Archive for January, 2010

How to be an ecycler Activist and Post Posters for ecycler or any Cause

January 21st, 2010 No comments

We need your help in getting people to recycle more!

I recently spent a few evenings in St. Petersburg, FL posting our ecycler posters. To post posters in your own community, all you’ll need are:

  1. Posters printed preferably in color on recycled paper.
  2. Thumbtacks
  3. Green Transportation: a bicycle or hybrid/high mpg vehicle
  4. Internet access before you go
  5. Phone
ecycler Marketing Poster

ecycler Marketing Poster - PDF 180KB

Before heading out from the hotel I used to make a list of businesses that I know have community boards or are very likely to have community boards where posters can be posted. The following franchise businesses usually have community boards: Starbucks, Panera Bread, Jimmy Johns and Whole Foods. I made a list of these and called each to find out if they have a community board. Panera and Jimmy Johns all had boards and did not have restrictions. About half of the Starbucks had community boards, though some only allow non-profit organizations to post. Some of their boards even say “This board is for information, not for selling stuff,” so keep that in mind for your cause. With ecycler posters, Starbucks managers were cool about it. When I explained that the purpose of the poster is to let people know about ecycler and how they can create their own recycling program or list their recyclables, the managers approved the posters.

The other category of business that usually has community boards are independent coffee shops and organic grocery stores (as well as some regular grocery stores). I called three of the coffee shops and all three had community boards or allowed posting in the window. The Whole Foods and organic grocery stores also had boards.

The next step was to create an optimal route (for the engineers out there creating an optimal travel route is the classic operations research problem called TSP or Traveling Salesperson Problem). I used the website: It allows you to add up to 24 addresses and create a round trip optimal travel route. The site will list the order in which you should go to the stores to minimize travel time. If you are going on a trip from one city to another you can choose A-Z which then optimally determines which places to go. But since I my start and end point was my hotel I needed the round trip choice.

I saved my list to my blackberry and headed out. Starbucks stores usually have magnets so you don’t need a tack, but other places may or may not have tacks. As you are posting posters you will see and meet interesting people. I got several questions when I was posting the posters and had some good conversations about recycling!

So you may want to know if it worked. A week after posting 12 we had one person interested and people visited the site! When I returned to Florida two weeks later, I visited some of the locations where I posted posters and found that people had torn off the tabs that direct them to

Categories: recycle Tags: ,

Oklahoma Bottle Bill

January 16th, 2010 2 comments
Oklahoma State Capital

Dome of the Oklahoma State Capital

Oklahoma State Representative Ryan Kiesel aims to implement a 5-cent beverage container deposit program in Oklahoma as a way to reduce litter and provide an infusion of much-needed cash for the budget.

State Rep. Kiesel and members of a House committee examined the issue recently at the state Capitol and says he will introduce a bill in the next legislative session.

Kiesel, D-Seminole, said the specifics have not been worked out, but the plan would require consumers to pay an extra 5 cents for each beverage container they buy, including glass bottles, aluminum cans and plastic water bottles. When consumers return the empty containers to the retailer or redemption centers, they get the deposit refunded.

He said money from unredeemed deposits could generate millions of dollars for state coffers.

“Whether you’re looking at the millions saved by reducing litter on our highways, the increase in state revenue without raising taxes, the positive environmental impact or the opportunities for economic growth, a bottle deposit program delivers on all counts,” Kiesel said.

Similar bills in recent years have not even been granted hearings in a state with a weak environmental lobby and opposition from a host of interest groups — including distributors, grocers and convenience store operators. They have expressed concern about labor costs, infrastructure needs and the sanitation issue of having used cans and bottles coming back to them.

The Oklahoma Grocers Association and a group representing convenience store operators already have come out against the plan, and the president of the powerful Oklahoma Malt Beverage Association (OMBA) said his group has opposed similar measures in the past.

“We’re taking a wait-and-see attitude, but I can tell you in the past, we’ve been opposed to it,” said OMBA President Brett Robinson. “Typically in these situations, the industry will align very quickly and be very involved in how this thing develops.”

But a few changes in the political landscape could help Kiesel get some traction on the bill this year. For the first time, a major glass manufacturer — Saint-Gobain Containers in Sapulpa — has come out in favor of the measure. Jim Bologna, the site energy manager at the plant that employs 340 workers, told the panel that because of a limited supply in Oklahoma, his company uses only 15 percent recycled glass. Most of that glass, he said, comes from Iowa, a state with a bottle-deposit program.

Kiesel also said he’s found some Republican allies, which would be helpful in moving the bill through the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Ultimately, it would come down to money, said Michael Patton, executive director of the Tulsa-based Metropolitan Environmental Trust, which operates 12 recycling businesses in northeast Oklahoma.

“There’s too much money on the table for states to ignore and there are too many jobs that would be created,” Patton said.

In Connecticut, a state with about as many residents as Oklahoma, officials anticipate their bottle-deposit law, which was recently expanded to include plastic beverage containers, will generate about $20 million annually in unclaimed deposits, said Chris Phelps, program director for Environment Connecticut.

But the redemption rate in Connecticut is nearly 80 percent, while in Oklahoma those numbers would probably be lower, Patton said. He predicted Oklahoma likely could generate close to $50 million with a similar program.

“We have one of the lowest recycling rates possible,” Patton said. “We estimate that the average Oklahoman will purchase 242 water bottles in a year. They’ll recycle 22.”

Original article written by: Sean Murphy

Click here for more information on the Oklahoma Bottle Bill

Tennessee Bottle Bill Update

January 15th, 2010 2 comments

Rutherford County (Tennessee) leaders want to study the idea of a proposed state law requiring nickel deposits on beverage containers to increase recycling.

The Rutherford County Commission’s Public Works Committee discussed the issue Tuesday night without voting to recommend a resolution for the full 21-member commission to consider.

“We are waiting to get more information,” Commissioner Anthony Johnson, who serves on the committee, said after the meeting. “We thought it was a lot more detailed than we could grasp on this short notice.”

Fellow Commissioner D.C. “Jim” Daniel agreed.

“There’s a lot of things for us to consider, and we just didn’t want to be hasty,” Daniel said. “We want to make sure we thoroughly consider our feelings about this. A lot of details hit us cold.”

Committee members hope to get copies of the proposed bottle bill legislation that calls for 5-cent deposits on plastic, glass and aluminum beverage containers. Customers could go to redemption centers to get their money back when they return the empty containers for recycling.

Part of the committee’s concern is that the proposed legislation could negatively affect the contractors now doing a good job to haul and buy the materials, Johnson said.

Committee members also worry that people will only drop by vending-machine redemption centers to get their deposit money back and won’t bother to recycle their cardboard, paper, food cans and other materials that can be dropped off at four unmanned drop off sites the county operates or along with trash at the county’s 14 convenience centers, Johnson said.

“We have conflicting numbers,” Johnson said. “Most of it is speculation on both sides. There’s speculation that this will hurt the stream of recycling we have now.”

Johnson hopes the state will pass some kind of law to increase recycling and cut down on the amount of litter on the roads.

“We definitely need to do something, whether it’s (the bottle bill) or something else,” Johnson added.

Categories: legislation, recycle Tags: ,

Featured on Mother Nature Network – Desperately seeking recycler

January 6th, 2010 No comments

Living without curbside recycling? Don’t fret … a new website called ecycler aims to connect recyclable discarders and collectors in your community.

How to use ecycler

How to use ecycler

Want to start 2010 off on the right, green foot? For those living in areas sans a curbside recycling pick-up service or a convenient recyclables drop-off station, a recently launched website called ecycler is looking to make things a whole easier via a virtual “Collect, connect, recycle” system.

Using ecycler is easy breezy — it’s essentially an online classifieds community for folks looking to get recyclables off of their hands or “discarders,” and those who are willing to pick them up and take/sell them to recycling centers or “collectors.” Not only do desperately seeking “discarders” benefit from using ecycler, but “collectors” can find the site beneficial as well with opportunities to turn green do-goodery into a small but thriving eco-enterprise (read: money-making).

Of course, ecycler won’t work without a committed network of  collectors, so if you’re interested in taking a few hours a week to play the role of “friendly local recyclable man or woman” take a gander at the site’s homepage — and blog and community forum — to see how you can become involved. And for more info on recycling facilities near you, check out the indispensable Earth911.

Folks without a convenient way to dispose of recyclables: would you sign up to become a member of a site like ecycler? And dedicated recyclers: is taking on the role of an entrepreneurial ecycler collector something that would interest you?

Click to see original Mother Nature Network feature

Categories: achievements, ecycler, recycle Tags:

Pledge your Recyclables!

January 1st, 2010 3 comments

Want to help the environment as well as people in need of additional income by giving them your recyclables?

Take the Pledge

Facebook Users: Pledge your recyclables!

Our website,, can make that happen, but we need your help.

Some facts:
Unemployment is at 10 percent. In a bottle bill state like California, a trash bag full of 200 cans is worth $10.00 In other states it is worth about $2.50, so this could really help out someone.

These could have been recycled:
• 38 billion water bottles in the U.S. were sent to landfills last year — in excess of $1 billion worth of plastic
• About 50 billion aluminum cans sold in the U.S. last year were sent to landfills or incinerated.
• 42 million trees in the U.S. in the form of newspapers were sent to the landfills last year

This is how long these items will stay in landfills:
• Plastic Beverage Bottles– 500+ years
• Aluminum Cans–Eighty to 200 Years
• Glass Bottles—4,000 to One Million Years
• Newspapers–Two to Four Weeks or Longer (15 years is possible)

If you currently recycle, we ask you to go to and pledge to give your recyclables to someone on the site.

We are in the process of trying to find people who will pick up your recyclables and take them to a recycling center (anyone with Internet access can be a collector). When you choose to give away recyclables on the site, you will see the following choice: “I don’t have recyclables right now but am willing to save them to give away, please contact me.” By choosing this, prospective ecycler collectors will see your posting and contact you via the site to pick up the recyclables. This way, you can continue to recycle the way you currently do and possibly switch to an ecycler collector when someone contacts you.

We are trying to get as many people as we can to register and pledge to give away their recyclables. In coming months we hope to get the word out to people who will contact you to pick up your recyclables.

If you want to read more about ecycler check out the article about us on


  1. Giving people more options for recycling
  2. Creating income for people

Take the Pledge

Facebook Users: Pledge your recyclables!

Categories: ecycler Tags: