We had the good fortune of connecting with Peggy Whitlow Ratcliffe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Peggy, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Recycling is a 2.5-billion-dollar industry in the state of Georgia. Georgia is number two in the nation for remanufacturing recycled materials, and more than 120 manufacturers are located in Georgia.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started as an elementary school teacher and
My parents passed away, and I was tasked with cleaning out their home. My Dad was a gardener and had many pesticides and herbicides that were marked dangerous. I was trying to figure out how to dispose of something like that, and no one really had answers for me. While researching, I found that many cities around Atlanta provided household hazardous waste collections for their residents once a year. Long story short, I organized Atlanta’s first hazardous waste collection in 2010. Then five years later in 2015, the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM) opened!
I learned that when you are passionate about a cause, you can make a difference and to not take rejection personally – raising funds is HARD!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First head to CHaRM for a full tour! Atlanta is filled with so many incredible restaurants, farm to table, seafood, steaks and of course The Varsity. I love live music, so Venkmans is a favorite. They have delicious food and good music! Take a walk or bike along the Beltline. Stop by the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and Zoo Atlanta (we’re actually holding one of our fundraisers there in October!). Be sure to check out all of the fantastic murals around the city, including the two we have at CHaRM! Catch a Falcons or Atlanta United game at the Mercedes Benz Stadium or the Hawks at State Farm Arena. There is always something fun going on in this city!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Many folks have inspired, educated and supported me on this journey. Of course, the patience of my family, friends, Live Thrive board of directors, two special Atlanta Council Members, all processing vendors…the list goes on and on.
The folks who come in to recycle are my heros! They take the time to make a difference. Without them, CHaRM would not be successful.