It’s always a pleasure to come up with new suggestions for the annual Top 100. I’d like to share some of the 27 newcomers with you.
I’ve met so many innovative recyclers over the last ten years I’m confident we could easily double if not triple the list. However, it’s a case of quality over quantity.
I’d like to point out that the Top 100 has evolved since we launched it in 2020 to exclusively list individuals rather than companies. This more personal approach reflects the commitment and know-how of industry veterans and (much needed) rebels.
We strive to refresh the list as much as possible. The downside is that you have to strike outnames, too. Killing your darlings, journalists call this part of the editing process. So if you’re no longer included this year, it’s not personal, it’s business.
Fun fact: all the names included represent 33 countries.
Who’s at #15?
Jay Robinovitz is the ceo of US firm Alter Trading, based in Missouri. He represents the fifth generation among one of the country’s largest ferrous and non-ferrous recycling players. Robinovitz celebrated a major milestone this year: his company’s 125th anniversary!
This was a perfect reason to ask for his input for Recycling International’s anniversary issue. He told me so much has changed in the recycling landscape, particilarly the ‘mom and pop’ scrapyards that have made way for large corporations. I agree with him that, while multi-million investments may sound impressive, families remain the backbone of the recycling industry.
Who’s at #27?
Caroline van der Perre is as a leading lady of plastics recycling. She runsRaff Plastics in Belgium, which deals with practically every type of plastic. She took over from her father in 2006 and is continuing a legacy dating back to the 1970s.
‘We doubled capacity in 2022,’ Van der Perre told me during a recent interview. She underlines the importance of promoting best practices to the general public – loudly and clearly. Good news doesn’t spread itself, does it? That’s why the Belgian entrepreneur launched a dedicated plastics recycling podcast to help put recyclers on the map.
Who’s at #29?
Jhoanna Rosales, founder of Vertmonde, is a powerhouse in recycling working hard to connect the dots. We met at the E-scrap Conference in New Orleans, where she told me about the many different electronics recyclers scattered across Latin America.
Rosales, born in Ecuador, observes these recyclers are eager to scale up and modernise their businesses but lack unity. She is widely respected for having built a network that shares best practices while fast-tracking innovation. Her new endeavour Ewaste Latam is ambitious to free Ecuador and is neighbouring countries of e-waste.
Who’s at #35?
Nidhi Turakhia is one of many success stories of families working in scrap. We crossed paths at the 2022 ISRI expo in Las Vegas, where we discussed the organisation’s Women in Recycling Council. Promoting female entrepreneurship is an ambition close to Turakhia’s heart.
She took over the company, based in Houston, from her parents in 2006. It wasn’t an easy start due to the recession but her business awareness allowed her to grow and modernise operations, with around 12 000 tonnes of stainless steel scrap and alloys handled every year.
Who’s at #39?
Amélie Matton is the ceo of medical waste specialist Ecosteryl, located in Belgium. She is not afraid of dealing with ‘hazardous’ waste streams and is proud of her company installing more than 200 recycling solutions in 60 countries worldwide.
I met Matton at the IFAT expo in Munich and shared her story in the last edition of Recycling Technology. She had just been ranked one of the Belgium’s 50 most innovative women in tech.
Who knows who will be included in this year’s Top 100?