Recycling is Real…in Farmingdale, NY


The Recycling is Real team went to Long Island, New York for a visit with the team at PQ Recycling in the village of Farmingdale.

Part of a larger company called PolyQuest, PQ Recycling is one of only about 25 facilities in the U.S. dealing exclusively in the recycling of PET bottles (the kind used for drinking water and soft drinks)—and they’ve been doing it for 30 years. Receiving bottles in either whole or pre-shredded form, PQ sorts them, washes them, sorts them again, and then uses the material to make a food-grade plastic flake that can go back into a bottle or any other PET application.

PQ negates the false claims that plastic recycling is a myth. “I know recycling is real because we do it every day,” said Monica Filyaw, Quality, Safety & Regulatory Affairs Director for PolyQuest.

“We are part of the circular economy and part of the solution for making sure that there is enough material for the next generation.”

“Sustainability and circularity are at the core of what we do,” added George Smilow, COO at PQ Recycling.

Family pride in an important job

Meet the Bueno family—a mother/father/son team, all working to support the mission of keeping PET bottles out of landfills and the environment.

Roxana Bueno, who works in Quality Inspection at PQ, set the tone for her family’s perspective when she said, “I’m feeling very proud working here, because for me it’s very special work.”

“My wife, she’s with me for 32 years in this place. Now my son Manny also works for PQ Recycling,” said Plant Manager, Jose Bueno. “I’m so proud of my son because I can see he’s capable to help other people by working here in the recycling business.”

Indeed, Mr. and Mrs. Bueno have done a great job in passing along the importance of recycling to their son. “I’m proud to work at PQ Recycling,” said Manny Bueno, PQ’s Shipping and Receiving supervisor. “It feels like I’m making a contribution for a better future.”