October 19, 2022 / 3 minute read
Sustainability Report Highlights ADS Recycling Operations
Written by Kristen Rinehart, Vice President and General Manager of Recycling
Just a few months ago, I was thrilled to join ADS as our first vice president and general manager of recycling. It came at a great time, as the company was putting together the latest Sustainability Report, and ADS had recently taken the top spot as the largest plastic recycler in North America.
With the publication of that FY2022 Sustainability Report, I got an inside look at how ADS has made recycling and sustainability a core part of what the company is and does. For example, ADS:
- Recycled about 600 million pounds of plastic in FY2022.
- Drew nearly 61% of pipe product revenue from remanufactured products.
- Acquired Jet Polymer Recycling to quickly increase our recycling capacity.
Beyond these important benchmarks, I also saw that ADS did an amazing job in working with material recovery facilities (MRFs) to source the bales of HDPE and PPE to meet our manufacturing demands, particularly in this past year as plastic supply has remained tight. And historically, the company has focused so intently on the materials science of recycled materials that today we’re producing the highest-quality recycled plastic pellets ever. It’s having a positive impact on both our production capacity and the quality of pipe we produce for our customers managing stormwater for our communities.
ADS’ Recycling Future
My work on the recycling side of our business is to make sure we focus on increasing our capacity to both collect these plastic supplies as well as the ability to produce as much high-quality plastic pellet as possible. To do so, we’re focusing on efficiency improvements by better utilizing our equipment to sort, wash, grind and pelletize recycled plastic.
We’re also now working with our key plastic supply manufacturing partners to actually produce plastic pellets for us. We’re teaching them how to find the right plastic stock, grind, wash, filter, and blend it into our perfect “recipe” so we can have the supply we need to produce for our customers.
And finally, we’ve set an audacious goal to use 1 billion pounds of recycled plastic annually by 2032.
There is a tremendous opportunity for me to continue this work at ADS, as the number of wins it presents for our business, our communities and environment keep adding up. Because we collect single-use plastic and manufacture a stormwater pipe that has a lifecycle of decades, while protecting our communities and our most precious resource: water.
We don’t view recycling like many companies, where it’s something they have to do at a cost to their business. For us, it’s a natural part of our business and cascades down to our employees, who also take pride in the individual roles they play in protecting the environment. ADS recycles post-consumer and post-industrial plastic into our products, our durable goods stay in use for decades to help collect, manage, filter and store one of our most precious natural resources. What we do feels good, it’s not artificial and I’m happy to be a part of that.
I’ll share more about what we’re taking on with our recycling here over the next several months. Please reach out if you have any questions about our recycling operations at firstname.lastname@example.org.