Welcome New Member: Firstar Fiber Corp.
Firstar Fiber Corp.—a new PSI Chapter member—is Nebraska’s largest recycling operation, serving residential and commercial customers. The 21-year-old company has more than 130 employees at its Omaha and Lincoln operations, and it processes and markets over 100,000 tons annually.
In 2006 Firstar (dba First Star Recycling) opened a materials recovery facility in Omaha—the first MRF in Nebraska–to mechanically separate commingled recyclables. In 2016, First Star became the first MRF in the country to offer the Hefty® EnergyBag® program as an ongoing service. In that program, residents and businesses put otherwise nonrecyclable plastics into special bags that First Star collects with customers’ other recyclables for delivery to the MRF. The recovered material is converted into diesel at a pyrolysis plant, used in plastic fence posts, and consumed as an alternative fuel at a cement kiln.
Dale Gubbels, Firstar Fiber’s CEO and president, began his career in recycling as the first executive director of the Nebraska State Recycling Association, where he worked through the 1980s. He then moved to Connecticut to open the first U.S. office for a Toronto-based recycling consulting firm. He later started his own consulting firm that helped U.S. businesses capitalize on the developing interest in recycling. After returning to Nebraska in 1999, he assumed the role of CEO at Firstar Fiber, the company he co-founded two years earlier.