Resource Recovery - Recology
California Cont.
Waste Zero

Recology: A World Without Waste

Waste zero is more than just a goal for the communities in which we work – it’s a goal for ourselves; especially in how we work and with whom we partner. Recology has taken significant measures as a company to work toward waste zero.  Want to get there with us?  See how we’re changing our behavior, and reach out to schedule a waste audit. Let’s get there together.

How We Work
to Achieve Waste Zero
Whenever possible, Recology uses recycled materials to build and maintain each of our offices. Our San Francisco office has a kitchen floor of recycled cork, Recology Portland painted their building exterior with recovered paint, and we use various recovered materials and paints for our restoration and volunteer events. And of course, we have art from Recology Artists in Residence throughout.
We regularly implement energy-efficiency upgrades throughout our facilities, like automatic lighting controls, energy-efficient water fixtures, and automatic shut-off systems at our truck wash bays.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is used to heat our offices, and CNG also powers many of our trucks, thereby reducing both emissions and noise levels. Our Pier 96 recycling facility is also 30% powered by solar panels.
To better facilitate recycling within our offices, we have labeled bins throughout all of our buildings. Our waste zero onboarding program also lets new employees know about waste disposal, helping inspire good recycling behaviors from the start.
For employees who commute, we encourage the use of public transportation, shared transport, or bike-riding to work – Eligible employees can pay commuter costs on a pre-tax basis, and Recology covers 50% of commuter costs up to an allowable maximum.


Partnering with Communities

Recology sees communities as partners. If we don’t work together to determine how to reach waste zero, it simply won’t work.

Every community is unique and faces different challenges when it comes to recycling, compost, and landfill collection. We understand these nuances, so after conducting a thorough waste audit to better understand existing recycling programs, we work with businesses and communities to identify areas for improvement. Our partnerships with municipalities and commercial customers have yielded some of the industry’s greatest diversion successes.

A Case Study with Promontory Point


Apartment Complex
Foster City, CA

WHAT:  A multi-family dwelling with 90 units, totaling three separate buildings
WASTE AUDIT RESULTS:  Recology found that 30% of residents’ organic waste was being placed in landfill carts.
RECOMMENDATION:  Implement and increase organics services, and decrease garbage service. This means providing more green bins and decreasing the number of black bins.
RESULT:  Landfill service decrease from 60% to 38%, along with their bill!    

2012 Diversion rate: 40%
2016 Diversion rate: 62%

Technology & Innovation

Zero Waste Begins with Research

As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  Our team of engineers and sustainability experts are always searching for new uses for recovered resources. We work together with manufacturers to solve for industry-wide challenges.

Much of our work in waste processing begins with research. We take a three-pronged approach: our environmental engineering team seeks out emerging technologies throughout the world; we create pilot programs to challenge the status quo and find new answers; and we partner with other entities to research and identify new technologies for advanced materials processing.

Some Technologies We Leverage

Optical sorting
Optical Sorting

Plastics need to be sorted into “like” plastics before baling, and optical sorting is one of the most efficient and remarkable ways to do so. The technology automatically sorts three common types of plastics with an infrared sensor: hard, clear, and colored. The sensor records the size, shape, structure, and position of the plastic on the sort line, and once identified, it hits the plastic with a strong puff of air, sending it into the correct plastics collection bin.

Negative Aerated Static Pile (ASP) Composting

Good compost needs added air and water. With a Negative ASP System, organic material sits on perforated pipes in open air, which pulls air down from the compost piles, making it easier to control moisture, oxygen, and microbial levels. The air that is pulled from the compost pile is processed through a bio-filter, which absorbs odors and volatile organic compounds.

Check out Recology Organics to buy compost.

Gas from Landfills Becomes Energy

In 2013, Recology teamed up with G2 Energy to install a landfill gas-capture system at Recology Hay Road in Vacaville, CA. This system pulls the methane gas generated by the landfill and turns it into electricity to power homes and businesses nearby. The methane gas that’s pumped from the landfill is sent to an energy conversion facility operated by G2 Energy.


Partnering with Like-Minded Manufacturers

After we sort and recover resources from the compost and recycling containers, the next step is finding ideal uses for these materials, or commodities. That means finding manufacturers who commit to using our commodities for the best and highest use – those who are using our commodities to create further recyclable goods that will continue the recycling chain.

We’re always looking to build relationships with like-minded commodities partners and manufacturers. Contact us to find out more about recovering resources together.

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