Recycling center reuses returned items, tracks material with comic characters

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SOUTHINGTON--With the busy holiday shopping season ahead of us a lot will be bought, but much of it will be returned due to some kind of flaw or people just changing their minds about the purchase.

A lot of what doesn't get returned to store shelves winds up at Reverse Solutions in Southington. The newer facility separates, scans and sorts everything from electronics to food.

The products are recycled and are often repurposed into other things, such as recalled coffee being transformed into fire logs. "Can you believe you're going to be smelling coffee under the fireplace with your wife, so it's nice--a dark roast," Isaac Shweky, CEO of Reverse Solutions, said.

Reverse Solutions estimates that its Southington warehouse recycles about a million pounds of material each year, and the company has come up with a creative way--through original comic book characters--to track all the material.

There are 18 characters to represent specific recyclables. "You got Acid Jack here for batteries, Green Anvil and Death Metal for metal, and you go down the line, e-waste Exibite, cardboard is the Origamist," said Shweky.

The intention is for manufacturers to start including the QR code on the products to scan. The characters are meant to make recycling more fun, especially to educate children.

The first comic book in a series of three will be released on Earth Day in 2015,

The company has about 40 full-time workers, and the plan is to double--or possibly even triple--the staff by early next year.

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