Safety In The Recycling Industry

The Importance Of Safety In The Recycling Industry

At Quincy Recycle, safety is one of our top priorities. Recycling may not be one of the first industries that come to mind when you think about jobs with a high risk to health and safety. But, did you ever stop and think about the types of materials collected and sorted?

In their most recent report published in December 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics rated the recycling industry as the 5th most dangerous in America. Today we will talk about why safety is so important to us by highlighting some of the common health and safety risks associated with the recycling industry and how we address them in our facilities.

5 Common Health and Safety Risks in Recycling

1. Large and Moving Machinery

Processing large quantities of plastic, metal, and other recyclable materials requires big machinery. Compactors, balers, conveyor belts, and sorting machines are regular fixtures in recycling plants. All of these can cause injury if adequate operating and maintenance procedures are not put in place.

Robust safety protocols and checklists are in place across all Quincy Recycle locations. Equipment is inspected regularly and when maintenance or repair is required, a “lock-out and tag-out” protocol is strictly enforced to ensure the machinery is in proper working order before being put back into service. From their first day of employment, each member of our team goes through extensive safety and operator training. Training is ongoing and takes place on a regular and frequent basis at each of our facilities.

2. Trucks and Other Big Vehicles

In order to haul and move large loads of material, you need trucks, forklifts and other big vehicles. Any time you have large vehicles in the same place as pedestrians you have a safety risk.

Operator awareness is a top priority at Quincy Recycle. From training to operator certifications, we make sure anyone operating a large vehicle at our facility is qualified and adhering to necessary safety protocols. We also utilize tools like glad hand locks. Trailers come and go from our facilities all the time and a glad hand lock prevents a truck from hooking up to the trailer while someone is inside working.

3. Repetitive Motion

Recycling workers move a lot. They reach, twist, jump, and bend to sort and process items daily. The absence of a well-organized and ergonomic workspace can lead to injury over time.

We spend a lot of time training and promoting best safety practices at Quincy Recycle, and that includes steps to prevent injury due to repetitive motion. Our plants are designed with a layout to help our team members be as efficient as possible, which goes a long way in helping keep them safe and injury-free.

4. Respiratory Hazards

Recyclable materials produce a lot of dust. Without proper safety equipment and ventilation, small particles from materials we process such as paper, plastic, cardboard, and other contaminants can pose harm to workers.

Quincy Recycle provides all employees with dust masks and safety glasses to protect against airborne contaminants. In addition, our facilities are outfitted with air ventilation systems to help remove dust from the air key locations throughout the plant.

5. Biohazards

Sorting through mixed-commodity loads presents some risks. Sharp objects, industrial chemicals, and other biohazards can be present and must be handled carefully to avoid injury.

We take a proactive approach to make sure we know exactly what is coming into our facilities. Utilizing safety data sheets, our team can confirm the former contents of products such as fiber or plastic drums to ensure nothing comes into the plant that shouldn’t. We also provide our team with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help keep them safe when handling the wide variety of material that comes through our plants each day. Along with PPE, you’ll also find first-aid and bloodborne pathogen kits in each of our facilities.

Quincy Recycle Promotes A Safety-Focused Culture

Safety is part of our culture at Quincy Recycle. In fact, it is one of our core values. We don’t take the risks associated with our industry lightly and have put a lot of time and energy into making sure our facilities are safe.

“It starts at the top. Everyone across our organization is fully committed to running a safe operation. Our first core value is “Alive and Well” because safety is part of everything we do at Quincy Recycle. Many of our facilities boast lengthy safety records which is a real testament to the buy-in and dedication from everyone on the team.” – Philip J. Hildebrand, Jr., Quincy Recycle

Why is this so important?

To us, it’s simple – our team is our family. Keeping them safe is our first priority. And, in turn, our commitment to health and safety allows us to provide consistent service our partners can depend on whenever they need us.


Are you ready to take the first step toward achieving your sustainability goals?

Contact us today and together we can make an impact. We offer a wide variety of services designed to meet your specific needs.


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Is Industrial Corrugated Cardboard Recycling Worth It?

Are you looking for a way to save money while creating a cleaner, safer work environment? Industrial corrugated cardboard recycling is an easy and cost-effective way to do just that!

Millions of tons of corrugated cardboard are produced each year, making it one of the most widely used packaging materials in the world. To put it in perspective, it is estimated that Amazon alone ships hundreds of millions of packages each year throughout the United States. That’s a lot of cardboard.

There is good news. Amazon has made it a mission to make 100% of its corrugated cardboard packages completely recyclable. Actually, most corrugated cardboard packages are recyclable as long as they aren’t lined, coated, or covered in additional materials such as wax, plastic, foil, or glitter, which means a vast majority of cardboard waste can be diverted from landfills and recycled instead.

Industrial corrugated cardboard recycling could be a missed opportunity for your business. Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits of a cardboard waste management plan.


The market for corrugated cardboard is constantly fluctuating. Cardboard may have a positive return in some months, while the value may be more limited in other months. However, recycling corrugated cardboard can save money in other ways, even if there is no demand for recycled cardboard.

Sometimes, the cost of recycling is less than the cost of hauling and landfill fees. Investing in industrial recycling can often be more cost effective for your business, particularly if it produces a lot of waste.

A waste audit can also show exactly how much waste your company is producing. Quincy Recycle will review your waste stream and create a recycling plan detailing ways to reduce output, improve processes, and generate potential revenue.
Interested in a comprehensive waste audit of your current processes? Contact us today to get started!


In addition to saving money, companies may be eligible to receive tax credits by participating in industrial recycling services. Federal agencies and certain state governments may offer credits for things such as the purchase or depreciation of recycling equipment. Grants may also be available for businesses looking to begin a recycling initiative. Recycling can help a business take advantage of tax credits, exemptions, and incentives to save on overall expenses.


Does your warehouse currently have loose cardboard lying around your employees’ workspace? Maybe there’s a dumpster or two overflowing with cardboard boxes. Recycling helps provide for a safer and cleaner workplace by designating a pick-up time, drop-off location, or warehouse space for cardboard and bales.

Industrial recycling equipment creates that designated space for waste. For example, vertical and horizontal cardboard balers produce compacted bales which are easily transported and stacked to create an organized system. Bale ties help keep bales tightly bound, eliminating loose cardboard pieces that pose a potential hazard.

Read more about the benefits of cardboard balers and what option best fits your business in our blog ‘Questions to Consider when Choosing a Vertical or Horizontal Baler.’ Then contact Tom Saylor, our Equipment General Manager, to get a free quote on recycling equipment.


It may come as no surprise that recycling positively affects the environment. Reusing old materials to produce new materials eliminates the necessity of creating new products from scratch. For example, the closed-loop recycling process of cardboard and paper helps to reduce deforestation and the need for trees as raw materials. Less production of raw materials also means less energy consumed and greenhouse gasses emitted.

Many people are attracted to the idea of positively making a difference in their communities. When companies commit to a recycling program, they show a commitment to sustainability and a cleaner environment. Customers may be attracted to those efforts of change, giving your company a competitive edge against other businesses that do not participate in a recycling program.


We hope this blog clarified the importance of corrugated cardboard recycling and recycling in general. With cardboard being a completely recyclable material, it only makes sense to reuse it whenever possible. Start saving money and be part of the change today.

Quincy Recycle is a full-service industrial recycling company. Learn more by contacting us today!

Questions to Consider When Choosing a Vertical or Horizontal Baler

Balers are critical components to industrial recycling and waste management strategies. Their ability to compress large amounts of waste into smaller, manageable bales makes them beneficial for not only recycling, but for overall production efficiency as well. Not all balers are created equally, though. It’s important to consider the specifics of your operation before choosing equipment.

At Quincy Recycle, we offer full-service waste management solutions to assist in the decision process. We work hard to understand the difference between how you manage your waste stream today compared to how you want it to operate. We’ll then recommend the right equipment that can help you reach those goals. Below, you’ll find a list of questions to consider when choosing a vertical or horizontal baler.

How much waste does my business produce?

Capacity plays a large part in deciding between a vertical or horizontal baler. Vertical balers handle moderate volumes of material, up to 50 tons of material per month. Horizontal balers generally handle between 50 – 200 tons of waste material per month. Businesses with specific needs or that produce larger waste volumes might consider choosing an auto-tie horizontal baler.

What type of material waste is commonly produced by my business?

Waste type could determine which baler best suits your operation. It could also determine whether a different piece of equipment, such as a compactor, could be a more suitable application. Cardboard, metals, plastic, textiles, corrugated cardboard, non-ferrous materials, and more can all be baled depending on the specifications of the machine you choose.

How much available space does my warehouse have?

Space is another element to consider when making equipment choices. Both vertical and horizontal balers have height and length restrictions. Horizontal balers occupy a larger footprint but are more automated than a vertical baler. As the name suggests, while vertical balers maintain a smaller footprint they can stand over 12’ high.

Safety is a priority when installing and operating balers. Make sure there’s enough room for the machinery to operate and be maintained safely and effectively. Warehouses should have an adequate open area for equipment and enough clearance for employees to safely operate it.

Not sure what you have the space for? Give our General Manager of Quincy Recycle Equipment, Tom Saylor, a call at (260) 494-5676 or email him at An equipment expert will contact you soon to evaluate your industrial area or warehouse for available space.

What features do I need?

Historically, balers were simple machines controlled by a couple buttons and didn’t include a significant amount of safety features. Today this has changed completely. Manufacturers consider Operator safety as they are designing the balers and have included a wide array of features that can help make a baler safer and more efficient in any operation.

Ease-of-use is another factor to consider when thinking about features. Horizontal auto-tie balers are capable of receiving a constant feed of material while tying and ejecting bales automatically, but they require skilled personnel to operate them safely and efficiently. Vertical balers must be manually fed material, but are overall simpler to use. Closed door horizontal balers can be fed manually or by a conveyor, cycle automatically and only require labor to tie each bale.

What is my budget?

Typically, vertical balers maintain the lowest initial purchase price businesses wanting to invest in industrial recycling. However, if your answers to the above questions suggest a goal of reducing labor costs are part of your ROI calculation a horizontal baler might be the best option, Quincy Recycle offers lease and purchase agreements to get you what you need while protecting the bottom line.

New and used recycling machinery is offered with rental, lease-to-own, and purchase options. Our large inventory allows us to offer a variety of different price points. Quincy Recycle’s sales team has experience helping different industries estimate waste volume and possible return on investments. Learn about budgeting and payment options for recycling equipment in our article titled Should Your Business Invest in Recycling Equipment in 2023?

There are many benefits to choosing a baler for your recycling program. The experts at Quincy Recycle can determine the best solution for your waste output, goals, and revenue opportunities. We proudly carry Max-Pak, Recycling Equipment, Inc., and equipment from other manufacturers to give our customers a variety of reliable, customizable options.

To request a free quote for your new baler, please fill out the online form on our Recycling Equipment page.

Picture of Nate McNally, his wife and two children at the beach.

Employee Spotlight: Nate McNally

There is one thing we know we can count on when it comes to Nate McNally. He puts his heart and soul into everything he does. His passion and enthusiasm for the work he does for our company and life, in general, is evident the moment you meet him. So, speaking of the moment you meet him, we would like to share our first moment. Nate canceled his initial interview with our company. After some thought, he decided he was no longer interested in pursuing a role with QRP. Not long after withdrawing his candidacy, Nate had reconsidered. He would do anything to come in for an interview. We obliged, and he showed up with a cake. How do you not hire a guy who shows up with a cake? We are glad he gave us a second chance. Nate has a knack for making everyone he meets feel like they have known him his whole life, which is likely one of the many reasons he is so successful in his sales role with Quincy Recycle. To say we are lucky to have him on our team would be an understatement!

When did you start with Quincy Recycle?

April 1, 2015

What was your job title when you started?

Business Development and Sales

If you had to pick one, which Core Value is your favorite and why?

My favorite is Listen up, be inquisitive, & keep an open mind. I can’t tell you how many times I went into a situation where I was so sure I knew the answer, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Listening and asking questions are two of the most important lessons I’ve learned here at Quincy Recycle.

What was the most challenging thing to learn in your roles?

I’d say the different paper and plastic commodities. There’s quite a few of them and it was intimidating at first, but the team was always helpful and sometimes it felt like we were all learning as we went. I’m still learning new commodities all the time, I’m just faster at knowing what smart people to call and ask first.

What was the most surprising or fun thing to learn?

I’m still surprised that the secret sauce continues to be asking questions, getting as much information as possible, saying you don’t know the answer if you don’t know the answer, and bringing the info back to your team for advice and ideas for solutions. That’s it. That’s the secret. I’ll probably be fired for disclosing this information.

What’s your favorite part about working at Quincy Recycle?

Definitely our small group here in St. Louis. We have a lot of fun, laughing and poking fun at each other. Everyone wears multiple hats and helps when and where they can. There are a lot of inside jokes and traditions that I’m sure are only hilarious to us and us alone. Besides being a successful team, we are all really good friends.

What would you like prospective employees to know about Quincy Recycle?

Not wanting to sound too sappy and mushy here but I am extremely lucky to say I work for this company. It’s a family, it’s laid back, it’s always evolving, we have fun, and we always celebrate the wins. I trust our leadership and I know that if I had an issue in either my personal life or my professional life, I will be supported 100%. I’m blessed. Not sure what more you can ask for.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

Mostly I just like to be at home with my wife and kids, laughing at the antics of our 4- and 2-year-old boys. I like podcasts, exercising, I’m a new hunter so I’ve been obsessed with learning about hunting and all that comes with it. And I recently started Jiu-Jitsu which has been an extremely humbling and awesome experience. I’d recommend it to anyone.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever read or received?

“Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.” – Ronald Reagan
“Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry.” – Padre Pio “World Domination” – Mike Christl

If you had to pick a song to portray the culture of Quincy Recycle, what would it be and why?

I’d say in this current OCC market we are listening to a lot of Elliot Smith. But the answer is obviously Real American by Rick Derringer.