As the son of a metals recycler, Stan Chen was well-versed in the industry when he started his own metal recycling operation in 2007. Now, as the president and co-founder of RecycleGO, Chen is leveraging technology to improve recycling.
“Growing up in the industry, I was appalled at the quantity of recyclable material that never reached a materials recovery facility (MRF) to be recycled. It seemed that lack of proactive services and inefficient collection largely contributed to the low diversion rate,” he says. “Watching the devastating effects of climate change intensify over the years, I was moved to create a company that would provide businesses, haulers and recyclers solutions to the issues that lead to low recycling levels.”
Launched in 2016 in Irvington, N.J., RecycleGO is a recycling service and technology provider aiming to leverage blockchain and other technologies to improve the recycling system by optimizing recycling operations and verifying supply chains and carbon offset.
The company’s first software solution, the dual-system logistics applications Mission Control and Chariot, focuses on customer and asset management as well as billing and routing for haulers. By verifying sustainability impact, RecycleGO’s blockchain-backed ledger allows brands and governments to validate their current sustainability programs.
“Verified sustainability incentivizes good actors to keep up the good work and encourages businesses and governments to outperform the model of business as usual,” says Chen. “The blockchain platform we are developing will make recycling easier and better by providing supply chain tracking, data and insights, education, resources and support.”
Waste360 recently sat down with Chen to discuss the company’s technology and how it will impact the waste and recycling industry.
Waste360: How is RecycleGO leveraging new technologies and business models to improve the ease and efficiency of other companies’ recycling efforts and increase their sustainability impact?
Stan Chen: RecycleGO is providing the recycling value chain with a custom suite of software to make everyday operations more efficient with automation and data reporting. We are building innovative partnerships to help increase consumer education and promote high-quality materials so recyclers have a larger and more pristine stream.
Our blockchain platform uses proof of impact and chain of custody tracking to verify the recycled material as it moves through supply chain, promoting increased recycled content and recyclability of consumer products.
Waste360: How is RecycleGO bringing about a better sustainable approach to the economy?
Stan Chen: Our software solutions facilitate awareness of recycling as a value chain of commodities by encouraging communication and interaction between the individual links. In seeing your hauler approach your building to collect the recyclables, and in knowing the actual story of your product's history as a recycled material, businesses and consumers become more aware of the importance of sending clean and recyclable material to collection.
By seeing how the recycled material passes through the supply chain via the blockchain ledger, brands and product designers become more attuned to the definition of recyclable and the possibilities for efficiently increasing recycled content of their product.
Waste360: What technology does RecycleGO offer specifically?
Stan Chen: RecycleGO offers a Carter Performance Management system that comprises a desktop mission control for dispatch and an application chariot for drivers. Mission control allows haulers to digitally manage their customers, billing, vehicles and drivers as well as optimize their routes according to commercial vehicle traffic routing and other customizable settings.
Our application for business owners will enable site managers to coordinate recycling and waste pickups with their hauler, including on-demand pickups and real-time hauling updates. Our blockchain platform will verify company sustainability using proof of impact data of recycled plastics, metal and other materials as they make their way through the value chain.
Waste360: What is the company’s mission or goals as it relates to recycling?
Stan Chen: RecycleGO’s mission is to provide a forward-thinking, streamlined recycling service that mutually benefits business and the environment. From pickup to processing, we strive to empower environmentally conscious building owners, recyclers and brands to easily and effectively recycle more waste materials than ever before.
Through real-time data, customized plans, innovative technologies and premium service, we work with businesses to make it easier for them to increase the amounts they recycle. We believe there is such a thing as a closed loop value chain, and we work to help companies prove that it's possible.
Waste360: Who is RecycleGO's target customer base?
Stan Chen: Our logistics solution provides small to medium-sized waste and recycling haulers with an affordable yet premium solution. Once we release our user application, business and property owners will also be able to use our software to streamline their facilities' operations. RecycleGO's blockchain-backed supply chain tracking aims to help brands verify their supply chains and conscious consumers validate the sustainability of their products.