Tucked in the industrial district of NorthEast Philadelphia, sits Revolution Recovery’s first of three Recycling Facilities. I was fortunate to receive a tour of the facility and was surprised to learn that it is their smallest location. Whether on a job site at our warehouse, Patriot has been working with Revolution for over 5 years and we are proud to shine a little light on the great work that they do.

I met with Casey Kehoe, Business Development Manager, who walked me around the facility. As I arrived, trucks weighed their loads of materials to be recycled. Past the weigh station, materials are sorted and processed on the tipping floor and commingled waste is brought inside for manual sorting. Employees sort by hand the materials that are unable to be processed by machines. The company primarily handles construction and demolition material, including wood, drywall, cardboard, plastics, rubble, metal, ceiling tile, carpet, etc. However, they also receive a wide range of bulk materials from commercial, industrial, manufacturing, and residential sources. Oftentimes they send the recycled materials back to local secondary processors.

The facility walls are decorated with recovered treasures from antique clocks, to old-time photos of forgotten family members, to discarded street signs. Revolution Recovery’s walls tell the story of where unwanted items go for a chance at a second life.

Although not an easy job, these sorting specialists have seen lucky days, according to Kehoe. Every once in a blue moon, employees on the line will find a discarded treasure of real value, like a suitcase full of cash. Yes, this really happened and yes the winnings were divided evenly among the workers! This small story truly speaks to the positive culture that exists at Revolution and the level of care applied to the work they do and the people they work with. It is clear from the moment you step on-site that safety and employee well-being is their top priority. To ensure proper safety and promote company culture, all new employees go through training to learn and experience each job role of the facility. Although Revolution Recovery is a relatively newer company, founded in 2004, its focus is on sustainability and recycling. Rooted in innovation, their product line is diverse to accommodate any and all recycling needs. From Tubsters, a rolling, mini dumpster alternative to industrial size metal dumpsters, Revolution has it all. As companies’ priorities shift to become more sustainable, Revolution is standing by to offer a variety of options for construction needs. Turning wood debris into mulch and drywall into farm animal bedding, Revolution recycles over 500 tons of waste material every day. 

In addition to their environmental support, they also host an artist in residence program, Recycled Artists in Residency (RAIR), which allows the opportunity for rotating artists to incorporate waste material into their art pieces. With full access to the recycled materials, artists sift through the facility and work out of gallery space on site. During my tour, I was fortunate enough to meet Billy Dufala, RAIR co-founder and artist that has been involved for the last 10 years in collecting, creating, and contributing to the vibrant culture at Revolution.

There’s no debate that the world, including the construction industry, needs to shift towards a more sustainable and environmentally conscious operations model. Through supporting companies like Revolution Recovery, we take the first step towards a healthier future.

For more information, please visit their website at www.revolutionrecovery.com.