gmhTODAY 19 gmhToday April May 2018 - Page 71

This company upholds a clear and relevant mission of environmental responsibility . Its parent company is the fifth largest recycling and resource recovery company in America with a workforce of 4,000 . And , it ’ s employeeowned . That ’ s admirable .

Recology ’ s Roots
Recology South Valley traces its roots back to the 1950s when John Luchetti and Randy Acker bought Gilroy Garbage , which provided hauling services for local area farms and ranches . In the 1960s they brought John ’ s son Dick and another partner into the business and changed the name to South Valley Disposal .
Two decades of growth and mergers and acquisitions followed . In 1985 , company owners considered either selling the company , conducting a management buyout , or establishing an Employee Stock Ownership Plan ( ESOP ). The later option was chosen in 1986 . The concept of employees owning shares of their companies dates back to the pre- Social Security era of the 1800s when many people aging out of the workforce faced life without a source of income . Company owners decided to set aside stock for their employees as an incentive to work hard and dedicate themselves to their jobs over the long term . That turned out to be a smart move .
In 2009 , the company was renamed Recology South Valley . The founder ’ s two grandsons work for the company today and a significant number of employees have been with the company for decades .
The Quest for Zero Waste
What defines Recology today ? WASTE ZERO . But what does that mean ?
According to Recology General Manager Phil Couchee , “ It ’ s our rallying cry . It means we ’ re making the best and highest use of all resources manufactured , consumed , recovered and remanufactured .”
“ Our goal is to help the community use resources wisely while reducing waste , recycling all that it can , and finding ways to use waste products in ways that benefit the environment ,” Couchee said . He joined Recology in 2004 with a track record of 14 years in the business .
Recology South Valley serves Morgan Hill , San Martin , Gilroy , Hollister , San Juan Bautista , and San Benito County . Its parent company comprises 45 operating companies serving more than 733,000 residential and 109,000 commercial customers in California , Oregon , and Washington .
A Well-Run Operation
Unless you ’ ve lived through a garbage strike , it ’ s easy to take Recology ’ s services for granted . Their drivers pursue daily routes like clockwork , no doubt with an eye out for jaywalkers , dogs off leash , and people texting while driving . They take our yard waste , Christmas trees , food waste , recyclables , batteries , obsolete computers , leftover paint , burned-out lightbulbs , and used motor oil . You name it , Recology takes it off our hands .
They also invest a fair amount of time , energy and money educating us about not wasting things in the first place , which , after all , is cheaper than recycling .
Julie Alter and others on the “ Waste Zero ” team focus their efforts on helping businesses increase recycling and diversion practices while decreasing material going to landfill .
“ Whether I educate customers about recycling , composting or how not to create waste in the first place , I am dedicated to Recologizing our communities ,” Alter said .
The Waste Zero team offers onsite visits to assess clients ’ sustainability goals and constraints , conduct waste stream audits , and customize service options and equipment to client needs .
According to Couchee , the company has to maintain its facilities , processes , and trucks in compliance with ever-evolving local and state regulatory requirements .
How the Numbers Stack Up
“ On average , Morgan Hill and Gilroy residents recycle 58 percent of the waste stream ,” he added . “ Now we ’ re looking at improving things on the commercial side .”
Recology ’ s collection rates are calculated based on a consumer price index ( CPI ) published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the Bay Area . These rates are adjusted annually based on 70 percent of the published CPI .
“ Each truck is a $ 370,000 investment with about a 10-year lifespan ,” Couchee explained . Recology South Valley has a hangar-sized maintenance shop with specially-trained mechanics who can deal with truck hydraulics and other issues to keep the fleet running smoothly and safely . Older trucks are being replaced with new ones powered by compressed natural gas .
Drivers earn special licenses after learning to drive in what is normally the passenger side of a vehicle and to operate the giant arm to pick up garbage and recycling containers and unload their contents into the truck where it ’ s compacted . They ’ re a disciplined bunch . The radio dispatcher arrives at 4:00 am to check on traffic and road conditions and then field customer service requests throughout the day . The first shift of drivers depart at 5:00 am , staying focused on their routes , listening for updates from the dispatcher , and driving safely through busy streets .
Disposal and collection has evolved too . Gone are the days of separate bins for paper , plastic / cans , and glass .
“ Back in 2008 , the industry moved to ‘ single stream ’ recycling because the sorting capabilities of material recovery facilities ( MRFs ) had evolved ,” Couchee said . “ Materials that are clean enough to be remanufactured are separated from
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN APRIL / MAY 2018 gmhtoday . com
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T his company upholds a clear and relevant mission of environmental responsibility. Its parent company is the fifth largest recycling and resource recovery company in America with a workforce of 4,000. And, it’s employee- owned. That’s admirable. Recology’s Roots Recology South Valley traces its roots back to the 1950s when John Luchetti and Randy Acker bought Gilroy Garbage, which provided hauling services for local area farms and ranches. In the 1960s they brought John’s son Dick and another partner into the business and changed the name to South Valley Disposal. Two decades of growth and mergers and acquisitions followed. In 1985, company owners considered either selling the company, conducting a management buyout, or establishing an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The later option was chosen in 1986. The concept of employees owning shares of their companies dates back to the pre- Social Security era of the 1800s when many people aging out of the workforce faced life without a source of income. Company owners decided to set aside stock for their employees as an incentive to work hard and dedicate themselves to their jobs over the long term. That turned out to be a smart move. In 2009, the company was renamed Recology South Valley. The founder’s two grandsons work for the company today and a significant number of employees have been with the company for decades. The Quest for Zero Waste What defines Recology today? WASTE ZERO. But what does that mean? According to Recology General Manager Phil Couchee, “It’s our ral- lying cry. It means we’re making the best and highest use of all resources manufactured, consumed, recovered and remanufactured.” “Our goal is to help the community use resources wisely while reducing waste, recycling all that it can, and finding ways to use waste products in ways that benefit the environment,” Couchee said. He joined Recology in 2004 with a track record of 14 years in the business. Recology South Valley serve [ܙ[[ [X\[[K\\[X[]]\K[[[][K]œ\[\[H\\\ H\][˜\[Y\\[[ܙH[ \Y[X[[ LK [Y\X[\Y\[[YܛXKܙYۋ[\[ۋH[ T[\][ۂ[\[x&]H]YYH\YBZK]8&\X\HZHXx&\\X\™܈ܘ[Y Z\]\\YHZ[B]\ZHܚX][^YH]܈^][\ٙX\ [[H^[[H][ˈ^HZB\X\\K\X\Y\\KXXX\]\Y\؜]B\]\Yݙ\Z[ \Y []Y[[\Y[܈[ [HB] XHZ\]ٙ\[˂^H[[\HZ\[[[و[YK[\H[[ۙ^HYX][\X]\[[[H\XKX Y\[ \X\\[XX[˂[YH[\[\ۈH8'\B\'HX[H\Z\Yܝۈ[[˜\[\\[ܙX\HXX[[]\[ۂXX\[HXܙX\[X]\X[[[[ ']\HYX]H\Y\X]XX[\[܈0ܙX]B\H[H\XKH[HYX]YX^[\[][]Y\8'H[\ZY H\H\X[Hٙ\ۜ]H\]\\Y[&H\Z[X[]H[[ۜZ[ۙX\HX[H]Y][\Z^H\XH[ۜ[\]Z\ BY[Y[YY˂Xܙ[XYKH\[B\XZ[Z[]X[]Y\\\[SH8(SԑSS8(SPTSTS PVH NX[\X[H]]\Y][›[[]HY[]ܞH\]Z\[Y[˂H[X\X\'ۈ]\YK[ܙ[[[[B\Y[XXH N\[وH\BX[K8'HHYY 8'x&\H[˜][\ݚ[[ۈH[Y\X[YK'BXx&\X[ۈ]\\B[[]Y\YۈHۜ[Y\XB[^ JHX\YHH\X]HقX܈]\X܈H^H\XK\B]\\HY\Y[X[H\Yۂ\[وHX\YK'XXX\H [\Y[]X]H L ^YX\Y\[8'HXYB^Z[Y XH][^H\˜H[\\^YXZ[[[H]XX[K]Z[YYX[X[X[]XY][X[\\Y\Y\HY][[[H[Y[K\X\HZ[\XY]]ۙ\\YH\\Y]\[\˂]\X\XX[X[\Y\X\[]H[]\ܛX[BH\[\YHوHZXH[›\]HHX[\HX\\YB[XX[۝Z[\[[YZ\۝[[HX\H]8&\˜\XY ^x&\HH\\[Y[ HY[\]\\]\]  [BXۈYX[Yۙ][ۜ˜[[Y[\Y\\XH\]Y\Y]H^KH\Yو]\\\] N [K^Z[™\YۈZ\]\\[[܂\]\HH\]\[][œY[HY\HY]˂\[[X[ۈ\]YˈۙH\HH^\و\\]H[™܈\\\X[[\˂'X[  H[\H[ݙY8&[HX[x&HXX[X]\HBܝ[\X[]Y\وX]\X[Xݙ\BX[]Y\ THY]Y 8'HXYBZY 8'X]\X[]\HX[[Y˜H[X[YX\Y\H\\]YBZ^KB