“Long before the term ‘green jobs’ was a household phrase, Richard Valle built a thriving business that benefits the environment and provides job opportunities for young people and other workers who face many challenges in securing employment.”
– James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, 2009
Tri-CED Community Recycling is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded in 1980 as a community-based recycling organization located in a state-of-the-art urban waste processing facility in Union City, California. Tri-CED’s mission is to reduce the waste stream, employ disadvantaged youth and adults, and share residual proceeds with the community. Tri-CED forms partnerships with community-based organizations, schools, teachers, and faith-based organizations to promote source reduction, recycling collection, compost creation, and community education programs designed to reduce waste and raise awareness about our environment.
For the past 25 years, Tri-CED has been recycling urban household waste and yard waste and managing a buy-back recycling center under contracts with the Cities of Union City and Hayward. The direct benefits to the community and the culture of Tri-CED’s recycling activities are enhanced by employment and job training opportunities for low-income residents of the community, undertaken in partnership with the Alameda County Workforce Investment Board (WIB), the Alameda County Title IV-E Waiver funded Highway to Work program, and the California Gang Reduction, Intervention, and Prevention program, funded by the Governor’s Discretionary Workforce Investment Act. Tri-CED is the largest community-based recycling operation in California and is looking to expand its presence in the community through increased partnerships with youth services and social service providers, as well as with local K-12 school districts and higher education institutions.
Tri-CED was formed in 1980 by Bert Perez, Frank Roesch, Richard Valle and several other members of the Union City community and other volunteers from the Tri-CED board of directors. Volunteers started by collecting aluminum cans, glass bottles, newspaper and cardboard at a small buy-back recycling center located under a Pepper tree at the Union City Youth Program on Mission Boulevard. Tri-CED also began picking up recyclables at churches and schools in Union City and eventually was able to secure a location on Central Avenue in Union City for its buy-back operations. In 1992 Tri-CED moved to its current location at Western Avenue. The current site (4.5 acres) is now an asset of Tri-CED.
Tri-CED received its first grant for $750 from Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in 1980. The money was used to buy a beam-scale that was used to weigh the recyclables. Since then, Tri-CED has worked with the California Pollution Control Financing Authority (CPCFA) to help finance expansion activities and contractual obligations. Special thanks to Mr. Bruce Groulx for his work with Tri-CED during the early years when the organization was creating opportunities in Union City and Hayward.