For over 100 years, this family business has grown from recycling rags to an empire of nine divisions in seven locations across New York State.


Founded in 1916, before the importance of recycling was recognized, Empire's creators (Robert, Morton and Louis Kowalsky) believed that simple items such as rags, paper and metals could be re-used. Today, recycling's impact on the environment is making a healthier, more industrious place for us to live, and Empire's services and commitment are a tremendous component in making that happen.

William Kowalsky joined Empire Recycling Corporation in the late 1940s and Charles Weitzman the late 1950s. William eventually became company president, serving until he passed away in 1981. Weitzman then served as president until his retirement in 1990.



Continuing in the family tradition, Steven Kowalsky now serves as president of the growing company with his brother Ed serving as executive vice president. Under the brothers' leadership, Empire has grown substantially most recently acquiring an inter-modal trucking company, Empire Logistics, servicing the entire Northeast.

Empire has expanded throughout the last 100 years to include recycling of all types of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastic recycling, confidential document destruction through its Confidata division and non-confidential paper recycling through its SMR Fibre division.