Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Domenic Monopoli of Filco Carting Is Helping To Change Our World

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I wholeheartedly endorse a round-table leadership approach, which requires both employer and employee being open to each other’s ideas and perspectives. A strong leader brings all diversity into the conversation — in order to make decisions that represent 360-degree thinking.

As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Domenic Monopoli.

Today, our President & CEO, Domenic Monopoli was presented a Citation from the office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for Filco Carting’s continued support of the local Brooklyn community during the COVID-19 Pandemic by Mr. Alberto Ramos, President of C.H.E.N.Y. Coalition by sending several employees to assist with handing out food and supplies to those in need.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

Navigating Covid as a company was the most interesting and challenging experience of my career. I assumed sole ownership of Filco Carting in early 2020 and for the first two months of the year, the company had shown the largest profit in Filco’s history. Then March of 2020 approached and Covid consumed and shut down the island of New York. At first, our waste removal trucks were not allowed to enter Manhattan. However, we do waste removal for many of the city’s critical services — including utilities and healthcare facilities. We had to figure out a way to continue to remove waste from our frontline clients — including hospitals, nursing homes, hotels and such utility companies as Con Ed and Verizon. These companies were New York’s lifeline during the pandemic — particularly at the start — when we were all stunned by the magnitude of Covid and the uncertainty of the days ahead. Like every other business in the country, Covid affected our bottom line — but what I’m proud of is that even in the pandemic, we still did what we needed to do to service the clients who mattered most to New York’s residents.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

One learning experience I had that led to more inspired strategies was when I tried to create ways in which Filco could help sustain the environment. Under my leadership, Filco became the first waste removal company to introduce natural gas waste removal trucks into the five boroughs of New York City. What I quickly learned, however, is that these vehicles are more sustainable in warmer weather — and not at all practical when the weather turns colder. The idea, while founded in environmental preservation, was not viable. We ended up discontinuing the vehicles from service. However, this key learning inspired me to think of more viable ways to preserve our environment. This month, we are getting closer to our 100% zero waste goal, and we announced the development of a new 10 million dollar facility we are developing.

Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?

Filco has strived to have a positive impact on the communities in which we do business with two important initiatives — our environmentally sustainable practices and our community programming.

This month Filco announced today we are nearing our 100% zero waste goal by 2027 goal with the groundbreaking of our new waste recovery facility. The new $10M state-of-the-art recovery facility is expected to break ground in early 2023 and be fully and be fully operational by year’s end.

Currently, 80% of all Filco’s waste is delivered to waste-to-energy facilities rather than landfills. The new facility will enable Filco to separate materials by waste stream, thereby giving the company more internal control over any customer recyclables cross contamination which negatively impacts the materials capability to be recycled.

We are always looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental excellence — and to be the first ones at the starting line.

Of equal importance is to give back to the communities we serve. One program we have in place is our American Flag Donation Initiative. This past summer, Filco donated numerous American Flags to all of the local poverty-stricken schools in the area.

In addition, we partnered with Cypress Hills East New York Coalition to lend an extra hand in giving back to the beloved community when they needed it the most. During the height of the pandemic, Filco and C.H.E.N.Y Coalition provided food packages to over 250 community members, and dedication several hours helping to construct the food pantry.

To this day, we partner with such extraordinary organizations as City Harvest and we feed more than 350 members of our community every week.

Making a positive impact in our community has been a constant in our business model in the 112 years Filco has operated. Preserving the environment and giving back to the people in our community are two components that are of the utmost importance to us as a company.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Five things I wish someone had told me when I first started would be: Lead by example; Be the first one in and the last one out every day; Work as hard as you can; There is never a reason to be rude to your colleagues; and if you try to do things the right way, things will work in your favor.

All of these life lessons are grounded in work ethic. As a family-owned business, I was raised by my parents to be grateful for work and to give it everything I have every day. And that’s how I am raising my kids. There is no shortcut to getting what you want in life. Hard work begets success.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If I could inspire any movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, I would end homelessness and hunger. The United States is the wealthiest country in the world; there is no reason people should be without shelter and nourishment.

This is why we continue to lead programming in our community to help feed those who need our help. Communities thrive when we all come together for the greater good — and everyone contributes in the way they’re best able.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

Filco Carting not only cares deeply for their community, but for our employees as well. When our company, like every other company worldwide, was negatively impacted by Covid, we continued to be concerned with our employees’ well-being. We did everything we could to support and uplift those who were part of the Filco family, even in such small ways as to make sure that we provided food for our employees who struggled to put food on the table during Covid.

We also increased our efforts to feed community members who were financially and emotionally devastated by Covid. The pandemic was a “do or die’ moment for all of us and I’m proud of the way Filco stepped up to the plate in any way we could to take care of others in whatever ways we could.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

Currently, New York is facing a city-wide waste removal issue that is severely impacting the environment. In New York City, we have an opportunity to empower our communities to learn and adapt more sustainable practices to protect our environment.

At the state level, our politicians should mandate education in schools about practices that can make a real difference on a grassroots level to protect the environment.

New York City teachers should create environment conservation and protection curriculum that can show our children the difference they can make in their own communities. Now is the moment that generations can come together to make significant changes in how we live. These changes can literally save our planet.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

I wholeheartedly endorse a round-table leadership approach, which requires both employer and employee being open to each other’s ideas and perspectives. A strong leader brings all diversity into the conversation — in order to make decisions that represent 360-degree thinking.

Best practices are the result of a collective of voices coming together to share thoughts, ideas, points of view and thinking — in an inclusive and safe environment where everyone’s opinion is welcomed.

In my opinion, best practices and the most comprehensive approach to any decision making or policy starts with leadership who have an open-door policy.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My philosophy is that there is never an excuse for disrespect in the workplace. “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university” is my favorite life lesson quote said by Albert Einstein. I believe this quote fully embodies my philosophy of treating all with respect.

How can our readers further follow your work online?





This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Domenic Monopoli of Filco Carting Is Helping To Change Our World was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.