Collective Recyclers

We provide intelligent recycling services.
reduce > reuse > recycle. rethink.

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What We Do

Intelligent recycling services

Recycling is smart. It conserves natural resources, increases productivity, creates jobs, and saves us all money in the long run. It is one important part of making a sustainable society.

It's a great idea, but we've only begun to scratch the surface of its potential. Most reusable and recycleable material ends up in the waste stream rather than the reuse and recycling stream.

Collective Recyclers wants to rethink recycling. We know that there is a huge demand for post-consumer goods and materials, and a strong willingness among consumers to supply that demand. What's missing is a way of bringing them together.

Collective Recyclers is changing that. We partner with businesses, community groups, non-profits, government organizations, and citizens to save goods from the landfill, and we leverage our knowledge of regional, national, and international markets to get them where they are needed. While we specialize in textile reuse and recycling, we provide a comprehensive recycling service.

With savvy and commitment, we are making recycling work.

Collection services

We help businesses, organizations, and communities dispose of recyclable and reusable materials in a responsible manner while considerably reducing their disposal costs. On average, the groups we serve experience a reduction by half in waste management costs. Everything we collect is sorted first for reuse, then for recycling; less than 5% of what we collect goes to the landfill. Our service is completely free of charge to your organization. We provide all necessary storage containers, bins, and the like, and we collect from them on a frequent basis, tailored to suit your needs.

We collect a wide variety of goods and materials. Generally anything that might be donated to and resold by a secondhand store is accepted. We do not currently accept furniture, but we do now accept electronics at our Laurel warehouse and at several other locations (E-waste page). We intend to be the first comprehensive recycling service in our region, so as we continue to grow, we will begin accepting even more types of recyclables. Please read our current list of items we accept.

Get started today!

Sales

We can provide a consistent supply of credential and institutional textiles. We insist on shipping high-quality goods. We can be flexible with the mix we send you, based on your needs.

If you are interested in finding out more about what we can supply, please contact us.

Areas we serve

We're currently operating hubs in Billings, Helena, Bozeman/Livingston, and elsewhere. Check back soon for a comprehensive list, including fully interactive map.

Why It Matters

reduce > reuse > recycle. rethink.

‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ is the accepted waste management hierarchy, describing an approach that reaps the maximum benefit from material resources while generating the minimum amount of waste. To this we would add another ‘R’: rethink.

There has been a welcome upsurge in attention given to recycling in recent years. Unfortunately there hasn't been as great an emphasis on reuse. Reuse is less energy-intensive and generates less waste than recycling goods into materials. Collecting for reuse helps those in developing countries supply themselves with the necessities of living. And collection for reuse produces more jobs than any other form of waste management.

Collective Recyclers is all about applying practical intelligence to the problems of waste, especially when there is a poorly met need in much of the world for what is being discarded, and the waste directly and indirectly harms our shared environment. We focus strongly on diverting goods from the waste stream for reuse, only resorting to recycling materials when reuse is impossible. And our reuse/recycling model involves extending collection services deeply into less-populated areas which have previously been neglected.

Please read our White Paper, Textile Reuse and Recycling As an Environmentally and Socially Responsible Practicepdf icon, for an in-depth analysis of how textile recycling benefits people and their environment. If you're interested in recycling in general, you can keep abreast of the latest recycling news by browsing our news feeds.

Environmental Benefits

The depositing of waste in landfills has numerous primary and secondary negative effects on the natural environment.

Primary effects

  • Loss of natural habitat: Textiles in the landfill, in common with many other ostensibly bio-degradable items, will decompose very slowly in the extant anaerobic conditions, and considering their large bulk, occupy a significant space in the landfill, contributing to landfill growth.
  • Pollution: To the extent that it does decompose, textile waste is converted into methane gas, which must be burnt, releasing polluting combustion products, or released into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and climate change.

Secondary effects

  • Replacement: Serviceable clothing that is not reused must be replaced with new clothing. The production of this clothing is energy-intensive, creates its own pollution, puts pressure on virgin resources, & calls for the use of large quantities of dyes and fixing agents which are harmful to the environment.
  • Transportation: The transportation of both the raw materials and finished product constitutes a considerable environmental burden in terms of energy consumption as well as pollution.

For Collective Recyclers, the primary emphasis is on reuse. Over 95% of what we collect is reused, the majority of the remainder recycled. Together, these practices fill a demand that would otherwise require the environmentally harmful process of manufacturing and distributing new products, most from manufacturers operating under lax environmental standards, while also keeping tons of perfectly good material out of the landfill, mitigating both the primary and secondary effects of landfill dumping.

See our white paperpdf icon for references and more detail.

Meeting Needs

The majority of textiles that are reclaimed will ultimately find their way to populations enduring economic hardship, predominantly in developing countries. There is a strong need amongst these peoples—who must subsist in the best of times on an income that is only a small fraction of that enjoyed by citizens of wealthy industrialized nations—for affordable clothing, shoes, and other common items such as books and household items.

Textile reclamation has an undeniably salutary effect on the lives of consumers in developing countries. The clothing and other items made available by the trade in second-hand clothing in those countries is more affordable than either domestic or imported new clothing. A number of studies have demonstrated that all socio-economic groups are aided on the consumption side by the second-hand clothing trade, but especially the rural poor. All data suggest that textile reclamation improves the quality of life in developing countries, especially for the poorest amongst them. In this way it operates similarly to thrift and second-hand stores in wealthy nations.

See our white paperpdf icon for references and more detail.

Jobs All Round

Textile reuse and recycling operations bring jobs all along the line, from the point of collection all the way to points of sale in local enonomies the world over.

In general, reuse industries sustain a great many more jobs within the United States than the ‘traditional’ waste-disposal industry per volume. For instance, while a landfill and incineration facility will sustain one job per 10,000 tons of waste per year, and a conventional materials recovery facility will need ten workers for the same volume of waste, textile reclamation will put eighty-five people to work. Textile reclamation ranks third behind only computer reuse and plastic product recycling in job creation within the recycling industry itself.

There exists a broad field of opportunity created by second-hand imports in developing countries both for entrepreneurs and labor. In Ghana alone, for instance, 150,000 people work in the second-hand clothing sector. These tend to be better-paying jobs. For example, in Rwanda ‘budgets obtained from both tailors and used clothing retailers indicate that self-employment earnings in used clothing retailing exceed those in tailoring by 10 to 50 percent’. Again, ‘all the data suggest that operators’ net incomes tend to be significantly above the average in urban Zimbabwe’.

See our white paperpdf icon for references and more detail.

Recycling News Feeds

Crews work to control fire at Allied Recycling in Fort Myers - Wink News


Wink News

Crews work to control fire at Allied Recycling in Fort Myers
Wink News
FORT MYERS, Fla.- Metro Parkway is shut down while firefighters try to manage the flames at a recycling plant. Smoke is visible miles away from Allied Recycling located near Veronica S Shoemaker Boulevard and Hanson Street. It's unclear at this time if ...
Crews battling fire at Fort Myers recycling centerNBC2 News

all 4 news articles »

Posted to recycling - Google News

Posted on 29 May 2015 | 1:34 pm

Why Starbucks doesn't recycle cups - Business Insider


Business Insider

Why Starbucks doesn't recycle cups
Business Insider
Starbucks can't provide enough cups to justify the costly recycling process. A pilot program in 2010 collected three tons of cups from 170 Toronto stores. But that was only a tiny fraction of the 51.5 million tons of recyclable paper products collected ...

and more »

Posted to recycling - Google News

Posted on 29 May 2015 | 12:32 pm

Grenada County awarded MDEQ grant for recycling project - WTVA


WTVA

Grenada County awarded MDEQ grant for recycling project
WTVA
The MDEQ says other cities and counties can apply for similar grants to prevent and clean up unauthorized dumps; to aid in hiring local solid waste enforcement officers; for public education efforts on solid waste disposal and recycling; and to ...

and more »

Posted to recycling - Google News

Posted on 29 May 2015 | 12:11 pm

How The Unprofitability Of Recycling Affects Everyone - waste360


Patch.com

How The Unprofitability Of Recycling Affects Everyone
waste360
Benzinga chimes in with the latest report on how the high costs associated with recycling are making it difficult for waste and recycling firms to offer the service. The issue was the subject of a recent webinar and is something the National Waste ...
Are There Any Changes to How Trash and Recycling Should be Placed ...Patch.com
Markets - Weekly Prices Update - 30 May 2015Materials Recycling World

all 4 news articles »

Posted to recycling - Google News

Posted on 29 May 2015 | 10:34 am

How The Unprofitability Of Recycling Affects Everyone

The cost of recycling is a hot button issue of late. Benzinga has the latest report on how its affecting companies.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 29 May 2015 | 9:48 am

EPA Working to Contain S.C. Landfill Fire

The EPA continues to work to contain a landfill fire in Chester County, S.C., that has been raging for more than six months.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 29 May 2015 | 9:42 am

Pennsylvania Landfill Odor Contained

Valley News
The air is sweeter along the Route 12A corridor in West Lebanon, Pa. now that the landfill has a fully functioning flare to burn off most of the foul smells previously found there.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 29 May 2015 | 9:37 am

Florida Falling Short Of Ambitious Recycling Goal

The Florida Legislature passed a law in 2008 establishing a statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be reached by the year 2020. With only five years left to reach the goal, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, or FDEP, reports the state recycling rate is just 49 percent.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 29 May 2015 | 9:29 am

Leachate Issues Cost NY Landfill $1.4M

Times Herald-Record
Orange County officials expect to spend about $1.4 million pumping groundwater from beneath the county's closed landfill to address the state Department of Environmental Conservation's concerns about contaminated water seeping into the adjacent Wallkill River.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 29 May 2015 | 8:33 am

One-bin recycling starts July 1 - New Canaan Advertiser


New Canaan Advertiser

One-bin recycling starts July 1
New Canaan Advertiser
NWS Recycling 5-28 Recycling for New Canaan residents will become one step easier, starting July 1, as the town is adopting single-stream recycling. Those who bring their recycling to the town transfer station will no longer need to separate their ...

and more »

Posted to recycling - Google News

Posted on 29 May 2015 | 3:41 am

20 Scenes from the WSRA Recycled Fashion Show

The Washington State Recycling Association wants people to think creatively about how to recycle and reuse. At its recent annual conference, to make the point the association put on a fashion show, with all the participants wearing outfits made from 100-percent used, discarded and repurposed materials.
Interstitial Ads Frequency:  -1

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 29 May 2015 | 3:00 am

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal on California Pharmaceutical EPR Law

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal of the producer-responsibility pharmaceutical waste law for California’s Alameda County.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 29 May 2015 | 2:48 am

Depositing some thoughts on recycling glass bottles - Albuquerque Journal


Albuquerque Journal

Depositing some thoughts on recycling glass bottles
Albuquerque Journal
Given the city of Santa Fe's floundering in recent times about what to do about glass bottles piling up without a good recycling market, I've found myself looking back with some nostalgia to the days when my dad and I toted bottles back to the grocery ...

Posted to recycling - Google News

Posted on 29 May 2015 | 12:03 am

Palmer Township plans a $250000 'field of Recycling' - Allentown Morning Call


Allentown Morning Call

Palmer Township plans a $250000 'field of Recycling'
Allentown Morning Call
It's not a safe environment," Christman said. He said the new location will be just more than an acre, slightly larger than the present site, in order to add recycling amenities over time, such as paper shredding and a larger area for leaf and yard ...

and more »

Posted to recycling - Google News

Posted on 28 May 2015 | 8:55 pm

Springfield to residents: Keep contaminants out of recycling containers - MassLive.com


MassLive.com

Springfield to residents: Keep contaminants out of recycling containers
MassLive.com
SPRINGFIELD – The city is hoping that a little education will go a long way in improving the curbside recycling program in Springfield by encouraging residents to keep out the contaminants. The Department of Public Works is stepping up a citywide ...

Posted to recycling - Google News

Posted on 28 May 2015 | 2:30 pm

Bins out, carts in for East Lansing recycling program - Lansing State Journal


Bins out, carts in for East Lansing recycling program
Lansing State Journal
East Lansing will be the first city in Michigan to employ the new technology for a recycling truck, DeShambo said. The $600,000 price tag for two new trucks, including a combination garbage/recycling truck, has been budgeted for from the solid waste fund.

and more »

Posted to recycling - Google News

Posted on 28 May 2015 | 11:33 am

NWRA’s Kneiss Anticipating Productive WasteExpo

With WasteExpo set to kick off next week, National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) President and CEO Sharon Kneiss took a few minutes to update Waste360 on the association’s plans for the event.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 28 May 2015 | 8:48 am

Rivers Recycling installs new equipment to handle influx from Longview ... - Longview News-Journal


Longview News-Journal

Rivers Recycling installs new equipment to handle influx from Longview ...
Longview News-Journal
"Although (Longview recycling has) increased, we expect them to increase a lot more. There are still some participation issues that people aren't taking advantage of," Crane said. "The way recycling is trending, it was more advantageous for us to get ...

Posted to recycling - Google News

Posted on 28 May 2015 | 7:18 am

ElectraTherm Partners on Wood Waste Biomass Project

ElectraTherm Inc. has partnered with Air Burners Inc. to develop the first whole-log wood waste burner, with the first commission in Jacksonville, Fla.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 28 May 2015 | 2:32 am

Maximizing Waste Diversion in Santa Monica

With 92,000 residents in an eight-mile radius, Santa Monica is a density-challenged tourist destination that diverts close to 80 percent of its waste from the landfill even with more than 6 million visitors a year. At the helm of this multi-pronged integrated effort is Kim Braun.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 28 May 2015 | 1:59 am

Post-Consumer Recycling Market Trends Continue to Vary in 2015

Recent months have brought additional movement to pricing of post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE), densified aluminum cans and post-consumer old corrugated paper.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 28 May 2015 | 1:13 am

Profiles in Garbage: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Bottles

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a plastic resin used to make bottles for beverages, food, and other household and consumer products.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 27 May 2015 | 9:32 am

Serving the Evolving Technology Needs of Waste, Recycling

When Martin Demers, CEO of FleetMind Solutions Inc., first attended WasteExpo eight years ago, the industry was just being introduced to onboard technology and its uses in fleet management. Now it’s less about haulers and municipalities deciding if they need technology to stay competitive and more about where to focus that technology.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 27 May 2015 | 8:37 am

Next Week’s WasteExpo Features CEO Talks, Safety Sessions, Giant Exhibit

WasteExpo, North America’s largest solid waste, recycling and organics industry event, will bring the industry together to discuss successes and challenges June 1-4 in Las Vegas.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 27 May 2015 | 8:35 am

Using Data in Managing Waste & Recycling Fleets

As on-board fleet and equipment technology evolves, collection operators have to be smart in analyzing the data these technologies are collecting to effectively utilize the information to help them make better business decisions. They need to know how to identify trends and drive greater efficiencies, improve return on investment, and advance waste diversion goals.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 27 May 2015 | 1:51 am

Penn Waste Adds MRF in Pennsylvania to Expand Single-Stream Recycling

Penn Waste Inc. has opened a material recovery facility (MRF) in Manchester, Pa., featuring a single-stream recycling system.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 27 May 2015 | 1:35 am

Why China's Waste Pickers Are a Better Alternative to Incineration

<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/">The Guardian</a>
Jinling is one of hundreds of thousands of waste pickers working in cities across China sorting through other people’s rubbish, removing and sorting anything that can be recycled and selling it for a meagre profit. Most people working in this sector are migrant workers from the countryside who come to big cities to try to make a living.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 26 May 2015 | 3:26 pm

France Moves to Ban Food Waste in Supermarkets

<a href="http://www.ctvnews.ca/">CTV News</a>
In a rare show of unity, France's parliament voted unanimously Thursday to ban food waste in big supermarkets by outlawing the destruction of unsold food products.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 26 May 2015 | 3:22 pm

Illinois E-Waste Bill Headed to Governor's Desk

<a href="http://www.theherald-news.com/">The Herald-News</a>
An electronics recycling bill that Will County officials helped craft unanimously passed the Illinois Senate last week and now goes to Gov. Bruce Rauner for him to sign.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 26 May 2015 | 3:04 pm

Buena Vista Landfill Readies for Its Final Act

The final cell at the Buena Vista Landfill outside of Watsonville, Calif., is now being used. The landfill has about 20 years of life before its closure.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 26 May 2015 | 2:59 pm

Living Next to NYC's Trash

A look at what it's like to live next to one of New York's landfills.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 26 May 2015 | 2:54 pm

Researchers Search for Clues to Subsurface Reactions

In the anaerobic underlayers of a mixed solid waste landfill, subsurface chemical reactions are common and expected.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 26 May 2015 | 7:16 am

Blue Sphere Starts Construction of Rhode Island Waste-to-Energy Unit

Blue Sphere Corp. will begin construction of a waste-to-energy project in Johnston, R.I.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 26 May 2015 | 2:09 am

Waste-to-Energy Firm Covanta Buys Advanced Waste

Covanta Holding Corp. has purchased solid and hazardous industrial waste firm Advanced Waste Services of West Allis, Wis., for an undisclosed amount.

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Posted to Waste360

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 1:36 am

10 Highlights from Santa Clarita's Cart Design Competition

The city of Santa Clarita, Calif., recently celebrated Earth Arbor Day with a contest for community members to turn their everyday recycling carts into works of art. The annual cArt aRt competition is designed to raise awareness about recycling.
Interstitial Ads Frequency:  -1

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 1:07 am

Will Flexible Packaging Become Treasure or Remain Trash?

The country sips, chews and cleans its way through 80 billion single-material and multi-layer pouches annually, and recycling the material has proved to be a challenge.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 12:53 am

With Compost Program, Keeping Waste From Going to Waste

New York City is joining a garbage revolution, with 100,000 households now required to put their organic waste into designated bins.

Posted to NYT > Recycling of Waste Materials

Posted on 21 May 2015 | 10:00 pm

EPA Chief Leads Dedication of California Solar Landfill Conversion

<a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/">San Jose Mercury News</a>
An old landfill will be the first in the Bay Area to be converted into a solar farm, with 19,000 panels producing enough energy to power 1,200 homes.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 21 May 2015 | 3:32 pm

Target Field Becomes ‘Trash Free’

<a href="http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/">CBS Minnesota</a>
The Twins say they now have the greenest ballpark in Major League Baseball. This comes after a partnership with a company called Eco Products in the effort to cut down on plastic.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 21 May 2015 | 3:29 pm

Single-Stream Recycling: Simple for Residents, Complex for New York City

<a href="http://citylimits.org/">CityLimits.org</a>
Over the years, changing rules and differing levels of commitment from city government have limited the potential of New York's recycling system.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 21 May 2015 | 3:27 pm

Broward Garbage-to-Energy Plant Will Close

<a href="http://www.sun-sentinel.com/">Sun Sentinel</a>
One of two taxpayer-funded incinerators in Broward County that creates energy out of household garbage will close.

read more

Posted to Waste360

Posted on 21 May 2015 | 3:24 pm

Water Flowing From Toilet to Tap May Be Hard to Swallow

As California and other areas of the country grapple with drought, the reuse of water is less a technological challenge than a marketing problem.

Posted to NYT > Recycling of Waste Materials

Posted on 11 May 2015 | 10:00 pm

Cleveland Indians Have Home-Field Advantage on Recycling

Progressive Field’s concessions adopt a system that converts food waste to energy.

Posted to NYT > Recycling of Waste Materials

Posted on 1 May 2015 | 10:00 pm

Hotels Embrace Sustainability to Lure Guests and Cut Costs

Hotels are looking to reduce their carbon footprints, including by rewarding guests who adopt green practices during their stays with loyalty points.

Posted to NYT > Recycling of Waste Materials

Posted on 27 April 2015 | 10:00 pm

Can King

In Bushwick, collecting empties and making a decent living, a nickel at a time.

Posted to NYT > Recycling of Waste Materials

Posted on 25 April 2015 | 10:00 pm

Recycling Peanuts and Cracker Jack

Recycling at sports stadiums isn’t just for cans and bottles anymore. A growing number of teams are asking fans to also toss leftover food and biodegradable trays and cups, in recycling bins.

Posted to NYT > Recycling of Waste Materials

Posted on 22 April 2015 | 10:00 pm

A Project to Turn Corpses Into Compost

Amid concerns about traditional practices, the Urban Death Project is attracting attention from environmental advocates and scientists.

Posted to NYT > Recycling of Waste Materials

Posted on 13 April 2015 | 10:00 pm

Un proyecto busca integrar cadáveres con la naturaleza

Katrina Spade, una estudiante con una licenciatura en arquitectura, quiere construir instalaciones para convertir cuerpos humanos en compost.

Posted to NYT > Recycling of Waste Materials

Posted on 13 April 2015 | 10:00 pm

Chef Lineup Announced for Dan Barber’s Food Waste Pop-Up, WastED

Daniel Humm, Danny Bowien and April Bloomfield are among those who will cook at the pop-up at Blue Hill, which will serve dishes devised from food scraps.

Posted to NYT > Recycling of Waste Materials

Posted on 4 March 2015 | 10:00 pm

Starve a Landfill

Restaurants, home cooks and now a growing number of cities are embracing the belief that efficiency, composting and wasting less in the kitchen are just smart economics.

Posted to NYT > Recycling of Waste Materials

Posted on 3 March 2015 | 10:00 pm

Who We Are

Collective Recyclers was founded in 2010 with the vision of creating the first comprehensive recycling hub network in Montana with productive spokes in four states (Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota), working with communities in order to reduce the environmental and economic costs to everybody of filling landfills with ‘trash’ that has value, and to create a positive synergy within those communities.

Meet the people who make it work below.

Erik Little

Erik Little

Personal & Contact Info

  • Owner/Founder
Henry Clayton

Henry Clayton

Personal & Contact Info

  • IT, Marketing, & Western Region Supply Manager
  • Bozeman Hub Operations & Public Relations
  • Account Setup
  • Web & Graphic Design
  • Advertising & Marketing
  • Technical Writing
  • Information Technology
  • Internet Research
Josue Espinosa

Josue Erasmo Espinosa Capellan

Personal & Contact Info

  • South American Sales & Communications
Dale Dove

Dale Dove

Personal & Contact Info

  • Billings Hub Maintenance Man & Driver
LeeAnne Fusco

LeeAnne Fusco

Personal & Contact Info

  • Billings Hub Warehouse Supervisor
Yvonne Proeller

Yvonne Proeller

Personal & Contact Info

  • Textile & Shoe Sorter
Pablo Ramirez

Pablo Ramirez

Personal & Contact Info

  • Billings Hub Warehouse Worker & Sorter

Contact Us

We want to hear from you. Feel free to contact us, or to connect with us through Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin. Or use our map tools to find us, and pay us a visit.

Collective Recyclers
1315 Allendale Road
Laurel, MT 59044
USA
Tel: 1-406-628-5855
Fax: 1-406-206-0200

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