Republic Services, Inc. has been named 2020 Organics Recycler of the Year by the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), which honors innovators and leaders in the industry who have made substantial contributions to recycling. The industry award recognizes Republic’s leadership in diverting food and yard waste from landfills through food recovery, organics pre-processing and composting – contributing to the circular economy.
“As one of the nation’s largest recycling and waste services providers, Republic Services is committed to protecting our planet, and extending the life of the materials we recover from the waste stream is a priority,” said Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability. “The organics industry is an emerging sector providing tremendous potential for us to both grow our business and strengthen the circular economy. We are proud to be leading the way in the industry.”
Food and yard waste currently represent about 30 percent of the municipal solid waste that’s sent to landfills, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. By diverting this material to organics programs, safe and edible food can be recovered for people or animals to consume, and green waste can be recycled into a nutrient-rich compost for soil or into biogas that can be used as fuel.
“The Organics Recycler of the Year award recognizes organizations that have made a significant impact in minimizing food waste in their community, and Republic Services has demonstrated innovation and leadership in this area,” said Darrell Smith, NWRA president and CEO. “Republic’s efforts to process 1.7 billion pounds of yard and food waste into 275,000 tons of compost in 2019 is worthy of this award.”
Republic Services currently operates 11 compost facilities in five states, including California, where there is greater demand due to legislation mandating the diversion of organic waste from landfills. Many of Republic’s composting facilities are technologically advanced, using mechanical aeration to speed up the biological process and reduce odors. The facility at the Otay Landfill in Chula Vista, Calif., is an innovative example – it’s completely off the grid, using solar-powered fans and a cover technology that requires little energy consumption and traps odors, dust and emissions.
In Southern California, Republic also runs an organics pre-processing operation that removes contamination from food waste derived from restaurants and grocers, and maintains a robust food recovery program that diverts safe and edible food from the waste stream.
Organics recycling directly supports Republic’s commitment to the circular economy to increase recovery of key materials by 40% by 2030. To learn more about Republic’s Blue Planet® sustainability platform, visit RepublicServices.com/sustainability.