Recycling Today has long been the recycling industry’s go-to trade publication. Jim Keefe, Executive Vice President and Group Publisher of Recycling Today Media Group, talks to 1-800-RECYCLING about how the recycling world has changed in recent years, and how Recycling Today continues to evolve along with it. 1-800-RECYCLING: Your publication history dates back several decades. How has the recycling landscape changed? Keefe: In many ways. The growth of post-consumer recycling is probably the single biggest change, and now the growth in electronics recycling. The industry has also evolved into a much more sophisticated business characterized by global trading patterns and the utilization of highly sophisticated technology. However, it is important to note that not all countries are operating in the same way or at the same level. 1-800-RECYCLING: With the growth in the recycling industry over the last several years, how has your trade publication grown? Keefe: The depth of what we need to cover, the range of subjects, has expanded dramatically. As well, it’s critical to take a global view because what happens in North America is impacted by what’s happening in Brussels and Beijing. 1-800-RECYCLING: What niche in the recycling world do you see as the next big thing? Keefe: You know, different groups have used the term “mining the urban forest,” and I would say that is it — shooting for zero waste through recycling, resource conservation and reutilization will grow dramatically as we look down the road. 1-800-RECYCLING: What sorts of recycling/reuse/conservation practices does your Ohio office uphold? Keefe: Really we’re a small business operating in essentially an office environment, so our office recycling is typical of what many have today — paper reuse and recycling, cans, bottles collection programs, as well as our electronics and the byproducts they create. Of course, we print on recycled paper and our printer operates significant recycling efforts. 1-800-RECYCLING: What companies out there are taking truly impressive recycling measures? Keefe: There are many businesses doing great things. It’s unfair to single one or two out. This sort of question could be thought about in so many different ways; look at a company like Nucor, which makes virtually all of its steel from recovered scrap metal. There are others that have done an excellent job designing for recycling and others that have reduced their landfill waste through aggressive recycling programs. 1-800-RECYCLING: Talk about your expansion publications, particularly Recycling Today Global Edition. How has the reception been overseas? Keefe: The reception has been fantastic, in such a global industry, Recycling Today Global Edition filled a real market need for valuable insight with an international perspective. We had a similar experience with Construction & Demolition Recycling, which serves businesses and communities that recycle construction materials and demolition debris. As the industry continues to grow and expand, the need for niche informational products grows with it. In fact, we’re seeing that now with electronic media, which is why all of our websites get so much traffic and our specialized e-newsletters for plastics recycling, electronics recycling and automobile shredding are so well read. Mr. Keefe joined GIE Media, Recycling Today’s parent company, in 1991 in a sales and market research capacity. In 1992, he was promoted to Marketing Manager for GIE’s recycling business and in 1993 promoted to Sales and Marketing Manager for GIE’s portfolio of media products. In 1995, his focus returned solely to the recycling industry when he was promoted to Publisher of Recycling Today and its affiliate publications. Since that time, Mr. Keefe has remained active in the recycling industry, participating in industry conferences and meetings in North America and globally. He has also been active with industry trade associations such as the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and the BIR, serving on both a local and national level. During his career, Mr. Keefe has overseen the continuing development of Recycling Today magazine, which is the leading business magazine serving the recycling industry. He managed the launch of their Internet site, RecyclingToday.com, as well as numerous publication launches, including Construction & Demolition Recycling, Storage & Destruction Business and most recently Recycling Today Global Edition. As well, his experience includes the introduction and ongoing production of both market directories and conferences. He currently serves as an Executive Vice President for GIE Media and is a member of the firm’s executive team. Mr. Keefe is a graduate of Ohio University in Athens, OH. He holds a bachelor’s degree is business finance with a concentration of studies in interpersonal communication. He and his wife, Karen, have two boys and reside in northern Ohio.
Recycling Today’s Jim Keefe on How the Recycling Industry Has Evolved
The expansion of the recycling industry has changed the way media perceives it. Keefe tells 1-800-RECYCLING how his media company continues to grow with the times.