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News release, Monday, December 22, 2014

From the Edge of Death to Pure Joy

Gem Rescued Gem Resting Gem Sweater

One year ago recycling worker Gregory Foster saw a green garbage bag on a conveyor belt move. Something inside the bag was alive.

Foster immediately pulled an emergency cord to stop the conveyor and jumped up on the belt. He opened the bag and rescued an injured and terrified puppy.

Another worker ran and got a bottle of alcohol and a blanket, cleaned her wounds, and called Animal Care & Control. The pup’s fur was bright red from her own blood, and her back legs were not moving.

Someone had apparently put her in a garbage bag and threw her into a large dumpster at a construction site. A garbage truck then picked up the load and unknowingly dumped the dog along with two tons of heavy debris inside the recycling plant where Foster worked.

A large tractor with a large metal bucket scooped up the load the dumped it on an incline that carries wood, metal, concrete and other construction and demolition debris onto a violent shaker screen. Materials that pass across the screen tumble onto the conveyor belt where workers sort debris by type.

Foster works at the last pick station. If he had not pulled the emergency stop, in five or six seconds the puppy would have fallen 20 feet straight down and landed on another belt that carries debris to an even bigger fall into a giant pit where a bulldozer drives over garbage to compact it before it is loaded into large transport trucks and taken to a regional landfill.

Animal control officers gave the puppy intensive care and she made a full recovery. They named her Gem because she was the small and precious prize in a mountain of debris and because of the series of miracles and individual actions that saved her. Read More

Contact information:

News release, Monday, December 9, 2013

Recology recycling workers donate $40,000 to community organization to support Typhoon disaster relief

Where?Recology, 50 California Street, 24th Floor, downtown San Francisco
When?11 a.m. Monday, December 9, 2013
What?Disaster relief donation
Who?Mike Sangiacomo, President and CEO of Recology
Erlinda Galeon, President of the Pilipino Bayanihan Resource Center
The employee-owners of Recology, the nation's leading recycling company, donated $40,000 today to the Pilipino Bayanihan Resource Center of Daly City to help fund relief efforts in response to Typhoon Haiyan. The storm, one of the most powerful ever recorded, left a wide swath of ruin, homelessness, and human despair. More than 5,000 Filipinos lost their lives.

To make the contribution possible, more than 400 Recology employees donated vacation time and the company added a dollar-for-dollar match. The funding will help pay for vital medical relief supplies including needed medicines. Officials estimate 25,000 people were injured.

"Getting this donation from the employee-owners of Recology and getting it so quickly is extremely helpful," said PBRC President Erlinda Galeon.

Recology is the recycling company for San Francisco and for 11 cities in San Mateo County and a 100 percent employee-owned business. "When we saw the magnitude of what happened in the Philippines our employees immediately expressed a desire to help," said Mike Sangiacomo, Recology's President and CEO.

On the Peninsula, Recology's drivers, mechanics, and recycling sorters belong to the Teamsters union. "The brothers and sisters of Teamsters 350 who are also owner employees of Recology were proud to support the relief efforts in the Philippines," said Bob Morales, Secretary-General Treasurer for the union local.

PBRC is a non-profit, community-based organization that provides direct services and education to the Filipino population in Daly City and San Mateo County. PBRC aims to empower the Filipino community by promoting dignity, equality, and independence.

Contact information:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Recology Teams with IBM in Quest to Help San Francisco Become First City in North America to Achieve Zero Waste

City-wide Compost Program also Achieves Major Emissions Offsets

ARMONK, N.Y. and SAN FRANCISCO -- IBM (NYSE:IBM) announced today a collaboration with Recology, San Francisco's resource recovery company, to continue reducing landfill disposal by further improving recycling programs designed to help the city achieve zero waste by 2020.

Recology Driver To participate in a tweet chat on sustainability please follow @SustainableIBM and look for hashtag #zerowasteIBM on June 1 at 1 pm EDT.

San Francisco's diversion rate -- the amount of waste diverted from landfill disposal -- totals 78 percent, the highest in the country. Just last year, independent studies named San Francisco the Greenest City in North America due to advanced recycling programs.*

In collaboration with IBM Business Partner Key Info Systems, Recology is using IBM's Smarter Computing approach to IT to manage and mine large sets of data to determine types and quantities of materials in San Francisco's waste stream. With the use of IBM's Power System, Recology pinpoints the location, types and amount of waste that needs to be collected for sorting or composting.

Gleaning insights from this information allows Recology to identify the most effective recycling programs for different business districts and neighborhoods. By tailoring recycling programs and services in this way, Recology operates more efficiently, which helps protect the environment and saves costs, which helps cities better manage collection and disposal fees -- all steps that ultimately benefit residents and businesses.

As a result of this smarter approach to recycling, Recology customers in San Francisco have reduced the garbage they send to the landfill by 49.7 percent, from 730,000 tons in 2000 to 367,300 tons in 2011. By recycling 1.2 million tons of paper, the program has saved 20 million trees; by recycling 174,000 tons of glass, enough energy was saved to power the city's cable car system for nearly three years; and, by recycling 135,000 tons of metal, 19 million gallons of oil was saved. Read More

* U.S. and Canada Green City Index, Economist Intelligence Unit.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012


To donate the unused portion of BART tickets to the Food Bank and to Friends of the Urban Forest just tape them to a blue bin
SAN FRANCISCO: David Nanney, a supervisor at Recycle Central, the recycling plant Recology operates in San Francisco to sort bottles, cans, and paper, noticed the occasional BART ticket moving across a set of screens inside the plant.

BART riders often have multiple tickets with remaining value and some people toss them in their recycle bin. But because the tickets are made of a very thin plastic and are lightweight they present a unique challenge inside the plant.

At Nanney's suggestion, plant management enlisted the help of the recycling sorters to watch for the occasional BART ticket and toss them in special collection boxes. In four months the value of the tickets collected in this way totaled more than $1,400. The tickets were turned in April 6 and the redeemed value will be donated to the San Francisco Food Bank and Friends of the Urban Forest. Read More

David Nanney Blue Container with Door Hanger Blue Container with Ticket

Monday, February 6, 2012

Compost Tons Exceed Household Garbage for First Time

SAN CARLOS, CA - February 6, 2012 - New data shows residents in the RethinkWaste service area* set out record amounts of recyclables and compost through the CartSMART weekly Recycle, Compost and Garbage collection services launched one year ago in partnership with Recology of San Mateo County.

Total tons of residential recycling collected jumped 25 percent in 2011 compared to 2010. Compost collection increased a whopping 29 percent for the same period, and garbage decreased by nearly 18 percent.

And 2011 marked the first time that residents set out more compost (food scraps and yard trimmings) than garbage; Tons collected totaled more than 16,000 tons higher for compost compared to landfill-bound trash.

The data comes from comparing the tonnages reported by Recology San Mateo County, the new service provider as of January 1, 2011, for the last year against the figures submitted by Allied Waste of San Mateo County for 2010. Allied Waste was the previous service provider whose contract expired on December 31, 2010. The actual tonnage figures are provided below:

Residential Materials 2010 Tonnage 2011 Tonnage % Change
Recycling 32,507 40,655 +25.07%
Compost (Organics) 58,306 75,373 +28.29%
Garbage 71,840 59,300 -17.46%


For Further Information:
Monica Devincenzi, RethinkWaste

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

S.F. composts 1 million tons via curbside collection program
Call to compost all scraps from Thanksgiving, biggest food week of the year

Press event 10:30 a.m. Tues., Nov. 22 at Scoma's restaurant, Fisherman's Wharf

SAN FRANCISCO: City residents and businesses will reach a milestone today in their efforts to help protect the environment - 1 million tons composted. One million tons of food scraps and plants collected and composted since we started the green bin program in 1996; enough to fill the TransAmerica building more than 16 times!

Compost Worms Farmer Compost Pile

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Climate Registry

Recology joins government and industry leaders as member of The Climate Registry

Blue Sky Recology to expand measurement and management of carbon emissions

SAN FRANCISCO - Recology announced today that it has joined The Climate Registry, the leading voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) registry in North America. A nonprofit group governed by states, provinces and tribes, The Registry helps organizations measure and reduce their GHG emissions.

"Recology is demonstrating true environmental leadership by committing to report their carbon emissions in a public, transparent and credible way," said Doug Scott, Chair of The Climate Registry and Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission. "Measuring your emissions is the critical first step to managing them and fostering new ways to reduce your carbon footprint - and your impact on the planet."

"Since 2006 Recology has tracked, reported and verified its carbon emissions through the California Climate Action Registry," said Chris Choate, Vice President of Sustainability at Recology. "By joining The Climate Registry, Recology has expanded its leadership to further minimize carbon emissions in all its operating regions: California, Oregon and Nevada."

Recology is an integrated resource recovery and landfill diversion company that provides collection, recycling, compost and disposal services to homes and businesses in the Western United States. The name Recology reflects the company's leadership in the growth of the resource recovery industry.

"We are expanding our services and products, increasing our value to current and potential customers and working to win new contracts and form new partnerships throughout the nation," said Mike Sangiacomo, President & Chief Executive Officer of Recology.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Recology companies coordinate dozens of recycling programs to recover a variety of materials. The recycling and composting programs promoted by the company have been replicated by many cities and universities in the country and serve as national models for resource recovery initiatives.

WASTE ZERO is the company's rallying cry to make the best and highest use of all resources.

"We commend Recology for taking action to manage their carbon and energy responsibly," said Denise Sheehan, The Registry's Executive Director. "They will be able to build on their efforts by joining our community of more than 430 leading organizations from across North America who are committed to sharing best practices and reducing their carbon footprints in a meaningful way."

About The Climate Registry The Climate Registry is a non-profit organization that operates the only voluntary carbon footprint registry in North America supported by states, provinces, territories and tribes. The Climate Registry helps hundreds of public and private organizations measure, report and reduce their GHG emissions with integrity.

For more information please visit www.theclimateregistry.org.


Alex Carr
(778) 340 8837

Robert Reed
(415) 606-9183

Other News Releases

S.F. Trash Fleet

Truck Graphics CampaignSend less to landfill - BYOC - Let's stop generating leftover food containers, such as Styrofoam and plastic clamshells, that are soiled with old food. People find it difficult to scrap food residue off single-use containers. If not recycled or composted, the flimsy food boxes that held last week's chicken chow mein or half-eaten enchiladas end up in landfills.
Truck Graphics CampaignStop trashing resources - SAN FRANCISCO: New data shows that in addition to returning nutrients to local farms and vineyards, San Francisco's compost collection program offsets hundreds of thousands of tons of CO2 emissions, thereby helping lead efforts to reduce the Bay Area's carbon footprint.

San Francisco residents and businesses have placed more than 907,000 tons of food scraps and plants in green bins since the program started as a pilot in 1996. Recology, the garbage and recycling company based in San Francisco, collects those tons separately from other waste and composts the scraps and plants producing 95,000 cubic yards of finished compost a year.
Taking the guesswork out of recyclingKey steps to boost recycling - SAN FRANCISCO: When asked, Ken Crosetti used to tell people he was a garbage man. Now he says "I'm a recycling collector."

More recycling trucks than garbage trucks
San Francisco's garbage and recycling collection companies operate more recycling than garbage trucks. The combined fleet of Sunset Scavenger and Golden Gate Disposal & Recycling includes 321 collection trucks, 174 recycling, 147 garbage. All run on alternative fuel.
Taking the guesswork out of recyclingTaking the guesswork out of recycling - SAN FRANCISCO: The days of looking for the chasing arrows symbol on the bottom of plastic cups and containers and trying to remember which numbers are OK to recycle are about to end.

Effective Tuesday, April 22, 2008 (Earth Day) the curbside recycling program will expand to include all "rigid" (stiff) plastics.

Residents and businesses will be encouraged to recycle all plastic tubs and lids, yogurt and clamshell containers (clean, without food or liquids), cups, buckets, plant containers, and other non-film plastics.
S.F. trash fleet now 100 percent alternative fuelS.F. trash fleet now 100 percent alternative fuel - SAN FRANCISCO: We don't burn straight diesel in garbage trucks in San Francisco. Not anymore.

Our entire fleet of collection and transfer trucks, more than 385 vehicles, runs on alternative fuel.

The garbage companies serving the city actively test and use alternatives to conventional fuels. In 2001 we built the first liquefied natural gas fueling station in the Bay Area. We use LNG, a cryogenic fuel, in five collection trucks and in eight transfer trucks.
Artist in Residence Program

Five Artists Chosen to Create Art from Discarded Material: May 11, 2011 (Portland, OR) Five Oregon artists have been selected to participate in the Pacific Northwest Art Program (PNAP), a new collaborative project developed by Recology, an employee-owned company that manages a variety of resource recovery facilities; Cracked Pots, Inc. an environmental arts organization; and Metro, the regional government for the Portland metropolitan area. The goal of the program is to educate the public about recycling, reuse and resource conservation while supporting the local art community and diverting materials from landfills.
Midway Mecanique by Paul Cesewski Reception for Artist In Residence at the SF Dump: Tinkerer and kinetic artist extraordinaire, Paul Cesewski recreates an old-fashioned carnival midway at the dump as the latest artist-in-residence at SF Recycling and Disposal. The exhibition will have the ambiance of a carnival and will feature pedal powered marvels and games of amusement made from found and recycled materials. Cesewski harks back to a simpler and more innocent time. His motto, "Fun is the universal language", becomes obvious in the bicycle powered kinetic sculpture he created while at the dump.
Musicians, conductor perform score composer wrote at SF dump - SAN FRANCISCO: Original score played on instruments made from trash Friday, November 16 at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.

Cross a recycling company with a classical composer and what do you get? A symphony written at the San Francisco dump played on musical instruments made from garbage.

Classical musicians play saws, pipes, mixing bowls, bottles, pans, deck railings, oil drums, bike wheels, bird cages, and shopping carts to produce Junkestra, an original score in three movements.
Playful junk sculptures say look at your trash - SAN FRANCISCO: Nemo Gould builds sculptures that make people smile. His junkyard dog, oscillating octopus and bee/mosquito are playful creations made from discarded aluminum and wood Gould scavenged at the San Francisco dump.

The 31-year-old artist aims to create pieces that give people "a moment of wonderment before you turn back into a grownup." The public is invited this Friday and Saturday to check out pieces Gould created while working as the artist in residence at SF Recycling & Disposal, Inc.
Sculpture made from Styrofoam®, epoxy, silicone and acrylic sealants on display at Embarcadero Center Sculptor Ellen Babcock shapes large pieces of Styrofoam® then applies layers of discarded construction sealants to create sculptures that closely resemble chunks of marble and agate.

Art made from garbage on display at Mills Building in San Francisco - SAN FRANCISCO: Colorful aprons made from plastic bags and tarps. Furniture and sculpture shaped from discarded wood and metal. Paintings created with recycled paint and other found objects from the city dump.

You can view these uncommon pieces at "The Art of Recycling Returns," an exhibit in the lobby of the Mills Building at 220 Montgomery Street in the heart of the city's Financial District. The exhibit includes 52 works by 20 artists who participated in the Artist in Residence program at SF Recycling & Disposal, the city dump.
Schizophrenic nature of technology explored in art opening at SF dump - SAN FRANCISCO: Computers, cell phones, TVs and monitors, hand-held electronics that play digitized music and video games -- carefully designed ad campaigns present the tools and toys of modern technology as must haves in our changing world.

PDAs, wireless headsets and HD TVs make us more efficient and link us to information and entertainment. By design, the latest and greatest electronics give us direct access to work, play and each other. As the high-tech industry puts the finishing touches on another product-launch January, two artists in San Francisco are highlighting the less glamorous side of our modern obsession with digital devices - electronic waste.

Bridge Graphic S.F. compost program offsets emissions from all traffic on Bay Bridge for over 2 years

SAN FRANCISCO: New data shows that in addition to returning nutrients to local farms and vineyards, San Francisco's compost collection program offsets hundreds of thousands of tons of CO2 emissions, thereby helping lead efforts to reduce the Bay Area's carbon footprint.

Compost Bucket and Spade Recology hosts Compost Giveaway so city residents can reap soil amendment they help create

SAN FRANCISCO: New data released today shows that in addition to returning nutrients to local farms and vineyards, San Francisco's compost collection program offsets hundreds of thousands of tons of CO2 emissions, thereby helping lead efforts to reduce the Bay Area's carbon footprint.

Urban Compost Huge emissions savings, other environmental benefits achieved through urban compost collection program
Growers ask people in cities to send food scraps from holiday meals back to farms

SAN FRANCISCO: Officials and local farmers announced today that city residents and businesses have composted more than 620,000 tons of material, mostly food scraps, through the city's green cart program.

Compost Bin Sunset Scavenger and the City host third annual Great Compost Giveaway - SAN FRANCISCO: Twenty truckloads of compost made from the City's green cart program will be given to San Francisco residents.

The Third Annual Great Compost Giveaway is a "bring your own bucket" event providing 5 to 10 gallons of nutrient-rich compost free to residents. The finished compost, a custom blend made from food scraps collected from restaurants and homes in San Francisco, is a great planting mix for home gardens and container plants.
Compost BinAnnual San Francisco Compost Giveaway Doubles in Size - SAN FRANCISCO: San Francisco's garbage company and the City will double the size of the annual Great Compost Giveaway by giving out 300-cubic-yards of finished compost at this "bring your own bucket" event. Every green thumb will receive 5-10 gallons of our blended "gourmet planting mix," including Four Course Compost made from food scraps collected in San Francisco.
Compost BinNew annex becomes green central in S.F. - SAN FRANCISCO: To accommodate growth of the Food Scrap Compost Program the San Francisco garbage companies developed a facility just for handling food scraps and yard trimmings destined for local compost facilities.

The Organics Annex, a one-of-a-kind building in San Francisco, will open at 10 a.m. Thursday. Inside, food scraps and yard trimmings collected by route trucks will be transferred to long-haul trucks headed to Bay Area compost facilities.
Compost LoadingWhile most shop, vineyards seize any chance to feed soil naturally - December 21, 2006 - NORTHERN CALIFORNIA - Christmas is Monday and local vineyards are stilling applying compost.

Crews managed by Mulehead Growers and Cline Cellars operated three different spreaders on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 on vineyards at 1590 Stage Gulch Road in Sonoma County.
Compost LoadingCompost rush at local vineyards continues into December - December 5, 2006 - NORTHERN CALIFORNIA - The rush by local vineyards to apply food-scrap compost before winter storms arrive continues at a record pace as blue skies extend into December.

Between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1, 2006 area vineyards received and applied more than 450 truckloads (16,000 cubic yards) of compost made with food scraps collected from San Francisco and Oakland restaurants.
Compost SpreadingVineyards apply "custom blends" of food-scrap compost before winter - November 1, 2006 - In the last 60 days modern compost facilities outside Vacaville and Gilroy have shipped 7,500 cubic yards (218 truckloads) of finished compost made with food scraps collected from San Francisco and Oakland restaurants to local vineyards.

The compost, made from a diverse feedstock of kitchen trimmings and plate scrapings, returns nutrients to vineyards and farms, stimulates microbial activity and improves soil structure.

Corporate News

Norcal Waste Systems Redefines the Waste Industry For Good
San Francisco, Calif. - April 27, 2009 - Norcal Waste Systems announced today that it formally changed its corporate name to Recology™.

The name change is rooted in the company's 89-year heritage as one of the nation's first urban recyclers. Recology, with clear roots in words like recycling, renewal, reuse and reduction, signals that the company will be leading the evolution of the industry-eliminating waste from the vocabulary of consumer and industry alike.