Empire Recycling is a great supporter of our local community in the Utica area and beyond. Below are some organizations and efforts that we contribute to, volunteer for and that find vital to the success of the area we live and work in.


sculptureEach Earth Day, Empire hosts close to a dozen artists at our yard, allowing them to sift the various materials for pieces of interest to turn into artwork. The sculptures that are made from the scrap they collect are auctioned off at Sculpture Space's annual Chairity event as the Earth Day Collection. It's a unique partnership that mixes a love for the arts and the company's philanthropy with an environmental effort and a special opportunity for artists from all over the world to lend their talents to help in a fundraising effort for the non-profit organization.

About Sculpture Space

The organization selects 20 artists each year for two-month residencies and has helped to advance the careers of more than 400 national and international artists since 1976. The organization places works in the public domain, hosts studio tours, welcomes school groups to meet and watch working artists, collaborates with other organizations to exhibit artists' projects, and arranges lectures at area educational institutions including Colgate University, Hamilton College, Syracuse University, Pratt at Munson Williams Proctor Institute, Mohawk Valley and Onodaga Community Colleges and Utica College.

Visit their website:



Sitrin is one of the nation's most innovative regional providers of health and rehabilitative services. Their services include comprehensive medical rehabilitation, skilled nursing and respite care, residential care for individuals with developmental disabilities, adaptive sports, wellness services, dental services, child care, and medically-affiliated adult day health care.

Empire's vice president, Ed Kowalsky, is past Chairman of the Board for Sitrin, and Empire's president, Steven Kowalsky, is past Chairman of the Sitrin Foundation.

Visit their website:




Founded in 1890, the Rescue Mission is a faith-based, non-profit, multiple-service, charitable organization serving Utica, Rome and the Mohawk Valley. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the ministry "endeavors to assess and meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of all people coming for assistance."

The Rescue Mission of Utica serves individuals overcoming homelessness, abuse, addictions, and disabilities. The Rescue Mission's programs provide safe lodging, food, clothing, case management, counseling, advocacy, education, referrals and support services.

The following services are offered:

  • Community Meal Program
  • Addiction Crisis Center
  • Homeless Men's Emergency Shelter
  • Residential Aftercare Rehabilitation Program
  • Transitional Housing
  • Enriched Living Center
  • Representative-Payee Program
  • Morris Learning Center Community Clothing Room

Visit their website:




CareNet Pregnancy Center of Central New York is a faith-based not-for-profit ministry that has been serving women and men facing unplanned pregnancy since 1989 through offices in Utica, Rome, Oneida, Herkimer and Morrisville. They provide free pregnancy tests, a caring peer counselor, information on fetal development, abortion risks, parenting and adoption, a referral for a free ultrasound to confirm pregnancy, material resources to meet physical needs, and ongoing support through mentoring and parenting programs. By meeting individuals at their point of need Care Net empowers them to make a fully informed decision.

CareNet Pregnancy Center of CNY also provides pre-marital sexual abstinence education for Jr. and Sr. High School students through a program called Worth Waiting For. Since 1992 more than 50,000 students have been challenged to consider the wisdom of saving sex for marriage.

Visit their website:



munson_williamsMunson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute is a regional fine arts center serving diverse audiences through three program divisions - Museum of Art, Performing Arts, and School of Art. Founded in 1919, MWPAI continues to evolve while maintaining traditions of fine art and culture. The Museum of Art features a renowned permanent collection, fascinating exhibitions and education for all ages in an International-style gallery building designed by world famous architect Philip Johnson and also in Fountain Elms, a superb Victorian-era Italianate mansion. The Performing Arts Division presents world famous soloists and ensembles, rising stars, recitals with commentary, cinema, family programs, outdoor festival concerts, special events, and educational activities.

The School of Art offers a nationally accredited college program in association with Pratt Institute and community art education for adults, teens and children.

Programs evolving from the interests and intentions of the founders attract more than 175,000 annually.

Visit their website:



St_EsSt. Elizabeth's believes that each person has the right to quality healthcare with the same concern and compassion that their founding Sisters exhibited when they began this work in 1866. They strive to minister to the whole person to promote physical, spiritual and emotional wellness.

Inpatient and outpatient services range from the newly renovated emergency room, the Mohawk Valley Heart Institute, pediatrics and psychiatric services to sports medicine, sleep disorders center and home care.

Visit their website:




St. Elizabeth's believes that each person has the right to quality healthcare with the same concern and compassion that their founding Sisters exhibited when they began this work in 1866. They strive to minister to the whole person to promote physical, spiritual and emotional wellness.

Inpatient and outpatient services range from the newly renovated emergency room, the Mohawk Valley Heart Institute, pediatrics and psychiatric services to sports medicine, sleep disorders center and home care.

Visit their website:



Since 2008, Feed Our Vets has provided free food assistance to more than 20,000 Veterans and their family members, distributing 445,000 lbs. of food. Feed Our Vets is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to help Veterans in the United States, their spouses and children whose circumstances have left them on the battlefield of hunger, and to involve the public in fighting Veteran hunger. They do this through:

- Community food pantries that provide regular, free food distributions to veterans and their families
- Distribution of related goods and services.
- Public education and outreach




stanleyThe Stanley Center for the Arts (SCA) is a regional arts service organization dedicated to building a better way of living through the arts in Oneida, Herkimer and Madison counties.

The Stanley Theatre opened September 10, 1928, with the silent movie Ramona starring Delores del Rio and has been the premier showplace for Central New York ever since. After its recent renovation and expansion, the theatre has been host to bigger, renowned shows and talent – when the Stanley has an event going on, downtown Utica is alive.

Visit their website at:





heart_run_photoUtica's Heart Run & Walk is one of the largest in the country - a testament to the charitable nature of our community. The AHA's sole mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke and money raised goes directly to fund valuable research, education and advocacy efforts of the AHA.

Empire has been a past corporate partner with the walk and our employees are part of teams for the walk.

Visit their website at:




boilermakerThe Boilermaker is the country's biggest 15K race and welcomes runners from all over the world to a fun-packed weekend in Utica every July. Everyone's favorite part of the race is the end - where over 13,000 runners finish at the F.X. Matt Brewery on Utica's west side to enjoy their victory and... free beer! Empire Recycling has been a past corporate supporter of the race and some of our employees take part in a variety of the weekend's events - from the 3 mile walk and the 5K run to the youth runs and the infamous 15K.

Visit their website at:





Hearts of the Father Outreach is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 aid organization which establishes homes of refuge for children. These homes are open to orphaned, abandoned or abused children of all nations, color and creed. The homes provide for the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of the children in a loving, Godly environment.

Basic physical needs such as food, shelter and education are provided. Equally important, the children receive the spiritual foundation necessary for them to become morally and socially responsible, creative adults, who can make a positive impact on their world.

Visit their website at:




Jezereel International is an Albany-based non-profit humanitarian aid organization that Empire's president, Steven Kowalsky, helped found in 1996. He has served on the executive board, as treasurer and other capacities since its inception.

Jezreel ships desperately needed provisions to the poor and needy around the world. Items that are shipped include medical and hospital supplies, food, clothing, personal care and hygiene products, baby products, toys, new shoes and sneakers. Jezreel also serves as a resource for rescue shelters for battered women, drug addicts and alcoholics, pro-life pregnancy centers, inner-city ministries and veteran's relief organizations. Since 1996, Jezreel has helped over 30 nations across the world, as well as within the United States.

In the past 2 years, Jezreel increased its scope tremendously . In 2009, they shipped 20 containers and in 2010 shipped 51 containers throughout the world, 27 of which went to humanitarian aid relief in Haiti. Jezreel's warehouse space was doubled to better serve the growing need for aid around the world.

Visit their website at:



If you have seen the movie Wall·e, you know that Wall·e "works" making small scrap bales in a scrap yard, which we find out later is actually Earth - left behind under mountains of garbage and human consumerism. For the premier of this movie, Empire bought out two shows at locally-owned Uptown Theatre in South Utica for the community children to see.

Empire president Steven Kowalsky addressed the audiences at both showings prior to the movie to talk about the importance of recycling and helping the environment. It was a well received event, both for entertainment purposes and for the opportunity to spread the message about what Empire does on a more global level.