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Will Sullivan is passionate about garbage and reducing its effect on the environment. Sullivan is on a mission to provide excellent waste disposal services while continuing to increase the recycling end of the business.
Sullivan began his career 17 years ago when he went to work for his family's waste disposal company.
"At Sullivan Environmental, I managed the cities of Swainsboro, Twin City, Claxton, Wadley, Soperton, Vidalia, Toombs County, Candler County, Montgomery County, and Georgia Southern University, just to name a few," Sullivan said. "We sold our company in 1996 to Republic Services. After being with Republic for 11 years, I decided to make a change and get back to the basics of owning and operating a business."
Sullivan partnered with Robbie Attaway from Milledgeville this past January forming ALLGREEN. Recently the pair purchased Southern Disposal on Highway 301 South, and now have offices in Bulloch, Emanuel, Wayne and Lowndes Counties.
More than just a traditional commercial and residential waste disposal company, ALLGREEN is keenly focusing on the recycling aspect of waste collection and disposal. With the ability to recycle everything from concrete to plastic, Sullivan said his company wants to recycle as much as it possibly can.
"After being in the garbage business for 17 years, I watched a lot of valuable resources being thrown away everyday in landfills and transfer stations," Sullivan said. "We currently provide commercial cardboard recycling, untreated wood waste recycling, scrap metal recycling, co-mingled plastics, and mixed paper. We will be offering curbside recycling to Bulloch County residents in the near future."
In addition to commercial and construction waste disposal, ALLGREEN provides private disposal services to approximately 500 homes in Bulloch County. Bulloch County manager Tom Couch said private disposal providers that encourage recycling are a benefit to all residents of Bulloch County.
"Any time you take trash out of the disposal system, it is the right think to do," Couch said. "If it goes in a regular garbage can without being recycled, it will go in the landfill in Jesup, and not only does that cost the county money, it continues to create a larger environmental problem for us all."
Bulloch County residents must take their garbage to a drop off center or county maintained dumpster, or contract with a private disposal provider such as ALLGREEN. Any county resident can drop off their recyclables at one of the 16 county recycling centers dispersed around the county.
Sullivan's partner Attaway said disposal rates in the southeast tend to be lower than in other parts of the country which results in less incentive for municipalities to encourage recycling.
"In this area, the disposal rates are half of what they would be up north for instance, so it is much more expensive for them to put their garbage into landfills," he said. "That is why many large cities are passing stricter legislation to encourage it."
Waste and Recycling News recently reported that 11 new laws had been signed by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg this month updating the city's 21-year-old recycling laws. Included in the legislation will be fine structures for residential properties that don't recycle.
While fines may be the means to encourage recycling in New York City, Sullivan is focusing on education by providing free recycling education to local elementary schools.
"I take broken Native American pottery and broken arrowheads and show the kids what garbage used to look like," he said. "Native Americans didn't make a cup, get a drink of water and then throw the cup away like we do with water bottles. It cost about $8 to $10 per gallon to buy water that we could get from the tap, and we complain about fuel prices."
Sullivan also teaches students about vermiculture (earthworms).
"Earthworms eat garbage," he said. "Each class gets an earthworm bin to use as a class project and see how they are nature's recyclers. You can't get a way from having some garbage that goes into a landfill, but we certainly can do a whole lot better than we are doing. I want to help with that."
Sullivan is married to Clara Sullivan, a Georgia Southern alumnus. They have three children, McLean age 14, Abby age 11, and Payson age 7.
"My wife, Clara, was very instrumental in getting ALLGREEN off the ground," he said. "She also came up with the name. Clara supported my decision in leaving Republic after 11 years, which was a huge risk."