The products produced by Zwicky Processing and Recycling Inc. are diverse and continue to expand. “As a company, our goal is to lead the way in recycling because we sincerely believe that everything has a use,” says Zwicky. “Last year we recycled about 270,000 tons of material.”
Currently, 97% of the materials that pass through the operation are recycled. (Just 3% of the recycling stream is not practical to recover.) The recyclable material includes C&D, concrete, brick, block and plastic. Zwicky is an innovator who is always on the lookout for new products that can be developed from an existing product stream.
“It is obvious by what we do that nothing is really a waste. Everything is a commodity. We don’t look at the material that comes in as a waste,” he stresses. “We feel good about diverting it from a landfill, but it is also a commodity for us.”
The company has even developed products for traditionally difficult products such as gypsum board. “We recycle it and it goes into ag products,” says Zwicky. “Gypsum can be used as a substitute for lime to help balance the PH in the soil. The paper also makes a good bedding in the barn.
“Our process is mechanized, but we still have employees,” says Zwicky. “We do a hand separation as well as a mechanical separation. We run five 12-hour day shifts. We used to run two full lines. We actually ran the separation system 20 hours a day, but we reduced that to 12 hours a day, five days a week. We have 68 employees full time.”
Material sourcing has not been an issue. There are incentives for working with Zwicky Processing & Recycling, including the ability to earn LEED credits.
“Most of it comes in from others’ roll-offs, and we get a lot out of transfer stations,” says Zwicky. “Some comes in presorted. Some comes in unsorted. We will work with anybody who has material that we could use and who wants to work with us. We also do quantity pricing and presorted pricing. We actually have a waiting list of people who want to bring material to us. Our limit is that we have to be able to justify taking it in so we can do something with it and put it back out.”