recology compost
Among the 1.3 million tons of material Recology helped recycle or diver last year was more than 735,000 tons of organic materials, says the company.
Photo courtesy of Recology.

Recology points to diversion program impacts

California company says it helped divert 1.3 million tons of recyclable and compostable materials from landfills last year.

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San Francisco-based Recology says information gathered for its 2022 Sustainability Update includes that last year, “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.”

The company calculates its 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.”

Regarding the curbside recyclables and organic material collected, Recology CEO Sal Coniglio comments, “All of that is material that’s been diverted from the landfill. 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 highlighted in the report include that Recology has been involved in commercial-scale composting for 25 years, with Recology saying it helped pioneer that activity.

The company says last year it also engaged in “maintaining commitments to maximize resource recovery and address climate change through the expanded use of renewable fuels, carbon-free electricity, and more.”

Recology says it continues to expand its organics processing services. In California, the company says it 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, investing millions in our composting facilities in Oregon and California and positioning ourselves to help jurisdictions meet the requirements of progressive organics recovery legislation,” says Coniglio.

The report also indicates Recology powered nearly 83 percent of its collection 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),” says the firm.

“When I look at 2022 and beyond, I see opportunity,” states Coniglio. Among those, he lists an “opportunity to further invest in resource recovery, to keep materials out of landfills, and to support the circular economy.”