Founder & CEO
Green Girl Recycling
Location: Longmont, CO
Industry: Recycling Services, Information Destruction & Technology
She looks at the world through green-colored glasses.
Living in the mountains outside Boulder in 1998, Bridget Johnson, CEO and Founder of Green Girl Recycling, quickly learned that the only way to recycle all the materials she and her three roommates were trying to keep out of the waste stream was to haul it to town herself. Knowing the importance of recycling, she had stumbled upon a need, and wrote out a business plan on a paper napkin. Acquiring the nickname by friends, “the greenest girl they knew,” Johnson had planted the seed and began growing Green Girl Recycling.
Fast forward 23 years.
Green Girl Recycling is a successful recycling company in Colorado providing recycling, composting, paper shredding, and hard-to-recycle services, to residential and commercial customers in Boulder, Larimer and Weld Counties. Johnson wields strong skills in project, supervisory, budgetary management, and creative marketing of materials. With a cast-iron determination, an easygoing manner and infectious love of life, these skills have enabled her to motivate people to recycle in places where recycling has traditionally been difficult. Her leadership and love of the earth has succeeded in building a business that now recovers over 2,150 tons per year and currently employs nine people.
Johnson said that the best part is they still love what they do.
“Our vision to help others keep recyclable content out of the landfill continues to evolve and grow,” she said. “We are a green solution-driven company built on a mission and passion for what we do.”
GGR's electronics recycling division has doubled revenues in the past year and their goal is to do this again in 2021. Poised to double their customer base in size within the next 2 years, she said that they are growing closer to their goal of over $2M with both their shredding paper and electronics recycling services while continuing to increase customer base for single-stream recycling collection at ten percent year over year.
She attributes this progression to her employees, many who have been with her for over 10 years.
“We are all working toward making recycling easy for our customers, which has been our tag line since 1999 when I began hauling recycling from the mountains outside Boulder into town helping neighbors,” Johnson said. “As a team, Green Girl Recycling will continue to help customers with paper shredding, electronics recycling, and hard-to-recycle items. The single-stream recycling front door pickups is where it all started for Green Girl Recycling.”
Ever curious, Bridget constantly reads about the ever-changing recycling markets and the green industry, partnering with other recyclers to offer the greatest package of services to her customers and truly being excited about making a difference.
“I have always paid very close attention to my team and where my business was headed through the continuous non-stop change in the recycling world,” she said. “Watching market trends, staying competitive within the industry and offering red-carpet treatment for all our customers helps set us apart.”
And her employees would agree. Johnson leverages employee talents into best roles within the business and loves to share and reward employees who go out of their way to make a difference.
“The most important thing I've always done as a leader is remaining positive, motivational and focused,” she said. “Like attracts like.”
Johnson has put Green Girl Recycling on the media map with awards including: Boulder Chamber of Commerce, inaugural year inductee: “Women Who Light Up the Community Award” (2005); Northern Colorado Business Report: 100 Fastest growing companies (2010 to 2020); Boulder County Business Report: Eco-Hero Award (2010); National Ski Patrol Appointment #11912 (2017); NSP Yellow Merit & Gold Merit Star Recipient (2018); National Nordic Outstanding Patrol Award (wrote and won for BMNSP) (2018), and Outstanding Patrol Director BMNSP (2016-2019).
She said she loves going to work because she gets to make a difference in the world environmentally every day and measures her success based on three things: Did I help someone new divert from the landfill? Did I support my employees with love? Did I guide, motivate or inspire someone on my team to be a little better today than yesterday?
She is satisfied when she can answer, yes, to all three.
This green Titan offered some solid advice to recycle for anyone leading in any industry: go at it with passion. “If you love what you do, everything falls into place easily,” she said, “and people will want to follow your every move.” "
Bridget has been recycling since she was 7 years old. She grew up in upstate NY and would collect cans from neighboring farms to redeem at 5 cents each which helped to fund her horse and first bike.