Just shy of twenty years ago, Revolution Recovery, LLC, a company dedicated to recycling construction waste, formed in reaction to the amount of garbage produced on construction sites. Now boasting three locations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, the company is looking ahead to where the market is today, and what could be in store for recycling in construction.
Owner Jon Wybar and Director of Sustainability Fern Gookin met with Grid, a Greater Philadelphia magazine covering issues related to sustainability, to discuss issues facing the recycling industry in the Philadelphia region.
What did the construction and demolition recycling industry look like in 2004 when Revolution Recovery started?
Wybar: At that time, LEED and green building were just hitting the construction market. But the waste industry was not interested in multiple dumpsters to separate recycling. So after pitching people on drywall recycling, contractors kept saying, “Well, okay, but I need help with all these other materials.”
We quickly realized to tell them we could do everything. And that’s kind of how we got started and expanded to wood, cardboard, plastics, metal, concrete, brick, et cetera. But recycling wasn’t really a big thing on the East Coast for the construction industry, so we were swimming against the current. Since that time much more construction and demolition recycling has emerged.