Recology Appoints New CEO

Date: January 4, 2021

Source: Recology

Michael Sangiacomo


Sal Coniglio

On December 31st, 2020, Michael Sangiacomo retired after working for Recology for 37 years. He spent 30 years as the CEO, one of the longest tenures at that position across the industry. Sal Coniglio, who was appointed to the position of chief operating officer in June of 2020, will take over as CEO. The news of this role transfer comes months after Paul Giusti allegedly was involved with influencing a San Francisco official to receive better contracts for the company. Recology maintains that the two events are unrelated and that Sangiacomo had long planned to retire after his long and distinguished tenure as the CEO.

Sangiacomo began his career working on a collection truck as a teenager, he later went on to become the chief financial officer for Envirocal in 1983. In 1987 he became the general manager of San Francisco operations at Norcal (Recology's former name) following their acquisition of Envirocal. Sangiacomo has also long been a strong advocate for reducing waste across the state of California. In 2018, he joined the push for a statewide tax on plastics, which is a key issue in the fight for reducing waste across the state. He also appeared at the National Zero Waste Conference last month where he added his name to a letter calling on President-elect Biden to ratify the Basel Convention of Plastic Waste Amendments.

Sangiacomo's successor, Sal Coniglio, also has a long history in the industry. He began his career as a weighmaster in 2000, later becoming the general manager of operations for Butte and Colusa counties for Recology in 2015. Coniglio hopes to continue growing the company by strengthening its customer outreach and improving the employee-owner culture.

January 4, 2021

Robert Reed, Public Relations Manager

Recology Appoints Salvatore Coniglio as Chief Executive Officer

  • Mr. Coniglio Brings Substantial Industry Experience, a Strong Leadership Record, and a Commitment to Recology's Vision of a World Without Waste

  • Michael Sangiacomo retired December 31st after 37 years with Recology

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif, January 4, 2021: Recology today announced that Salvatore "Sal" Coniglio has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Coniglio served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Recology. He took over on January 1st as part of a transition plan put in place in anticipation of the retirement of Recology's long-serving Chief Executive Officer, Michael "Mike" Sangiacomo, on December 31st.

"I have dedicated over three decades of my professional life to Recology, and I am deeply proud of the work we have done together to reduce waste and promote recycling with a focus on sustainability," said Mr. Sangiacomo. "I have had the privilege of acting as a mentor to Sal over the course of his five years with Recology, and I wish him and Recology every success going forward."

Mr. Coniglio has worked in the waste management industry since 2000, beginning as a weighmaster in Pittsburg, California. He worked his way up, serving as a route auditor and then transitioning into managerial roles, overseeing various aspects of the business, including collection operations, transfer stations, material recovery facilities, landfills, composting, customer service, information technology systems, and finance. Mr. Coniglio joined Recology in 2015 as the General Manager of Recology Butte Colusa Counties and was promoted in 2018 to be the Group Manager of the Inland Group, overseeing many of the company's Central Valley collection and processing facilities in California. He was promoted to his current role of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in July 2020. Mr. Coniglio graduated from St. Mary's College in Moraga with a BA in Leadership and Organizational Studies.

"We are delighted that Sal is now stepping into this role. He is a proven leader who knows our business top to bottom," said Christa Steele, Chair of the Recology Board of Directors. "He understands the critical importance of waste reduction, and he is committed to advancing Recology's sustainability efforts and to building strong relationships with the communities we are privileged to serve. We look forward to working closely with him in the years to come."

Recology is a 100% employee-owned integrated resource recovery company providing materials collection, processing, commodity sales, and outreach and education to customers throughout California, Oregon, and Washington. Recology finds new ways to process and reuse what was once considered waste, collecting and recovering recyclables to be re-purposed into new products. Recology has more than 3,700 employees, who serve over 150 communities.

"I am honored by this appointment," said Mr. Coniglio. "Over the past five years, I have come to know our extraordinary base of dedicated employee-owners, and I have every confidence that together we can deliver outstanding customer service, advance Recology's environmental stewardship, and support our communities across California, Oregon, and Washington. As the Chief Executive Officer, I pledge to continue to embrace our strong employee-owner culture and to strive to have a diverse and experienced workforce at all levels of the organization. I am also grateful to Mike for his leadership and for his confidence in me to guide Recology's next chapter."

During Mr. Sangiacomo's tenure, Recology implemented numerous industry-leading recycling and diversion programs. Taking the company's commitment to recovery a step further, Sangiacomo led an effort to add a third cart for the collection of organics, dubbing the larger program "the fantastic three." This move marked the nation's first large-scale curbside organics (compost) collection program and laid a foundation for further success using a three-cart system in San Francisco and beyond. Under Mr. Sangiacomo, Recology expanded composting programs to other jurisdictions in California, Oregon, and Washington, and embraced innovative technology for advanced materials processing.

In April 2009, in an effort to redefine and expand Norcal Waste Systems as a geographically diverse business, Mr. Sangiacomo officially rebranded the company to Recology. During his 37 years at Recology, the company more than quadrupled in size, while always maintaining a focus on its people, its service and the environment. Recently, Mr. Sangiacomo and Recology have joined with environmentalists to advocate for legislation in California aimed at reducing plastic waste.

Mr. Sangiacomo has earned significant recognition for his leadership of Recology. Among other honors, Mr. Sangiacomo was recently awarded a Lifetime Civic Achievement Award by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and a Distinguished Citizen Award by The Commonwealth Club of California. He was also recently inducted into the National Waste and Recycling Association Hall of Fame.

"There is no question that Mike has advanced the industry and put in place waste recycling and management practices that will serve our communities and our planet for years to come," said Ms. Steele. "We thank him for his contributions to Recology."

Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin