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Recycler g2 finds new uses for materials

Published: Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(H. Rick Bamman -
Recycler g2 revolution employee Nick Morales of Algonquin prepares g2 PAK containers at the Lake in the Hills facility.
(H. Rick Bamman -
Recycler g2 revolution co-owner Billy Waterson (left) and CEO John Graham with containers that will be filled with consumer chemical products for recycling.
(H. Rick Bamman -
Recycler g2 revolution CEO John Graham describes the expansion possibilities of the shipping facility in Lake in the Hills.
(H. Rick Bamman -
Recycler g2 revolution art work made from recycled material including glass from store shelving and nail polish.

LAKE IN THE HILLS – Inside the 20,000-square-foot airplane hangar, workers at g2 revolution prepare empty boxes and buckets to go to assorted retail businesses around the country.

The containers, called g2 PAKs, each have a bar code and a return label so the box could eventually be shipped to g2's Findlay, Ohio, location.

The boxes and buckets shipped out of the Lake in the Hills distribution location eventually will be filled with materials outside of the traditional plastic bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard and newspapers.

g2 revolution recently moved to the Lake in the Hills Airport location from its 10,000-square-foot Wolf Drive location in Huntley.

"We've got a lot of ability to expand within these walls," said g2 co-owner and CEO John Graham.

g2 [short for "go green" with a lower-case g] recycles as much as possible. A table and cabinet in one office are made out of old wooden bleachers from a high school gym. There are seat numbers painted on the wood, and even names that were carved in over the years.

The company's goal is to find another use for materials.

Everyday materials such as laundry detergent or fragrances would need to be disposed of as if they were hazardous waste if they were opened and thrown away.

The products could be materials that weren't sold, or have expired, and could end up in an incinerator or sent to a landfill, if they were thrown out.

"The goal here for our company and where we're heading is to take a lot of those materials out of that hazardous waste loop and reuse them," co-owner Billy Watterson said. "Take this consumer chemical product, get it back ... where it can be used, primarily for an industrial application."

Fragrances can be taken back, distilled and put into an E-85 fuel or for large trash bin deodorizer. Shampoos, facial wash and soaps can be blended into industrial floor wash.

"We're constantly coming up with innovations," Watterson said.

Graham and Watterson started the business in Ohio in 2008. They opened a distribution center on Trinity Drive in Lake in the Hills in 2009. They moved to Huntley in September 2010, and then moved back to Lake in the Hills in November.

The company's Findlay, Ohio, facility is where workers perform the recycling portion of the operation. The Lake in the Hills location is used for distribution.

About 15 people are employed in Lake in the Hills and about 20 employees at the Ohio location.

They now work with 20 national chains, and 50 total clients. The new distribution location gives them an opportunity to grow.

g2 also developed software called Eco-track to track how much its clients are sending in. The company is able to track the containers it sends around the country and Canada, and how much is recycled, in terms of number of pieces and weight. g2 could even see how individual stores are doing.

"We're a recycling company, but we live on our data," Graham said. "Very few [companies] if any can tell you to the level of detail... by location, individual bucket, by date, by material count, by piece count."

They also can take these materials in a cheaper manner, than hazardous waste haulers, Graham said.

"We wanted to give people.. the freedom to make the right choice," Watterson said.

* * *

g2 revolution:

What: Provides efficient and cost-effective means of recycling a wide spectrum of materials for a variety of clients

Where: 8585 Pyott Road, Suite 100, Lake in the Hills

Information: Call 224-858-4583 or visit

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