A picture of three NLR workers unloading boxes of spent fluorescent lamps in our UWH warehouse. NLR recycles fluorescent lamps and other universal waste.

Our Team

Working At NLR

NLR’s Longest serving Transportation Specialist, with well over 1 million miles driven safely; Dino Samson.

It’s important to have a purpose. At NLR, we can’t think of a better resolve than trying to keep our environment clean for future generations. Our team is committed to that, to working hard, and doing our absolute best for each other and for our customers. We focus on continuous improvement each day, so that your experience with us is seamless and easy. You might only see our drivers, or talk to one of NLR’s knowledgeable staff, but behind them there is a much bigger team. NLR’s logistics experts, sales and customer service, warehouse personnel, and team at our processing facility work together to make sure your waste is in the best hands possible.


A picture of R Graczyzk, NLR's President.

Ray Graczyk

President of NLR
Email Ray
Office: (860)-292-1992 ext. 104
Direct Line: (860)-903-1278

Ray Graczyk is the founder and president of NLR. In addition to his duties at NLR, Ray also serves as president for the Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers (ALMR).  ALMR provides educational and informational resources to government agencies, municipal authorities, industries and other business entities, universal waste handlers, waste generators, environmental groups and industry trade organizations. ALMR’s mission to promote programs, policies and practices that divert mercury-bearing wastes from the solid waste stream and the environment runs parallel to NLR’s mission “green”.

Over the past two decades, Ray Graczyk has been instrumental in the passage of legislation in Washington, D.C. for the Universal Waste Rule, and has also worked with Michael Bender, director of the Mercury Policy Project, for Vermont’s Mercury Labeling Law, which led to the national law for the labeling of all mercury containing lamps. Ray continues to be a staunch advocate in Washington for issues related to mercury.

Robert E. Robert

Vice President
Email Robert
Office: (860)-292-1992 ext. 101
Direct Line: (860)-627-9611

Robert E. Robert has been with NLR since its creation. He was invited to assist Ray Graczyk launch his startup venture and develop Connecticut’s first lamp recycling facility for mercury-containing lamps and bulbs. Robert was instrumental in bringing NLR from concept and construction, to operational reality in 1996.  Deeply involved in driving the organic growth of the company and its mission to keep mercury out of the environment, Robert and Ray have created one of the most respected names in universal waste recycling in the U.S. Robert has appeared on numerous television shows advocating the proper management of light bulbs, batteries and electronics. He has also been featured in The Hartford Courant Money and Business, as well as The University of Hartford’s Observer, to continue NLR’s quest to keep mercury out of the environment.

Outside of NLR, Robert has been actively training in martial arts since 1984 and is currently Vice Chairman for the International Kokondo Association (IKA). Focusing on authentic, traditional Japanese karate and jujitsu for self-defense, Robert has instructed thousands of students worldwide. He owns and operates House of Jujitsu in West Hartford, Connecticut instructing classes daily.  He has also co-authored, Sankosho- A Warrior’s Path to Kokondo Martial Arts and is one of Konkondo’s leading authorities on principals, tactics, and strategies for self-defense.

The NLR Office Team

Sean Unger

Operations/ Production Supervisor
Email Sean
Office: (860)-292-1992 ext. 201

Sean Unger’s role with NLR is overseeing operation and managing production levels for all shifts in the lamp processing facility and the UWH warehouse. Sean has spent 8 years at NLR beginning as a technician and working his way to night shift supervisor, to supervisor of the lamp processing facility. He has a background in business and receiving professional training from OSHA, as well as DEEP/EPA certifications to help maintain the health and safety of NLR’s employees. His personal interests include reading, mixed martial arts, and he loves his two dogs and helping to raise two step children.

Joel Gornbein

Business Development Manager
Email Joel
Office: (860)-292-1992 ext. 107

Joel Gornbein’s role with NLR is to build relationships with new and existing customers and to mentor, train, and develop the customer support team to ensure NLR meets our customers’ recycling needs and exceeds their expectations. Joel has a Bachelor’s in Business Administrations from the Rochester Institute of Technology and has been in the environmental services industry for more than 30 years. At the beginning of his career, he was a part of the remediation of the Love Canal, the 1st designated Superfund site in the United States. In his personal time, he enjoys softball, golf, bowling, the Buffalo Bills, the Boston Bruins, the Red Sox and traveling to Florida to visit his son and grandchildren.

Sherri Sandiford

Administrative Specialist
Email Sherri
Office: (860)-292-1992 ext. 100
Direct Line: (860)-292-1992

Sherri Sandiford’s role with NLR is to be the gatekeeper for the corporate office and the first voice on the telephone. She’s pivotal in processing paperwork, certificates of recycling, paperwork for drivers, data entry, BakPak orders and many other facets of the NLR business. She has a background in business and accounting from Saint Joseph College and has been with NLR for 3 years. Her personal interests include reading science fiction novels, and crocheting.

Uma Raghavan

Accounts Receivable
Email Uma
Office: (860)-292-1992 ext. 108

Uma Raghavan’s role with NLR includes invoicing, processing payments, and interacting with customers regarding any open balances. She has been working in accounts administration for 5 years and prior to relocating to the US, has almost 8 years’ experience in the administrative field. She has a Bachelor’s in Accounting and a diploma in Computer Application, as well as a Master’s in Information Technology from India. She serves as a treasurer for her community’s board of directors and in her personal time she loves to bake with her kids, spend time in her garden, and sew, crochet, and knit.

Sarah Zanelli

Customer Service Specialist
Email Sarah
Office: (860)-292-1992

Sarah Zanelli’s role with NLR includes being a source of knowledge about our services, ensuring new and existing customers receive the support they need, and keeping our customers up-to-date. She is new to universal waste recycling but was a part of the hospitality industry for over 8 years. She has a B.S. in Recreation and Leisure with a concentration in Travel and Leisure. Her interests include spending time with her son, being outdoors or canning. She lives with her son and their guinea pig, PigPig.

Adrienne Ashley

Customer Service Specialist
Email Adrienne
Office: (860)-292-1992

Adrienne Ashley’s role with NLR is to provide the highest level of customer service possible to our customers and to support their universal waste recycling programs to keep them in compliance. Adrienne has been in customer services for 10 years, from working in tax offices to sales support in medical supplies, and now NLR. In her personal time she enjoys candle making, and raising her 6 month old pitbull pup, Nova.

Will Dickinson

Marketing Coordinator/ Web and Graphic Design
Email Will
Office: (860)-292-1992 ext. 102
Direct Line: (860)-292-1018

Will Dickinson’s role with NLR is to redesign NLR’s web presence and digital marketing campaigns. Will is responsible for graphics, marketing campaigns, and generating brand awareness. He’s new to NLR, but has been in the marketing and design space for almost a decade. He has a MFA in digital media and design. Will’s personal interests include photography, all things outdoors, and is a movie aficionado.

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Universal Waste Housing (UWH) Team

UWH facility team is the frontline for receiving and sorting our clients’ universal wastes. They assure the highest safety measures are followed and work to make sure your waste is quickly categorized and safely moved to our processing facility or a certified downstream vendor.

Lamp Processing Group

Our team at the lamp processing facility work quickly to sort and recycle lamps and lighting wastes. They also prepare, ship, and receive the majority of our national mailback program, BakPak. Using state-of-the-art machinery the processing team recycles mercury containing lamps and bulbs back down to metal caps, glass cullet, and phosphor powder that can be reused and retorted in other processes. This team also cleans and prepares received ballasts for recycling.

A picture of four members of the NLR lamp processing team. They are in front of one of the large lamp crushing machines that recycle lamps and mercury containg bulbs.

NLR Transportation Specialists

NLR’s drivers are professionally trained and certified waste transporters. They’re committed to superior service and assist our clients with their waste when on site. They don’t only drive, they load, unload, and assist whenever possible. Our drivers are used to navigating the complex maze of the inner city and are backed by our logistics experts to make sure they arrive where they’re supposed to and when they’re supposed to. Most importantly they comply with the DOT’s rules and regulations, so you can rest assured that your waste will be transported safely from your facilities to ours.

A picture of two NLR box truck. NLR uses the latest trucks and certified drivers to safely transport your universal waste.

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