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.
AR also sells, services and upgrades computers at heavily discounted prices as a community service, according to vice president of operations David Delucca. To keep the prices low for those without the means to afford a new computer, AR harvests usable parts and swaps them into discarded computers.
At the heart of it is finding the value in discarded things, while looking for better and quicker ways to process them without cutting corners.
“When you get involved in this, you find out that you have a responsibility to this earth and the people on it,” said Delucca, “I was a cop for 21 years and retired into this and my whole thought process is now different. The only way to really be environmentally sound is by taking care of these items and getting rid of them properly. We’re not landfilling anything. We recycle 99.97% of everything we touch.”
AR is also venturing into demolition in addition to reclamation, dismantling servers in data centers and recycling goods from offices. Meanwhile, the company is constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency and invested $30,000 last year to install a huge biomass furnace to heat its warehouse. The burner allows them to recycle their abundant wood product, from broken pallets to TV casings.
The company is also interested in learning more from its customers. “Tell us what you need, and be patient, because eventually we’ll have it at one of our locations,” said Rea.
Businesses and individuals can unload their unwanted tech trash, appliances and metal items for free to AR, which will safely remove any toxic materials they contain—and make a few pennies in the process. Stop by during open hours or call to schedule an appointment. Visit www.AdvancedRecovery.com  for more information, or call 845/858-8809.
Upcoming collection events in Pike County
An AR collection event is scheduled for June 23 at the Palmyra Township Building, 115 Buehler Lane, Paupack, PA. Call 570/226-2230 for more information.
In collaboration with ARC, the Pike County Commissioners, Blooming Grove Township Supervisors and Dutch’s Market will host a household electronics recycling event on July 21, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is open to all Pike County residents free of charge. Drop-off locations are at the Blooming Grove Township Municipal Building on Route 739, Blooming Grove; and Dutch’s Market on Route 507, Greentown. Businesses must pre-register by July 12 by contacting Bob Travers at 845/858-8809 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . Monitors, printers, keyboards, VCRs, terminals, cables, fax machines, radios, modems, CRTs, copiers, typewriters and stereo equipment will be accepted. For more information, call Christine Kerstetter at 570/296-3434.