Road to Recycling: Amarillo businesses profit from "going green"

According to Amarillo city commissioners, residents have shown little initiative to implement a recycling program for the city.

"People here want do the right thing, and they want to be conservative," said Amarillo City Commissioner Brian Eades. "They want to be able to do recycling as long as they're not having to pay for the pleasure of having that opportunity."

For those that want the opportunity, business owners at locally owned KB Recycling decided to take it upon themselves to make the process easier for those interested.

"Everything is so far behind in Amarillo, you go to big cities and it's second nature. But here, it's not the norm yet and we're hoping to change that," said KB Recycling Co-Owner Jordy Finley.

Their model runs off 3 separate systems to meet the dynamic needs of businesses and homeowners.

"We have 3 phases to our business: residential, light commercial, and heavy commercial," said Finley. "The heavy commercial is the cardboard dumpsters, the green cardboard dumpsters you see in town.")

Their light commercial efforts cater to break rooms and offices of all sizes. They offer paper, plastic, aluminum, and cardboard recycling pickup for small or large businesses.

Their residential system makes recycling as easy as taking out the trash.

"We have two containers, there's no contract involved, we give you and supply you the containers,' said Finley. We service you either weekly or bi-weekly, based on how many people are in the household."

KB Recycling doesn't process recycled materials, and that's where corporately-owned business, Republic Services (formerly Allied Waste) comes in.

"The material comes in here, we process it, and we sell it direct to the mills because we are a profit company," said Republic Services Site Manager Kim Vincent. "We're the second largest waste company in the U.S."

They also offer pickup services for offices, as well as provide document destruction.

"We also take drop off of materials here at the warehouse, in front with the containers or we take it in the door," said Vincent.

Vincent also said their efforts are felt in more areas than Amarillo. "Our cardboard goes to Oklahoma, the newspaper goes over to Shreveport, Louisiana, all of our office paper goes down to Mexico, and our plastics actually go to China."

KB Recycling and Republic Services' profits differ on both the large and small scale.

"We actually lost money last year because the market is not doing well at all," said Vincent.

Amarillo City Commissioners agree.

"Allied Waste, even when this began to be an unprofitable practice, they continued to provide that service at a loss for a good period of time because they believe in that," said Commissioner Eades.

And business is up for locally-owned KB Recycling.

"The last three years we've doubled each year. The heavy commercial has really taken on, but the residential continues to grow slowly," said Finley.

For more information on KB Recycling, visit

For more on Republic Services, visit