Recycling has become a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S., now filled with numerous competitors. The founders of one company from Northern California were managing to rise above the stiff competition by sticking to the skills and values they learned while emigrating to America.
CCTV America’s Mark Niu has their story.
Trash to treasure: Brothers make millions with recycling skillsRecycling has become a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S., now filled with numerous competitors. The founders of one company from Northern California were managing to rise above the stiff competition by sticking to the skills and values they learned while emigrating to America. CCTV America’s Mark Niu has their story.
Siblings David, Victor and Kristina Duong, are the founders of California Waste Management – a company used to carving out its own path. It invested in million dollar hi-tech optical sorters back in 2005.
It’s the first company in North America to buy this system and the first Asian-American run business to win multiple municipal hauling contracts.
It collects and recycles waste from 75 percent of the homes in Silicon Valley’s largest city – San Jose – and last year signed a 20-year, $800 million contract to service all of Oakland, winning the bid against the country’s largest waste hauler – Waste Management.
California Waste Solutions collects nearly 1,000 tons of waste every day at its San Francisco Bay Area facilities. Nearly all of the plastic, paper and ferrous metals will be shipped to China and end up in new products.
Despite initial concerns, the Duongs have accepted invitations to return to Vietnam, where they’ve invested $90 million in the largest waste treatment center in Vietnam and another $800 million in a waste energy project targeted for 2020.
It’s a principle they’ve followed no matter what country they’ve operated in — serve the community first and then the business will follow.
David Bronner on eco-friendly businesses
Another eco-friendly trend has turned what started as a German-Jewish family tradition of organic soap making into a multi-million dollar business. Dr. Bronner’s soap company, started by Emanuel Bronner, has been in business since 1948. The family-owned and operated business has led the way in promoting sustainable, organic and safe personal care products.
CCTV’s May Lee sat down with Emanuel Bronner’s grandson and current CEO, David, to find out more about how his grandfather launched the company.
Follow May Lee on Twitter @mayleetv