RDS is making strides changing stereotypes

August 1, 2018. . .Portsmouth, VA – Sarah Dennis is into trash – specifically recyclable materials people throw out in their recycling bins.

As the Inside Sales Manager, Environmental Compliance Manager and Human Resources Representative for RDS Recycling, Dennis wears many hats. She has been with the company for almost four years.

“I wear many hats at RDS,” Dennis said. “I love it.”

As the Inside Sales Manager, Dennis is responsible for all inside sales and current accounts. She sets up new accounts, making sure the customer gets the right service for their needs. She also makes changes to existing accounts.

In addition, Dennis is the Environmental Compliance Manager. She oversees all DEQ and city permits, inspections and reporting to ensure the facilities remain in compliance.

Lastly, she is also the Human Resources representative for the company’s Portsmouth location.

“I really love helping people and feeling like I make a difference – no matter how small,” Dennis said. “It’s a good feeling to know we are doing our part to make our world a better place by reducing, reusing and recycling the materials that come to us.”

Dennis is in the minority, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, as a woman in the recycling business. According to Waste 360, companies who buck the trend of male-led and dominated business models for recycle will be the future of the industry. That’s just where RDS is headed.

“I would strongly encourage other women to get into the recycling business,” Dennis said. “Although this is a male dominated field, women have a lot to offer this industry. We are equally equipped to work hard in an industrial setting, run the facility, manage customers and employees.”

Dennis also offers this advice: Do not fall into stereotypical behaviors that would only perpetuate stereotypical thinking. Also, strive to be more, and push yourself to do more than what other people expect of you, and even what you expect from yourself.

The bottom line is, Dennis wants to make a difference.

“I want to leave our planet better than when I got here. I want my children, my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to have a cleaner environment with less waste,” she said, “Without recycling, the waste we are producing is having such a negative effect on the environment. Nature and wildlife are negatively impacted by our inability to reduce trash when it ends up in our oceans, rivers, streams and in the green spaces nature and wildlife need to survive and thrive.”