Recology announced the release of its 2022 Sustainability Update, which showcases the company’s commitments to promote sustainable and resilient communities and advance its vision of a world without waste. The recycling and composting activities of Recology and its partners avoided 1.6 million metric tons of greenhouse gas equivalents in 2021, which is nine times more than the emissions generated from the company’s own operations.

In partnership with industry peers, Recology collected and processed more than 1.3 million tons of recyclable and compostable materials, including more than 735,000 tons of organic materials. “All of that is material that’s been diverted from the landfill,” said Recology CEO Sal Coniglio. “By recovering recyclable materials and turning food scraps and yard trimmings into rich compost for farms, we’re helping this material achieve its highest and best use.”

Other 2021 activities and achievements highlighted in the report include: celebrating 25 years of commercial-scale composting, which Recology pioneered; maintaining commitments to maximize resource recovery and address climate change through the expanded use of renewable fuels, carbon-free electricity, and more; and fostering a more equitable, inclusive, and transparent workplace.

After a quarter century of pioneering commercial-scale composting, Recology continues to expand its organics processing services. In California, the company is helping communities meet the organic waste recovery targets and other requirements of SB 1383, the statewide law requiring all municipalities to reduce landfilling of compostable materials by 75 percent by 2025. “We continue to push the boundaries of resource recovery,” Coniglio stated, “investing millions in our composting facilities in Oregon and California and positioning ourselves to help jurisdictions meet the requirements of progressive organics recovery legislation.”

The report also acknowledges a significant milestone for the company: powering nearly 83 percent of its fleet with renewable or alternative fuels in 2021, an improvement from 80 percent in 2020. This achievement is owed to a company-wide transition to more sustainable fuels including renewable diesel (R99) and renewable natural gas (RNG). The company also continues to explore the emerging electrification market for heavy-duty vehicles and currently has four all-electric collection vehicles in operation.

Other highlights from the report:

·        82% of facility electricity came from renewable or carbon-free sources

·        The shift toward renewable fuels has resulted in a 43% decrease in diesel use and a 20% reduction in fleet-based emissions since 2019

·        41,500 MWh of renewable energy was produced by landfill gas conversion engines – enough to power 3,800 homes for a year.

·        65% of employee-owners identify with an ethnic minority

·        75% of promotions were given to employee-owners who identify as women and/or members of an ethnic minority group

“2021 was a year of transformation and revitalization for Recology,” said Coniglio. “As our communities began to recover from the impacts of 2020, Recology embraced the opportunity to strengthen the foundations of our culture and our operations. We welcomed new executive and board leaders, bringing fresh perspectives, a renewed focus on company direction, and reinforced commitments to employee ownership and operational excellence. We bolstered our governance and enterprise risk management protocols, and continued to prioritize health, wellness, and safety throughout our operations.”

Coniglio said the 2022 Update also sets the stage for the company’s ESG reporting future, including a commitment to set an emission-reduction target and align with Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) reporting standards for its next report publication in 2023. “When I look at 2022 and beyond, I see opportunity,” Coniglio said. “Opportunity to reinvigorate employee-owners’ sense of belonging. Opportunity to further invest in resource recovery, to keep materials out of landfills, and to support the circular economy. Opportunity to mitigate the effects of climate change through composting, recycling, and renewable energy. Most of all, I see the opportunity to continue providing value to our communities as we pursue a world without waste.”

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