Recycler Go Green (G2) Revolution, headquartered in Lake in the Hills, Ill., has donated funds worth the equivalent of 67,000 pounds of food to the West Ohio Food Bank in Lima, Ohio.
The donations are part of the company’s ongoing Feed the Future initiative kicked off in 2013 to help those in need.
G2’s founder and president, Billy Watterson was inspired to start the program after a business meeting with officials of the West Ohio Food Bank. They had toured G2’s Findley, Ohio, processing center in October of 2012, as the company was looking to donate unsalable soaps and household chemicals to the food bank for reuse.
Watterson, 39, had grown up in Northwestern Ohio, and had experienced a difficult, sometimes disadvantaged childhood himself. During the meeting, officials from the food bank impressed upon Watterson the food bank’s greater need for donations to solve the problems of hunger and to provide for its 190-plus food pantries in West Ohio. That’s when Watterson made an instant connection.
“It hit me like of ton of bricks,” he says. “There was a Thanksgiving I remember spending at an event that was something they would have sponsored.
The meeting inspired the entrepreneur and former environmental consultant into action. “Even when I was the most vulnerable, there were people in my life to keep it going,” he says. “I felt an obligation to return that.” Watterson decided that for every box, bucket or drum G2 processes for recycling, he will donate funds allowing the food bank to purchase the equivalent of 2.5 pounds of food.
The idea was not to simply donate, says Watterson, “but also to give back to those in need, especially the children. It was to show them there are opportunities and there is a path forward.” Watterson is also challenging other companies to join in similar efforts. “It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a big difference,” he says.
Since G2’s founding in 2008, Watterson says, the company has grown by leaps and bounds. It specializes in helping clients solve complex recycling problems not usually addressed by traditional haulers, Watterson explains. The company employs 32 people and runs a fulfillment center in Findley in addition to its Chicago area headquarters facility.
“It’s a fast-growing company that’s a thousand times larger than what we were five years ago,” Watterson says.
One of G2’s innovations has been the introduction of G2 Paks, labeled containers for retailers to collect and mail in their recyclables for processing, tracking and reporting. Other projects have been the use of clipped dog hair from a major pet retailer in yarn for the manufacture of pet sweaters and blankets for resale. The company also developed a recycling and composting program for institutional users of Keurig K-Cups.