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Meet Rebecca Phillippi

Jack Arksey

Rebecca on-site at EMR New Castle

From its prompt payments system to its ‘no job too large or too small’ ethos, EMR USA has always put great customer service at the heart of its world-leading metal recycling operations.

Operating close to the banks of the Delaware River, EMR New Castle is – with the help of its enterprising and dedicated Depot Manager Rebecca Phillippi – a great example of this approach in action.

“Our site is in an industrial area, but there’s quite a few homes nearby, so our yard caters for both local businesses and the community, too. For this reason, I often describe it as a ‘hybrid’ yard,” Rebecca says.

The word ‘hybrid’ could also be used to describe the blend of materials her team sees arriving at the facility each day.

“We buy a lot of copper and other non-ferrous metals, but one of my current projects is to build up the amount of ferrous metal we receive as well. EMR New Castle is very fortunate to have a really great customer base and I’ve tried to build on that – a lot of our customers have my phone number, so they can get in touch and ask any questions they have before they get to the yard.”

To keep customers coming back, Rebecca has invested time and effort into ensuring the site is welcoming and family-orientated:

“Customer service is so important to me, and I want my team to go above and beyond. This includes teaching customers how to earn the maximum amount of money by separating the material they have, building rapport with them and always keeping our yard clean and tidy. I want to our customers to feel at home.”

For somebody who is so passionate about delivering a great customer experience, it’s noteworthy that Rebecca began her career with EMR USA in a commercial role, helping to accept deliveries from some of the company’s largest customers at its Port Richmond facility (EMR Rhino), in Philadelphia.

“At first, I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s so many people, it’s so busy’ but it was also very rewarding to see where so much of the material EMR USA buys comes from and to build those personal relationships,” Rebecca says. Crucial to the site’s success – and maintaining this great level of service – is Rebecca’s team.

“I became Depot Manager here in 2022 and prioritized building a strong relationship with the team. They respect me and I trust them to do their jobs. I provide guidance and help where it’s needed but I also recognize where they’re doing well and celebrate that.”

As the recycling industry continues its rapid period of transition, Rebecca says her personal mission is to attract more women to work in a still male-dominated industry.

“It’s a hard job, but it’s also very rewarding and I’m proud that my kids see me heading to work in all weathers and at all times of year, working hard – it’s a great example to them.”

When it comes to finding potential applicants, Rebecca has hit upon an unlikely source:

“I meet a lot of women in the yard who might be driving their husbands as they drop off an old fridge or air conditioning unit. It’s a great way to pick their brains and learn about their customer needs, but it also often ends up with them asking if we’re hiring – which is great.”

And, as more women do join the industry, Rebecca is providing a great example to follow.