Enjoy a moment to breathe. This page is loading.

Waste & Recycling
San Francisco, USA
Click to learn more
Badges :
Waste & Recycling
San Francisco, USA
Badges :
Badges Earned
Why you are in business
to maximize benefit rather than maximize profit

Meet the mission

Clearly defining your mission, using a theory of change to help determine your direction, and developing metrics to measure your progress.
What your business offers
is a product or service that creates a better world

Depth of impact

Your product of service helps people and/or the planet thrive, often through the introduction of a new innovation.

Scale of Impact

Your product of service is designed to scale to larger regions, often through industry collaboration, partnerships, open-sourcing, franchising or other models of dissemination that help you expand your positive impact.
How you run your business
creates a positive impact on people and the planet

Exceptional work environment

Environments that are fun, inspiring and an evolutionary leap beyond the beige cubicle.

Empowered employees

Autonomy, servant leadership, generous benefits, constant learning, and hiring based on strengths, shared values and a passion for the mission.

Everyone Wins

Care and concern for customers, suppliers, distributors, investors, and the community.

Earth friendly office

Choosing eco friendly supplies and suppliers and minimizing waste, water and carbon-based energy.

Eco Design

Designing your products, services and manufacturing processes to be carbon-neutral, zero waste, and non-toxic.

Replenish the planet

Using your business as a platform to spread environmental awareness and to support environmental causes
Creation story
A pioneer in recycling since 1921

More than five generations ago, before recycling became fashionable or mandated by law, Recology was a pioneer in recycling.

Recology traces its roots back to the Gold Rush era when immigrants from the province of Genoa in northern Italy came to San Francisco looking for opportunities. They found work doing what no one else wanted to do—picking up other people’s garbage and reselling or repurposing what was valuable. These early scavengers formed small alliances and created the companies that have become Recology. In 1986 and 1987, these companies merged in a series of transactions that placed the ownership of Recology in the hands of the Recology Employee Stock Ownership Plan and made it one of the nation’s 10 largest 100 percent employee-owned companies.

1990 – making art out of trash

Recology launches the now famous Artist in Residence program, that gives professional and student artists a studio space (a shipping container at its Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center), a stipend, and the opportunity to use Recology’s trash to make art.

2000 – an ambitious target met!

In 2000, Recology meets San Francisco’s then incredibly ambitious goal of diverting 50 percent of waste from landfills.


Baled Commodities
The introduction of curbside composting

Recology transforms residential composting establishing the first and largest curbside yard trimmings and food scraps collection program in the country that returns nutrients to the soil using material that was historically thrown away.

Fan3 Rollout Street
October 2012 – 80% landfill diversion achieved!

On October 5th, 2012 San Francisco Mayor, Edwin M. Lee,  announces Recology’s success in helping San Francisco achieve an 80 percent landfill diversion rate, setting national recycling and compost rate records as the highest of any city in North America.

“Recycling and composting is not only good for our environment, it is also good for our economy,” said Mayor Lee. “Recycling alone creates 10 times more jobs than simply sending refuse to the landfill, and I applaud Recology, the Department of Environment and San Franciscans for reaching this record milestone of 80 percent diversion.”

mayor lee announcement
Waste Zero by 2020

Recology sets its most ambitious target yet: Waste Zero by 2020

Recycled art goes mainstream

The Artist in Residence Program has grown into a diverse community of thousands of artists, students, organizers and educators who share a common goal of creating a more sustainable world. An Art of Recology Exhibit at the San Francisco International Airport helps showcase this art to millions of travelers.

tail SFO
2014 – Changing the game

As of 2013, Recology serves 116 communities, more than 680,000 residential and 90,000 commercial customers across California, Nevada, Washington and Oregon. This equates to approximately 2.3 million tons of waste of which the large majority will be diverted away from landfills thanks to Recology’s pioneering work.

GameChangers 500 recognizes Recology as one of the top 500 purpose-driven organizations in the world, honoring them not only for their significant influence in advancing the waste and recycling industry, but also as a model purpose-driven organization that uses business as a force for good.

Theory of change
A Theory of Change is a method of describing how an organization’s intended impact will be realized; it’s the cause-and-effect logic for how an organization works backwards from its mission to create products, services and other initiatives that create the desired positive impact they intend. A Theory of Change is a common best practice used by Non-profits that is now being widely used by For-profit organizations that define themselves as purpose-first rather than profit-first. The Theory of Change includes metrics the organizations uses to to measure their success and monitor their progress towards creating their intended impact.
Below is a simplified info-graphic of a Theory of Change. To learn more about creating a detailed Theory of Change, click here
Intended impact
the positive impact we intend to create
A World Without Waste
We are redefining the waste industry by making the best and highest use of all resources—finding new ways to process and reuse what was once considered waste.
Waste Zero
We are committed to make San Francisco the world's first Waste Zero city by 2020, and for it to be a model of how to reduce waste and create sustainable communities.
Our Strategy
to create the impact we intend
  • Waste Processing Technology
    Recology will continue to identify, prioritize, and invest in waste processing technology that supports our ZERO WASTE vision.
  • Optimizing the Usefulness of Resources
    We optimize the usefulness of resources we recover using a process of collection, recovery processing and marketing.
  • Community Education Initiatives
    We bring our mission to the communities we serve through educational programs that help the general public learn about waste reduction practices.
  • Community Engagement
    Creating a ZERO WASTE city relies on the community being committed to this goal. Being highly engaged within the community and offering exceptional customer service helps us all stay on track towards our intended impact.
Impact Measurement
how we measure our progress towards our intended impact


of waste diverted from landfills


Residential customers served


Million Pounds of waste processed


Million tons of compostable waste collected.
(This equates to preventing more than 305,944 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released – equal to offsetting emissions from all vehicles crossing San Francisco's Bay Bridge for two years.)

Best practices
  • renewable energy
  • recology solar
  • renewable energy

Renewable Energy

To reduce our carbon imprint, Recology has implemented the following renewable energy initiatives: Compressed natural gas (CNG) is used to heat offices through a number of stationary HVAC systems. CNG powers many Recology trucks, reducing emissions and noise levels. Recology Oregon Recovery participates in the PGE Clean Wind program, maintaining…

Read More
  • logo

Employee Stock Ownership Plan

A major contributor to our employees feeling empowered is our ESOP—Employee Stock Ownership Plan.  Recology has a long history of employee ownership, dating back to the early employee cooperatives in 1921.  As Mark Lomele, our Chief Financial Officer, likes to say, “We were an ESOP before there were ESOPs.”  Today…

Read More
  • WhatBin_Logo_300

Sustainability Education & Implementation

Recology believes it is everyone’s responsibility to protect the environment and create a sustainable planet.  To accomplish this, Recology educates the general public and our employees about waste reduction practices. We also practice what we preach at all Recology offices and through our business practices: Recology corporate office is 100%…

Read More
  • PEC Logo
  • light sensor

Automatic Lighting Controls

Pacific Energy Concepts helped us evaluate the benefits of reducing consumption of electricity by installing occupancy light sensors. These sensors detect the presence or absence of activity within a space and turn lights on and off accordingly. This installation is estimated to lead to annual cost savings of approximately $9,900.

Read More
  • bottomline tech high res

Going Paperless

We also are using Bottomline Technologies for accounting services to help become paperless with invoices, payment to vendors, and interdepartmental services.

Read More
  • walkstation-desk 2
  • Walkstation desk

Walkstation Treadmill Desk

In order to support the employee quality of life, our Oregon office is installing a “Walkstation Treadmill Desk” (available from Steelcase) in the office. This “Walkstation Treadmill Desk” is whisper-quiet for the office environment and allows employees to sit, stand or walk and work. Employees can exercise while at work,…

Read More
Although diverse in experiences, our employees are united in exhibiting the following behaviors:

Considering our customers
Respecting others
Being accountable for actions taken
Acting with honesty and integrity
Asking questions and asking for help
Practicing the 4Rs of Recology: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recologize!

We look for people who want to make an impact and are excited to help solve the challenges of resource recovery.

For more available job openings, see: http://www.recology.com/index.php/recology-open-positions

Get in touch with us


Recology Inc.
50 California Street, 24th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111

Social Media

Please send us a message

We'd love to hear from you