The Waverley Redemption Center (WRC) opened in 1987, before recycling was a household word and a household chore. Its focus from its first day was to reduce the number of bottles and cans that ended up in the trash and eventually the landfills.

Operating from the historic Fernald Developmental Center
in Waltham, it was recognized as an immediate success
and a forerunner of the green businesses that would
later become such a crucial part of the Massachusetts economy. In its first year, WRC recycled about 200,000 bottles and cans, and within 10 years, that number grew to nearly four million.

Since opening its doors, the WRC has grown from two to more than 25 employees, and it has partnered with countless local businesses and institutions, to help with their recycling efforts.  WRC’s customers come from a wide area, including   Watertown, Belmont, Lexington, Arlington, Lincoln, Newton     and Weston.

   The WRC is a self-sustaining entity, covering its operating  costs through the revenues it generates, “This is not a program,” said Mary Despres, who has worked at the WRC since it opened. “It’s a business.”