Listen To The Story

My Economy tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

For the latest installment in the series, we hear from Greg Conaty, who owns a family-run recycling business in Florida.

My name is Greg Conaty, and I'm in the recycling business. I grew up in the business with my father, and then when I turned 16 and got my driver's license, I was their first employee, and I started actually driving the truck and doing the routes myself.

We do mostly paper, cardboard from commercial businesses, and we also do containers for mix paper recycling. I believe we are one of the few left that is a private family-owned business in this type of business.

The price for our cardboard has actually come down quite a bit from what it was in 2017. And prior to that, the mills that are here in the country are just overflowing. We're increasing service charges, trying to reduce some employees as much as we can and just trying to save money in any possible way that we can save money. I just hope that fuel prices don't start to rise, because we go through quite a bit of fuel here with our trucks.

I haven't seen the markets this bad. I've been in this business a long time. We've had bumps in the road, and in the early '90s and the crash happened in 2008, but nothing has lasted this long. In my head, I'm the big advocate of environmental issues, as far as having the time to go out and do those types of things, it's very difficult.

I work long hours, and with the employment situation and the way it is, we're always shorthanded on employees, working six days a week, just not a lot of time to do things I would like to be able to do as an advocate. But maybe one day when this all settles down, I'd like to be able to do those types of things.

How's your personal economy doing? Do you have a story to share? Drop us line here. This series only works with help from people like you.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.