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The treasure in trash

Pallets come in from collection sites stacked and wrapped and ready for processing. Once weighed, items are separated, evaluated for potential re-use or broken down.


June 5, 2012

One person’s trash is potential treasure from the perspective of Mark Rea, founder and president of Advanced Recovery, Inc. (AR) in Port Jervis. The recycling company, whose local branch operates out of a large warehouse on Mechanic Street, has been steadily growing and is set for more of the same. “2012 looks to be a big expansion year for us,” said Rea. “Ours is a business of pennies, but it all adds up.”

The family-owned and operated company is in the business of recycling, repairing and refurbishing for reuse many of the items that people and businesses discard. While electronics is its primary focus, metal recycling is a secondary aspect.

Rea is proud to report that AR recently received its Responsible Recycling Practices (R2) certification, an EPA designation that cost the company $10,000. “It means that we are now compliant with all of the regulations,” he said. “It’s a very formalized process that gives businesses and consumers a security net that their material is being handled properly.

Even our downstream vendors have to be approved for our certification.”

Rea was a chief financial officer at a data center design/build company who was ready for a change of pace at the same point that a small recycling business in New Jersey became available. When he realized how much potential there was in trash, he knew he’d stumbled onto his calling.

“When you find something that you love to do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” he said. “I was made for this business. We’ve taken it from a 10,000-square-foot warehouse into three states and multiple warehouses.” The Port Jervis location opened in 2004. Additional facilities are located in Newark, NJ and Fairmont, NC. A new location is in the works for Baltimore, MD.

Also on the horizon is a new program offering compensation to municipalities, schools, governments and businesses for electronics. Based on volume, the program encourages recycling of “high-tech trash” such as central processing units and servers since there is a payback for most electronics.
Over 600,000 pounds of computer equipment arrives at AR monthly and the company salvages circuit boards, print heads and semiconductors while also reclaiming precious and semiprecious metals.