Greenstar Recycling

Q&A with Greenstar CEO Matt Delnick

With Greenstar Recycling announced on Tuesday as the new jersey sponsor of the Houston Dynamo and the first founding partner for the future Dynamo stadium, caught up with Greenstar CEO Matt Delnick to find out a little more about the partnership. How did Greenstar Recycling become involved with the Dynamo, and what made this partnership such an attractive fit for Greenstar?
Matt Delnick: We’ve done some grassroots and regional-type sponsorships or promotional opportunities, but we were looking for a way to bring a little more presence to that and expand people’s knowledge of us both inside our current footprint and outside of that. … I’ve been a soccer fan since I was a kid, I played all the way through college, and I follow professional soccer. So for me, personally, I knew the value of being a sponsor, jersey or otherwise, of a soccer club. We like the idea of attaching ourselves to a growing sport in the United States that has its roots in youth and families. From a branding standpoint, we believe it will allow us to spread our brand more quickly and loudly.

HD: What will Greenstar bring to the Dynamo in terms of making their facilities more ecologically efficient?
MD: The biggest misnomer in the sustainability world is that recycling is on the bottom of the chain. We want solar, wind, more efficient lighting – that’s important too – but the quickest way to make the best environmental impact is recycling. The reality is recycling can have the biggest and most immediate impact on the environment for all of us. So we’re going to do for the Dynamo the same thing we want to do all over Houston: make it as green as possible. So we’ll do what we do with other large corporations, and that is increase the amount of diversion from landfills, and that is a great help to the environment.

HD: What has the reaction been at Greenstar, especially among people who may not have had your experience or background in soccer?
MD: The reaction at Greenstar, as people have found out about it, has been great. We pride ourselves on being nimble and being exciting and having a workforce people want to join and constantly having an energy around us and bringing that energy to the recycling and waste management sector. Our folks here are embracing this as an extension of that. To expand our brand with the best MLS club out there right now is very exciting and very positive for everybody.

HD: A lot of people are going to ask, ‘What is Greenstar Recycling?’ so please tell us a little bit about what separates you from other recycling companies.
MD: We’re different because we push single-stream recycling heavily, and we take it to areas that don’t have it. Single-stream recycling allows somebody to get a 64-gallon or a 96-gallon bin, and all their recycling goes in that bin. Then our people are the ones who worry about sorting it into the different commodities. It makes it a lot easier for people, and after the initial education of how to use it, a lot more people will do it.

HD: How well has this strategy worked in other markets, and how do you think it will play out in Houston?
MD: When you take a city that already has a strong recycling program, and you take single-stream to that area, recycling rates go up from 50-300 percent. Cities are realizing that it’s a lot more beneficial to have single-stream. Houston will be a fantastic market. We’ve been here for a long time, and introducing single-stream to the market is really going to be an exciting time for recycling in Houston.

HD: If Dynamo fans are interested in supporting Greenstar, what can they do?
MD: The best thing people can do and that we’re calling on folks all over the Houston metropolitan area to do is: Where there aren’t recycling options, each citizen should push for recycling in that area. Get with your local council or mayor or decision-makers for that entity and push them to recycle. It’s not always the easy choice to make that change, but it’s always the best thing for the environment and the best economical choice in the long run. Like any change, it needs to be the citizens getting engaged and saying they’ll push the envelope by petitioning and being engaged and getting the word out there.