The secret of Reciclad’OR is to create the future


Reciclad`OR, the leader in the transfer of responsibility market, has taken over the task of recycling packaging waste for more than 700 companies that introduce packaged products on the national market.

The company estimates a 30% increase in the quantities taken over for recycling by the end of this year. Read on the interview with Diana Cîtu, CEO of Reciclad`OR.

Forbes Romania: How has Reciclad`OR evolved in these three years since its establishment?

From the very beginning, our strategic objectives have been linked to the long-term development and continuous improvement of operational performance.

Due to organic development, Reciclad’OR today takes over the responsibility of packaging recycling for over 700 companies that introduce packaged products on the national market.

In order to meet the recycling objectives, we have entered into national partnerships with over 240 waste collectors and 7 sanitation operators.

Simultaneously with the increase in the number of customers and suppliers, the company has developed a vast portfolio of resources and skills.

Some of these resources can be easily identified by the general public: tripling the number of employees, opening offices in Bucharest, Cluj, Iasi and Constanta, etc. For the superior exploitation of resources, the company has incorporated in the last two years exceptional functional, strategic and operational skills.

Within the strategic development process, the care for the community was a priority for Reciclad’OR.

Understanding the importance of citizen involvement in the process of collecting packaging waste, we have developed over 60 social responsibility campaigns (CSR). The common objective of these campaigns was to develop an appropriate daily behavior of the citizen towards the separate collection of packaging waste.

As a proof of the company’s professionalism, from its establishment until now, Reciclad’OR has successfully fulfilled all its legal obligations.

This is also certified by the last control of the Administration of the Environment Fund, verification that ended in September 2020.

In conclusion, I can say that the success of Reciclad’OR is the result of a complex configuration composed of strategy, resources and skills developed, management systems, leadership, speed of reaction and adaptability to changing economic and legal conditions.

Forbes Romania: What financial results did you record in 2019 and what are your estimates for this year?

Since last year, Reciclad’OR has positioned itself as a leader in the responsibility transfer market. At the level of 2019, the company registered a turnover of 113.4 million lei and had a market share of 16%.

The process of consolidating the market leader position continued in 2020. Based on the data recorded for the first nine months of the year, we estimate a 30% increase in the quantities taken over by transfer of responsibility for recycling and a market share of 21 %.

The quality of services, the transparency and predictability of the rates applied, the response to customer requests, CSR programs and the brand reputation are the key success factors that generated a high degree of customer portfolio retention (99.8%) and continuous growth in the number of new customers.

In order to better understand the robustness of the company’s evolution, at the beginning of October, the degree of customer satisfaction and their needs were analyzed in the context of the requirements of the circular economy.

The recorded results were a real delight for us. Not only from the perspective of the current degree of satisfaction, but especially from the perspective of future needs, needs for which, in advance, Reciclad’OR has developed a complete package of services.

On this occasion, we announce for the first time, the launch in November of the consulting service specialized in circular economy. This service will help Romanian producers and importers to successfully manage the impact of the transition to the circular economy on recycling costs, packaging solutions, consumer behavior, etc.

Forbes Romania: What portfolio of clients do you currently manage?

Of the 700 customers, I will mention only a few companies without diminishing the respect and importance we give to all our customers, regardless of market share or field of activity: Maspex Romania, PepsiCo Romania, La Fântana, Bergenbier, Ursus, Heineken , Carlsberg, Tuborg, Alexandrion Grup, Cotnari, Vinarte, Jidvei, Altex, Emag, Carrefour, Profi, Decathlon, Romstal, Farmec, Avon, Oriflame, Yves Rocher, Mars, Mondelez, Kandia, Sony, Boch, Siemens, Canpack Romania, Ficosota, Henkel, OMV Petrom, Rompetrol, Cris-Tim, Wienerberger, Catena, Zentiva, Zara.

In the spirit of transparency, on the company’s website:, you will find the entire Reciclad’OR customer portfolio.

Forbes Romania: How is the year 2020 for the recycling market in Romania? How and how much has the pandemic affected the recycling market?

Without a doubt, the spring experience and current developments have a negative impact on the HoReCa sector.

Some of Reciclad’OR’s customers have the HoReCa sector as their market. Thus, the quantities of packaging waste for which we took responsibility from these customers decreased in the first nine months of the year, compared to the similar period of 2019.

However, in the context in which some of them were not affected by the pandemic, and the client portfolio developed considerably, we can declare that the impact of Covid-19 on the Reciclad’OR business is minimal and easy to manage.

According to the estimates of our analysts, the quantities of packaging reported as being introduced on the national market by customers in 2020 will decrease by 15% – 20% compared to the previous year.

Fortunately, the packaging waste collection market has functioned somewhat in terms of parameters. As a result, we have no difficulty in achieving our recycling targets.

The dynamics of the transfer of responsibility market have suffered because the conditions for cost efficiency have changed. Cost efficiency depended less on economies of scale and more on speed of response and rapid adjustment to change.

As the market has become increasingly turbulent and unpredictable, increased response speed and exceptional operational flexibility have become an important source of competitive advantage for Reciclad’OR. But the first requirement for developing a rapid response capability is access to information and its quality.

As the economic forecasts are no longer so efficient and the essential market information is contradictory, Reciclad’OR has developed a high-performance early warning system.

Forbes Romania: How has the pandemic changed the way you work at Reciclad`OR?

Given the nature of the service we provide, personal communication is a considerable plus in terms of dialogue and feedback.

This approach, in the context of Covid-19, has become unpredictable and sometimes impossible.

Fortunately, with the support of digital systems, we managed to integrate online the sales and consulting activity of the offices with regional coverage (Cluj, Constanța and Iași) and to optimize certain costs.

Even through online systems we manage to maintain the quality of services provided, we feel the lack of personal meetings with our customers. After all, we are human beings, and our customers have always been a source of inspiration and innovation for us.

Even in these difficult conditions we continue to innovate. We researched the possibility of using new processes to provide existing services cheaper or with improved benefits in line with the specific needs of some customer segments. In short, we designed the e-Recycling platform ( which we will launch in November.

We believe that the secret of success does not lie in adapting to external change, but in creating the future. Competitive advantages will always be the prerogative of companies that act as leaders and initiate change.

Forbes Romania: How has artificial intelligence improved in the field of sorting technology?

In the context of the transition from quantitative recycling to qualitative recycling as a fundamental condition for the implementation of the circular economy, the technology used in the collection-sorting-recycling process will play a crucial role.

We are witnessing, at a modal level, a significant increase in the contribution of technology to the innovation of collection models or to the substantial improvement of existing ones.

The technology will directly impact players’ competitive positions in the supply chain. For example, the warehouse system in which the store became a “sorting station” by implementing automatic machines (RVM) for collecting PET, glass and aluminum type packaging.

Reciclad’OR has initiated a complex research on the forecast of packaging recycling in Romania in the time horizon 2021–2025. Within the research there is a component in which we will inventory the collection systems at national level, the sorting and recycling capacities and the technologies used as well as the degree of recyclability of the packaging introduced on the market. The results of the research, including the integrated package of solutions and recommendations, will be made available to our customers.

Forbes Romania: What investment plans do you have for Reciclad`OR?

The latest global developments have shown us once again how unpredictable and fragile the economic and social environment can sometimes be. But even in these difficult conditions, Reciclad’OR will carry out a series of investment projects, projects through which we aim to streamline costs for our customers, facilitate sustainable access to resources and generate economic circularity. At the right time we will communicate these projects to the general public.

Forbes Romania: You are a Platinum member of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). What responsibilities does this affiliation imply and what actions have you taken in this regard?

For over 50 years, ISWA has been promoting resource efficiency through sustainable production and consumption, promoting the best technologies and practices available worldwide, and developing a range of scientific, economic and social tools.

Reciclad’OR, through the strategy department, is permanently involved in the technical activity of the working group on European issues within ISWA (legislation, technical, communication).

We transfer all the European expertise we accumulate in the working group free of charge to our clients.

However, I would like to point out that Reciclad’OR’s activity at international level is not limited to ISWA. Reciclad’OR is also the only company in Romania member of the Prevent Waste Alliance.

Prevent Waste Alliance is a multi-stakeholder partnership that brings together the most important actors in the private sector, academia, civil society and public institutions and aims to minimize waste, eliminate pollutants and maximize the reuse of resources in the global economy.

In the working groups, we will develop together with the other members a series of projects to prevent the generation of waste, the collection and recycling of packaging waste and increase the reuse of secondary raw materials. The focus of Reciclad’OR is generally on plastic packaging and disposable packaging. And we offer this expertise for free to our customers.

Forbes Romania: To what extent does the current legislation in Romania encourage recycling and help all operators involved in the process: producers – collectors – sorters – recyclers?

From the perspective of the macro-economic analysis we can say, without any doubt, that the biggest impact on the activity of responsibility transfer is the one generated by the legislative changes. Changing economic market conditions play only a secondary role.

Consequently, coherent legislation primarily requires the creation of optimal and functional conditions for an efficient business model.

If in the industrial-commercial flow the functionality and efficiency of the collection system is similar to the European countries, in terms of the municipal flow here the legal framework generated a series of anomalies.

In this flow we are in a situation where the recycling of packaging is hampered by legal entities that have no responsibilities in the supply chain of packaging. Entities that generate significant additional costs and do not bring any benefit in increasing performance in the collection and recycling of packaging.

Forbes Romania: What stage has the implementation of the deposit system in Romania reached?

Before any clarification, I would like to congratulate the representatives of the water and soft drinks industry, the representatives of the beer industry and the consultants who carried out the feasibility studies regarding the storage system in Romania. Based on these studies, we can discuss today concretely, applied and argued about the introduction of the deposit system. However, there are still many steps to be taken before implementation.

Currently, the project is in a critical phase: the adoption of the legal framework to ensure the conditions for implementing the deposit system and its complementarity with the separate collection system funded by the transfer of responsibility organizations (OIREPs). The cohabitation between the two models will be conditioned by the quality and accuracy of the adopted legal framework.

Once the legal framework is adopted, Reciclad’OR will make every effort to inform and train customers and to ensure complementarity and synergy between the two collection models.

Forbes Romania: Where is Romania on the world map of recycling? What steps are left to do?

Analyzing the latest statistics published by Eurostat on the performance of packaging recycling in the Member States, Romania was in 2017 somewhere at the bottom of the rankings (see table).

Ensuring the separate collection infrastructure, educating and permanently informing the citizen and increasing his involvement in the separate collection process as well as applying specific economic instruments are just some of the steps that Romanian society should take to increase performance in packaging recycling.

In the context of the requirements of the Circular Economy Directive and the European Green Pact, the market for the transfer of responsibility throughout Europe will enter, starting in 2021, a profound process of transformation.

As a market leader, Reciclad’OR has the obligation, at least morally, to draw the new vision regarding the role of the transfer of responsibility in the packaging recycling activity in Romania.

Changes in the competitive environment will be the cumulative result of combined and unpredictable influences: changes in legislation, macroeconomic developments, the evolution of technology, changes in consumer behavior, etc.

Clearly, these changes will not only affect the transfer of responsibility market, but also the competitive strategies of packaged product manufacturers and importers and, implicitly, their approaches to packaging and packaging waste management.

In short: the “business as usual” era is over!

This article was taken from the Forbes Romania website:

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