this merger, Norcal became one of the nation’s 10 largest 100%-employee-owned companies, with a substantial minority representation among its shareholders.
  • In 2009, Norcal Waste Systems changed its name to Recology Inc. to reflect its commitment to sustainable practices.
  • As of 2016, Recology employee owners proudly serve 127 communities throughout California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada.

It takes a team of dedicated people to create positive change. Our teams are continuously working to find solutions to global waste issues – and they’re nothing short of dedicated. Think you’re a fit?  Let us know!

We live by the following terms to make sure that everyone at Recology GROWs:

  • Giving back to our communities and our environment by volunteering time and resources
  • Recovering resources to achieve their best and highest use
  • Owning a company that does the right things for the right reasons, ensuring that our actions benefit the company, the communities we serve, and our environment.
  • Working together to develop camaraderie and facilitate collaboration. By demonstrating an inclusive attitude that values different backgrounds and ideas, we can get the job done.


Recology Management Advancement Program (RMAP)

Recology is a company where the best people come to work and G.R.O.W. That’s why we created RMAP as an integral component of Recology’s Cultivation Leadership Program.

RMAP is a 12-month rotational program uniquely structured to provide employees with direct, hands on experience in order to develop the skills needed to be a Recology leader. This program is designed to provide you with the tools and resources to plan, lead and manage a Recology operating company. Through RMAP, you will complete a series of company and departmental rotations to gain expertise in various areas of Recology’s business.


Summer Internships

Our summer 2017 internship application period has closed. Please visit us again next year!

The Recology internship program will take you outside the classroom and provide you with hands-on professional experience. During the 12-week paid summer internship, you will learn what resource recovery really means and have fun while doing it! You will see first-hand the many facets of our business, as well as lead a project and experience how our employee-owners help communities reach their sustainability goals.



Our Leadership

 From Our CEO

The Recology rally cry is two simple words:  WASTE ZERO.

What do we mean by WASTE ZERO?  It means using resources wisely, generating waste only as necessary, and finding ways to use those waste products in ways that benefit the environment.  It means landfilling only those materials we haven’t yet figured out a use for.  We are passionate and committed to reducing waste and recycling everything we can.

Ingrained in our culture is our dedication and respect for each other as well as our community; our focus on customer services; and our genuine concern to lessen our impact on our environment.

We believe in giving back to both our community and the environment.

Our employee owners embrace this philosophy by volunteering in their communities and sharing innovative ideas that help us serve you better and become more sustainable.

As the largest employee-owned company in the industry, and as an innovative leader in resource recovery, we take pride in everything we do. Each of us can make a difference in the success of our company and of the world.


Michael J. Sangiacomo

Recology Board of Directors

Dennis Wu
Dennis Wu has served as Chair of the Recology Board of Directors since April 2013 and as Director since July 2008.

Born in the Philippines of Chinese ancestry, Dennis is one of the best-known businessmen in San Francisco and a longtime leader among Asian Americans in the Bay Area. A retired partner of Deloitte, he founded its Southeast Asia desk and its Chinese Services Group. He is currently the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of WuHoover, a CPA advisory firm. Dennis’s extensive community involvement has included being the first person of color to serve as President of The Commonwealth Club of California as well as serving on the boards of the Cow Palace, San Francisco Ballet, and the Foundation of City College of San Francisco.

In 2007, he was honored as CFO of the year for community service by the San Francisco Business Times; and in 2014, he was honored by the Chinese Culture Foundation with their Lifetime Achievement Award in Community Building. Dennis was recognized by the San Francisco Business Times in 2015 with its Outstanding Director’s Award. After decades of advancing many causes, Dennis describes Recology among his greatest passions: “I care deeply about Recology because it has shown it is possible to get to zero waste, and that is the hope for the future for our children.”

Dennis is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of California and received his B.S. in Accounting and M.B.A. in Accounting/Finance from the University of California, Berkeley.

Mike Sangiacomo
Mike Sangiacomo is President and Chief Executive Officer of Recology. Mike is responsible for overall strategic planning, resource development and growth, and leading Recology in its support of San Francisco’s recognition as the “greenest” major city in the nation.

In 1983, Mike was recruited to be the Chief Financial Officer of Sunset Scavenger’s parent company. In 1987, the company merged with Recology, and in 1988 Mike was made the Chief Financial Officer of the merged companies. He was promoted to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer in 1991. Mike has served as a member of the Recology Board of Directors since 1990.

Mike served as a board member of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce from 1998 through 2004, and was Chair in 2002. He also has served as a member of the University of San Francisco School of Business and Management Advisory Council. In 2014, he joined the board of the California Historical Society, the official historical society of the State of California, and was elected its Vice President in 2015.

In 2008, Mike was honored as the city’s “sustainability leader” in the San Francisco Business Times’ annual celebration of San Francisco’s most admired CEOs.

Mike earned a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting from the University of San Francisco. He is also a Certified Public Accountant in the state of California.

Sylvia Kwan
Sylvia Kwan has served as a Director of Recology since December 2002. Sylvia founded the award-winning firm, Kwan Henmi Architecture/Planning Inc., in 1980. Some of her major projects in San Francisco include the Central Subway project, several major projects at San Francisco International Airport, multi-family residential towers such as Paramount, Arterra, and Panoramic, and Moscone West Convention Center. In addition to work in the Bay Area, her firm has designed projects in Seattle and Hawaii.

Sylvia served as Chair of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Board in 2000, and as Director of the American Institute of Architects National Board from 1996 to 1998. She was appointed to the California Architects Board by Governor Jerry Brown in 2013. Sylvia is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley.

Laurence Colton
Laurence Colton became a Director of Recology in April 2013. Larry has a rich and deep history in the insurance brokerage industry in the San Francisco Bay Area. He served as President of Goldman Insurance Services for 15 years, from 1986 to 2001. Following the merger of Goldman Insurance Services and Willis Insurance of California, Larry served as President of Willis Insurance of California from 2002 to 2010. In 2010, Larry joined the Fort Point Insurance Board of Directors and became a Principal of Business Professional Insurance Associates (BPIA). In April 2012, Larry joined forces with Jason and Matthew Goldman to create G2 Insurance Services, currently serving as CEO. He has served on many boards including Larkin Street Youth Center, SF AIDS Foundation, Insight Prison Project, the San Francisco YMCA, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, and Working Solutions. He received his Bachelor of Science in Communications and Public Policy from UC Berkeley.

George McGrath
George McGrath has served as a Director of Recology since April 2013. In addition, George has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Recology since June 2008, responsible for the daily operation of the company. From 1998 to 2008, George served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Recology, responsible for the company’s information systems. From 1996 to 1997, George served as Vice President and General Manager of Alta Environmental Services, Inc., a subsidiary that markets certain types of landfill capacity to third parties.

Prior to joining Recology in 1995, George served for five years as Vice President and Area General Manager for Chemical Waste Management in the Western Region of the United States. George holds a B.S. in Psychology from Western Michigan University.

Michael Day
Michael Day joined the Recology Board in January 2014. Until his retirement in May 2015, Michael was the chief financial officer for CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA insurer. In his role as CFO, Michael was responsible for financial planning and analysis; controller’s office; cash, investments and financial risk management; and strategic sourcing.

Michael joined the Insurance Group and its AAA club affiliate, AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah, in August 2006 from New York, New York, where he was a financial consultant with Africast Global Media. Prior to Africast, Michael was Senior Vice President, Corporate and International Finance of MTV Networks. He managed planning, financial reporting and control, treasury, capital approval and international finance. Prior to joining MTV Networks, Michael worked for the Walt Disney Company as the Director of Corporate Financial Reporting and Director of Corporate Planning and Accounting. Michael began his career with Deloitte & Touche in their audit group.

Michael is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is former Chair of the Board of AAA Life Insurance Company and served on the board of the Community Safety Foundation, funded by CSAA Insurance Group. He currently serves on the board of Junior Achievement of Northern California.

Michael has an M.B.A. in finance from Columbia University and a B.B.A. in accounting from Baruch College. He is also a Certified Public Accountant in the state of New York.

Deborah Alvarez-Rodriguez
Deborah Alvarez-Rodriguez also joined the Recology Board in January 2014. Currently she is the Co-Chair of Rise Together, a nine county initiative to cut poverty in the Bay Area. She is also enrolled in a Masters of Divinity program, focusing on the intersection of environmental sustainability and theology. She served as the Interim President and CEO of the East Bay Community Foundation. Prior to working with the foundation, Deborah served for nine years as President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin, where she transformed the organization from a traditional thrift store and job-training program to a sustainable green enterprise.

In 1998, Deborah was recruited by Mayor Willie Brown to run the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families. In 1991, she was appointed the Assistant Director of Budget and Planning for the San Francisco Health Department.

Deborah currently serves on several community and nonprofit boards: Co-Chair of Epworth UMC Council, Co-Chair of Rise Together and Academic Dean Search Committee at PSR. She served on the Boards of the East Bay Community Foundation, Cordes Family Foundation, the Harwood Institute, and the Independent Sector. She is a graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe College.