Green road sign with the word safety in white letters

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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Kam Bailey and his family

Employee Spotlight: Kam Bailey

Like many, Kam Bailey loves sports. He channels that competitive spirit into his role with Quincy Recycle and is consistently pushing himself to do more and find new solutions to help our vendors.

When did you start with Quincy recycle? Was your job title the same as it is now?

I started with Quincy Recycle in April of 2017 in Sales/Procurement and that is still my current role.

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

Commit, Be Tenacious and Compete to Win is my favorite Core Value because it represents what my life has been about growing up and also throughout my career.  I’ve always been involved in sports from the time that I was a kid and I was always driven to be the best at everything I’ve done.  I always wanted to be one of the hardest workers whether it be in track, football, basketball.  So it was no surprise that when I was looking at Quincy I was drawn to this company because they had  a healthy competition between the sales team.   Each plant and sales team member wanted what was best for the company but they all had personal goals of growing their own book of business.  I loved the idea that I could carry over a lot of the same ideas and hard work that made me successful throughout my sports career and bring that over to my professional working career too.

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

The most challenging thing that I had to learn in this role was that it takes time. Recycling is a business that is built on relationships and trust. I was new to the industry and I had to learn that I had to prove myself to our suppliers and they needed to trust that I would provide the service that I was promising to them.

What was the most surprising/ fun thing to learn?

I enjoyed learning the commodities that we work with. There is so much more to recycling than what I ever knew and learning the different types of fiber and plastics was a challenge but was fun to learn. We have a great sales team here and if I ever had questions there was always someone that I could call for help.

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

My favorite part of working with Quincy Recycle is that I’ve been given the opportunity for unlimited growth. In the sales role, we have the opportunity to create a book of business without any restrictions or limits to how much we can grow. That unlimited growth potential inspires me to get up every day and find something new to work on. I also love that I work for a company that rewards hard work and persistence.

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

Quincy Recycle has changed my life because they always believed in me and the work that I could do. When I started at Quincy, I had only been in sales for about two years and Quincy saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. From the first day, I was given all of the tools that I needed to be successful. I’d highly recommend working for a company that gives you the autonomy to create something for yourself and your family. This is the first company that I’ve worked for that I could see myself with until the end of my career. It’s been an amazing place to work!

What are some of your hobbies you like to do outside of work?

I love to spend time with my family when I’m not at work. I have a 7-year old daughter (Addison) and a 8-year old son (Cooper) and I get to coach in football and basketball. We also love to spend any extra free time that we have on the golf course.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever read or received?

The best advice that I’ve been given, that also applies to my sales career, was from my Mom. When I was a Freshman in high school I joined the high school track team. During the first practice, we trained harder and ran more than I ever had before. I actually ended up getting sick in front of the whole team. I went home and told my Mom that I won’t ever go back and that I was going to quit. I remember her telling me that she won’t allow me to quit and that if you quit once then you will find ways to quit the rest of your life. Because I didn’t quit, I ended up getting a Track & Field scholarship to Huntington University which is where I met my wife. That message still sticks with me because sales can be a roller-coaster. There are plenty of times when it would be easier to quit than to actually come up with a solution to the problems that we face every day. There’s always a solution but we have to be willing to put in the work to find it!

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

The song that most accurately portrays the culture at Quincy Recycle is I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty. We have an entire team of driven individuals that are constantly finding ways to help our vendors no matter what. I believe that not backing down is what has allowed Quincy Recycle to continue to grow into one of the largest recyclers in the Midwest.

Case Study: Food Manufacturer

This was an exciting project for us and one we wanted to share with you because it highlights how we can work with companies to find solutions to unique issues.   While we cannot share the name of the organization, we did want to share the details.

Delivering or Supply concept image. Trucks loading at facility.

Customer Challenge

Handling waste streams should not be a thorn in the side for food manufacturing companies.  Rather, they should be focused on growing their business and providing shareholder value.  So when we learn about a food manufacturing company struggling with their recycling program, we are eager to help!

A major international food manufacturer had a recycling program, but it was proving to be very cumbersome.  They were using three different providers for three different kinds of material, each with their own trailer spotted.  One of their challenges was limited dock space.  Another challenge was managing the different relationships with the three different waste stream solution providers.  Communication and coordination always seemed to take more time and effort than it should.  They were ready to do something different.

This company wasn’t only dealing with logistics issues. They were also landfilling material and were ready to do something different. Quincy Recycle’s fresh approach to their recycling program turned out to be the answer.


Quincy Recycle Solution

Quincy Recycle immediately freed up dock space by eliminating the need for two spotted trailers.  Because we specialize in handling mixed commodity trailer loads, we were able to take all their material on one trailer.

We also worked with the manufacturer to understand what they wanted in terms of logistics.  It was important to them to have a spare trailer on site so if one quickly became full due to increased production, they could easily swap the trailer and keep production moving.

“Our creative sales team and attention to detail customer service team asks lots of questions of our clients so we truly understand their goals, needs, and challenges…..this is a great example of our team doing that in a complete and thorough manner, ” said Kurt McLaughlin, VP of Sales for Quincy Recycle.

A consistent schedule was also important to our customer.  They are serviced on the same days at the same times.  This way, they know exactly what to expect and can plan accordingly.  But as anyone in business knows, things can always change quickly.  That is no problem for us! We work with our partners teams when special needs and requests arise. The best part is that they only have to make one phone call!  We even provide weekend service if they need it.  We have a network of local and over the road freight carriers that are always ready to pick up the next load.

For us, the icing on the cake is that we were also able to divert their ingredient bags and fiber drums out of the landfill.  We not only made an environmental impact on their waste stream, but we also made their waste stream process more efficient.


Major Takeaways:

  • Maximized dock space by spotting one mixed commodity trailer for all of their material
  • Streamlined their recycling program and offered one point of contact for all their recycling streams
  • Worked with our customer’s production team to come up with a schedule that works for them
  • Diverted their material out of the landfill

Contact us about your food byproducts problems – let’s work on them together!

box wire

Baling Wire For Your Business

Baling wire is one of the most essential parts of the recycling industry. Bale ties are what is used to secure bales of recyclable material safely before continuing the recycling process. As we like to say around here at Quincy Recycle, baling wire is like toilet paper, it’s never top-of-mind but it’s the end of the world if you run out! A few different types and styles of baling wires are used in the industry today, which is where we come into play, ready and prepared to be your quick, one-stop-shop solution.

What types of baling wire are there?


single bale loop tie ends

Single loop bale ties are used for securing bales of recycled material after it has gone through the baler. The wire is twisted at the ends with a loop to secure for transport. Used with vertical or horizontal balers that require hand-tying. Quincy Recycle offers galvanized wire or black annealed wire. We carry 11-14 gauges which has breaking loads starting at 325 lbs. to 750 lbs.







box wire

Box wire is packaged as one continuous length and feeds into your auto-tie balers. Box wire keeps wire compact and neatly stored. Used for bundling compacted recycle materials such as cardboard, paper, plastic or other refuse. We stock the most commonly used box wire to keep shipping times low. All our box wire is USA made.




stump wire



Stump wire, also known as spool wire, coil wire, or stem wire, is used with horizontal balers to bundle recycled materials after they have been baled. We carry galvanized, black annealed or hi-tensile galvanized stump wire.






Why do you need baling wire from Quincy Recycle?

Manufacturers and distributors produce a lot of recyclable scrap material such as cardboard, plastics, paper, or metals, so using recycling equipment like balers helps businesses efficiently organize, store, and prepare that scrap for recycling. That is where the baling wire steps up to the plate.

The baling wire is fed through a baler to tie-off the bale of scrap. Baling your recyclable scrap makes loading the scrap onto a trailer for transit much easier, and it helps keep your facility cleaner and more organized.

Choosing the correct bale wire products for you depends on numerous factors. These include what you’re baling, how large the bales will be, and the type of equipment you’ll be using. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations or check with our experts before you buy.

We know there are a lot of choices out there of where to purchase baling wire for your recycling equipment, but keep in mind, many of those options are not necessarily recycling companies. They may be able to sell you the baling wire, but that is where the road ends. Quincy Recycle on the other hand is a recycling company, meaning that in addition to baling wire, we offer recycling equipment sales and service, along with a wide range of recycling services.

At Quincy Recycle, we strive to be a one-stop-shop solution for our partners. Recycling isn’t a one-size-fits-all business, so we take a personal approach in everything we do, including baling wire sales. There is a lot that goes into the recycling process, from choosing equipment to how to offload your valuable scrap material. Hence why it’s so valuable to choose a partner who can provide customized solutions based on your specific goals and needs.

How can Quincy Recycle help your business?

In addition to supplying equipment and service, Quincy Recycle supplies industrial bale wire for commercial use. We stock a wide variety of American-made bale wire for sale and can ship them to you fast. We’re a top bale wire supplier thanks to our nationwide network, which means we can fulfill your order quickly no matter where you are, all over the country. We know that lead times are getting longer due to supply-chain disruptions, so we urge you to buy now, and buy in advance to ensure your business is set up for long-term success.

Whether you’re interested in purchasing baling wire, recycling equipment, or learning more about our recycling services, we’d love to talk. Contact us today and let’s take the first step towards a more sustainable future for your business.