Recyclops plans to bring digital-age recycling to Albany

Recyclops, an environmental firm, is set to open in Albany. It uses the latest technology to provide affordable household recycling. (Courtesy of Recyclops/Facebook)

Credit: Recyclops/Facebook

Credit: Recyclops/Facebook

Recyclops, an environmental firm, is set to open in Albany. It uses the latest technology to provide affordable household recycling. (Courtesy of Recyclops/Facebook)

Move over, Dwight Schrute. The real Recyclops is coming to town.

Unlike the superhero character assumed by one of the TV show “The Office’s” most beloved characters, the Recyclops environmental firm set to open in Albany uses the latest technology to provide affordable household recycling for individuals who are concerned about the future of the planet.

“Recycling is so important in today’s world; it’s moved way beyond being a ‘nice thing to do,’” Recyclops Vice President of Business Development Dennis Wise said on a recent Monday morning as he prepared to board an airplane in North Carolina. “We’re at the point now where something has to be done. When you consider that it takes four times the amount of energy now to create a product vs. using recycled materials, you see the impact recycling has.

“Take that red aluminum Coca-Cola can that we’re all familiar with. It takes 95% more energy to create that can from raw material than to use recycled materials. Recycling now is not something good to do, it’s 100% necessary.”

Recyclops officials are meeting with Albany city commissioners to talk about a potential partnership with the city. But, Wise is quick to point out, it’s not the kind of partnership in which the company has an ask for the city.

“It differs from city to city and state to state, but probably the only thing we’re looking for from the city would be a place to set up an aggregation point for the recyclables we collect,” the Recyclops VP said. “Looking at the geography, we probably would take all the materials we collect to Tallahassee. What we’d need is a place for our drivers to bring their materials to.

“A lot of the communities we serve provide an empty lot or a similar location as an aggregation point. But we’re not asking the city for a penny.”

A flyer distributed throughout the community notes that 100 customers must sign up for Recyclops services before the company starts collecting recycled materials curbside at customers’ homes. But Wise said he’s pretty certain Albany is the kind of community that will utilize the company’s services.

“We don’t have an exact date (for the start of services in Albany), but we’ve been contacted by a number of people on our website and we’ve done our follow-up investigation,” he said. “What we’ve ascertained is that there is no other company around Albany doing what we do.”

What Recyclops does is unique in the industry. Started by company CEO Ryan Smith when he was a junior at Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City, Utah, the company now is doing business in 160 municipalities in 17 states. (Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.)

Smith said he’d been recycling all his life and found that there was no such program at BYU. So he started one in his apartment and it soon spread to other apartments. That’s when Smith, who started the business in 2012 and now is only 30, realized he’d hit on an idea whose timing was perfect for the digital age.

Using an “Uber-like model,” Recyclops pays drivers to pick up recyclable materials from customers’ homes. They deliver those goods to an aggregation site, and the materials are taken collectively to a large recycling center.

And the cost, Wise said, is relatively minimal.

“You can get our basic service and have recyclables picked up at your home every other week for just $12 a month,” he said. “We have enhanced services, but that’s up to the individual.

“We provide the bags — blue for mixed, the customers don’t have to separate, and yellow for glass — and that’s about it. There are no salesmen; customers simply go to our website ( and sign up. Customers put the materials in bags, place them on the curb for pickup, and we do the rest.”

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Credit: Albany Herald

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Credit: Albany Herald


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