Mark Clatt

Senior Vice President, Field Sales
Republic Services

Environmental stewardship ain’t what it used to be. Just six years ago, Clatt, then a senior executive overseeing 30 divisions in Florida and Arizona, evangelized the value of waste. In 2012, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new state-of-the-art Republic Services single-stream recycling center in Jacksonville, he told employees that the road from disposal to recycling would be rocky but ultimately prosperous. “The process is what our company leaders call the evolving ton,” Clatt said. “Now we take that same ton of trash. We look at it, we analyze it, we characterize it — try to find ways that we can transform it, dispose of it a little bit differently. Take it and pull the commodities out and make it a little bit better for the environment.” One year after that opening, China, the world’s leading recycler, began cracking down on pollution and, as a result, tightened regulations on waste. Now recycling, once a moneymaker for waste contractors like Republic Services, is actually costing cities money. In other words, waste disposal is a volatile business, as vulnerable to economic whims as is any technology start-up. But if a shift is in our future, Clatt, an Indiana University business school grad, is ready for the challenge.