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It’s time: who’s featured on the Top 100?

Lynette and Simon Westgaard made it into this year's Top 100.

Recycling International has published its annual list of the 100 most innovative recycling personalities. This year, they come from 32 different countries.

Recyclers from South Africa, Serbia and Switzerland to Singapore can be found on the Top 100. The five most represented countries are the USA (20), UK (13), Belgium (8), Germany (8) and The Netherlands (7). The list is part of a 30+ page article featured in our latest issue.

Commodities covered:

  • Metals: 44
  • E-scrap: 26
  • Plastics: 17
  • Batteries: 4
  • Paper: 2
  • Textiles: 1
  • Rubber & tyres: 2

Our survey carried out at the same time suggests recyclers are generally optimistic about the future of their business and activities. Even so, they confront ‘many negative things affecting daily work and operations’. Companies continue to be challenged by troubled logistics, along with ‘sky high’ shipping costs. Another big concern, many recyclers tell Recycling International, are proposed restrictions on scrap exports from Europe.

Investment wave

Even so, company owners report confidence in the future, war on no war; energy crisis or no energy crisis. Proof of that sentiment may well be the huge investments underway throughout the sector. For example, Germany’s Schuy Recycling is spending millions of Euros on extending yards, new equipment and, unfortunately they say, consultants doing the paperwork necessary for permits.

Aboura Metals, a major player in the Middle East, is investing serious money in technology to boost capacity and upgrade its operations, company director Ibrahim Aboura reports from Dubai.

In the south of France, meanwhile, MTB’s Jean-Philippe Fusier is talking to banks about an extra EUR 30 million to modernise his facility. A struggle for Fusier, as with many fellow recyclers, is hiring people: ‘What a challenge!’

Not about money

As with the first RI Top 100, the 2022 list is not ranked by scrap volume or company turnover. Put simply, it contains people we believe are making the difference, are an example or inspiration to others, or stand out from the crowd.

RI’s Top 100 is not a winner-takes-all ranking. Everyone in the list is a winner – whether they are at number 1, 37 or 99. Nor is it a static list as it’s our intention to publish the Top 100 every year. We want to make it more wide-ranging and comprehensive each year. So, if you’re not in the list this time, you may well be in the next.

Many newcomers

Our 2022 list contains recycling hotshots from 32 countries worldwide and there are 48 newcomers. While North America and Europe have the most places, we are noticing more initiatives popping up in Africa. The Top 100 also shows that recycling is becoming less of a man’s world. Of the 100 leaders and projects spotlighted, 32 are women, up from 14 on the 2021 list

The 2022 Top 100 is available as an e-book here >>

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