Firstar Fiber Corp.—a new ISRI and PSI Chapter member—is Nebraska’s largest recycling operation, serving residential and commercial customers. The 21-year-old company has more than 130 employees at its Omaha and Lincoln operations, and it processes and markets over 100,000 tons annually.
In 2006, Firstar (dba First Star Recycling) opened a materials recovery facility in Omaha—the first MRF in Nebraska—to mechanically separate commingled recyclables. In 2016, First Star became the first MRF in the country to offer the Hefty® EnergyBag® program as an ongoing service. In that program, residents and businesses put otherwise nonrecyclable plastics into special bags that First Star collects with customers’ other recyclables for delivery to the MRF. The recovered material is converted into diesel at a pyrolysis plant, used in plastic fence posts, and consumed as an alternative fuel at a cement kiln.
Dale Gubbels, Firstar Fiber’s CEO and president, began his career in recycling as the first executive director of the Nebraska State Recycling Association, where he worked through the 1980s. He then moved to Connecticut to open the first U.S. office for a Toronto-based recycling consulting firm. He later started his own consulting firm that helped U.S. businesses capitalize on the developing interest in recycling. After returning to Nebraska in 1999, he assumed the role of CEO at Firstar Fiber, the company he co-founded two years earlier.
Learn more about Firstar visit FirststarRecycling.com. Reach Dale Gubbels at (402) 894-0003, ext. 13.
Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners—the newest ISRI and PSI Chapter member—is an investment platform that supports sustainable consumer goods, recycling, and the development of the circular economy. Investors include many of the world’s largest consumer goods companies and family offices interested in investments that provide strong financials returns and tangible social impact.
Maite Quinn-Richards, Closed Loop’s managing director as of October 1, focuses on identifying industry trends, deal generation, due diligence, and portfolio management. She is a 16-year veteran of the recycling industry, most recently serving as director of business development and sales for Sims Municipal Recycling, which operates one of the largest and most advanced MRFs in the world in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Earlier in her career, Quinn-Richards was president of Sprint Recycling, which at the time was the largest private hauling and processing company in New York City. She also worked in television, producing and directing more than 40 hours of documentary programming for ABC, CBS, Discovery, Nickelodeon, and others.
Quinn-Richards also serves in leadership positions for several industry trade associations. Within ISRI, she co-chairs the MRF Council. She holds two leadership positions in the Association of Plastic Recyclers, chairing its MRF Committee and serving on its Olefins/Rigids Committee. In addition, she is a board member for the Association of New Jersey Recyclers and the Westfield (N.J.) Green Team.
Learn more about Closed Loop Partners at ClosedLoopPartners.com. Reach Maite Quinn-Richards at (646) 208-8373.