Destrehan twins bring curbside recycling back to St. Charles
Destrehan resident Chancey Becnel, 25, started Global Recycling in November 2012. Six months later his twin brother, Shane, quit his job working offshore to join him in making the endeavor a family business.
The pair, who both graduated from Destrehan High School in 2007, said they got the idea to open up a recycling company after taking a trip to California, where recycling is mandatory statewide.
“We were just on vacation when we were in college. It wasn’t a choice to recycle there and we just started looking into it,” Chancey said. “The demand in Louisiana was there and they didn’t have a full-time recycling company, everybody was a trash company with a recycling extension. We just wanted to become a fully green company.”
Being able to improve trash disposal by introducing recycling appealed to Chancey.
“We had looked into trash hauling, but we really wanted to find something that was easier to give back and be more eco friendly,” he said. “It is kind of a wave that is coming and a good way to help the environment and economy.”
With that mission in mind, the Becnels have been steadily growing their business and have more than 350 customers spread out across St. Charles, Jefferson and Orleans parishes. The service costs $10 a month.
As part of their mission to make recycling more widespread in the region, the Becnels have begun contacting elected officials in areas, such as St. Charles Parish, that do not have recycling included in their waste disposal contracts.
“I tried to go after the city of Kenner but they had something saying we had to be a business for two years, so we stopped trying to go after them. St. Charles Parish is saying they don’t have it in their budget,” Chancey said.
Undeterred, the brothers’ next step is to increase their marketing efforts to attract local customers who want to be part of the recycling effort.
“We want to create parish-wide sustainability and to try to make St. Charles Parish one of the greenest parishes,” Chancey said.
As part of their rollout, Global Recycling has taken part in numerous charity events in the area, including the Buddy Walk for the National Down Syndrome Society, a toy drive for Hurricane Isaac victims last Christmas and a fishing camp at the Bonnet Carre Spillway.
In addition, they created three pieces of furniture, including a chair repurposed from a suitcase, for a design competition using recycled materials to auction off for the Green Project, a New Orleans non-profit that recycles used goods.
But when it comes to giving back, one of the activities Chancey enjoys most is teaching local school children about recycling.
“We go into public schools and teach children to go green because we think if we target the youth we can make a change,” he said.
For the Becnels, the challenge of running a recycling company is not just one of making money, but also of making a difference.
“We create a sustainable living through curbside recycling. We are not a trash company,” Shane said. “What is important about our service is that we provide an outlet for our customers and divert materials from landfills. The landfill doesn’t have to be the answer.”
For more information, contact Global Recycling at 1 (800)387-5646 or visit their website at www.joinrecycling.com.
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