Author Archive

ecycler Showcased on Today

December 14th, 2010 No comments

Ecycler featured on! Come check it out and make a comment. was created to help promising startups get exposure and receive insightful feedback. People come to StartUpLift to learn about new startups and to engage in stimulating conversation. Sounds good to us!

Feedback sought:

  • Do you find the site intuitive? Meaning, upon arrival to, is it obvious as to what the site is all about?
  • We would love some suggestions on the registration process.

I think it’s very cool that this company allows you to schedule a time and place to pick up recyclables…

Showcase here:

Categories: achievements, ecycler Tags:

ecycler Completes the Challenge

December 11th, 2010 No comments

During the Fairfield Challenge, ecycler exceeded its goals of improving the environment, enhancing the social value of recycling and supporting local communities.

Here’s how we did it:

During our visits to 13 cities, totaling 15 stays, using Fairfield Inn & Suites as our base, we spread word to numerous businesses and individuals about how ecycler can help them recycle for free. We posted ecycler posters at grocery stores, coffee shops and restaurants in all of the cities we visited as a way to encourage discarders to join.

ecycler visited Kokomo, Indiana where we visited a variety of local shops and restaurants to let them know about ecycler and encourage them to register on the site as discarders. We are also handed out some of our ecycler reusable shopping bags.

While in Michigan we met with one of our Collectors who picked up the largest discard of cans to date to get feedback from him and learn more about his salvage business. In Lansing, Michigan, we met with the Michigan Recycling Coalition about developing a partnership with that organization. Also as part of the Michigan trip we were able to get in contact with the Michigan Recycling Partnership. Ecycler is now a member of the partnership and will be presenting to the partnership in January.

During a stop in Colorado Springs, Colorado, we met a woman who said she doesn’t recycle at all because she has to pay a fee to do so. By signing up on, she can now recycle and save money at the same time.

As a result of our efforts on these trips, hundreds of new users have registered on These new discarders and collectors will help keep cans, bottles and newspapers from clogging up landfills. Local communities will benefit because the collectors will earn extra income that can be pumped back into the local economy. It will also encourage people who haven’t recycled before to start.

We are very pleased to announce our newest business discarder the Fairfield Inn Orlando. We plan to find collectors for this hotel to meet their recycling needs. We now have several bins setup at a large car dealership in Northern Illinois with the approval to setup more bins at their multiple locations. We are working with the businesses to build out their ecycler profile pages so that their green efforts are known to the community.

Some of the best things we have heard said about ecycler are,

“ecycler is such a good idea for so many reasons.” tweet @ecycler

“I definitely will let anyone I know who may have cans to donate about your website.” tweet @ecycler

“Your new website should be a blazing success. I’ll talk to your again in the future.” Richard in MI

Radio host Kim Komando, whose weekly three-hour call-in talk show is heard on more than 470 stations, chose ecycler as a “Cool Site of the Day” on Nov. 15 in conjunction with America Recycles Day.

Another one of our goals for the future is to add scrap metal and appliances to the items that can be recycled via ecycler. During our trips we heard from potential discarders that there is growing demand for this kind of service.

We feel that ecycler deserves to win the Fairfield Challenge because there is nothing more important than the sustainability of our planet, and our site is doing its part – and encouraging legions of people around the country to do theirs – to help protect the Earth.

This and all the Crush that Can episodes may be viewed here: Crush that Can is a series of videos–short, humorous videos to demonstrate different ways to decrease the size of aluminum cans in order to prepare them for recycling in non-bottle bill states.
Categories: achievements, ecycler Tags: ,

D-Day is Coming to Delaware

November 29th, 2010 2 comments

Delaware is no longer a Bottle Bill state! Redeem all of your containers now–before it’s too late.

The Delaware Beverage Container Law (aka “the Bottle Bill”) is undergoing a dramatic change. Please be aware that in early 2011, returnable beverage containers will no longer be refundable. Information on the current Delaware Beverage Container Law (some aspects taking effect in December 2010, others in early 2011), can be found here. Information below explains the changes in beverage container sales and returns as mandated through Senate Bill 234.


On June 8, 2010, Senate Bill 234 was signed into law. This piece of legislation does many things, one of which is replacing the Delaware Beverage Container Law. The 5¢ deposit will transition into a 4¢ fee. This fee will go into a temporary recycling fund that will help expand recycling programs. This fee will automatically be removed in 2014. Beginning in early 2011, beverage containers will not be redeemable in Delaware for a deposit. Several opportunities exist for you to recycle beverage containers. You can learn about those opportunities by contacting your waste hauler (or other waste haulers), the Delaware Solid Waste Authority, or the Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Branch.


  • You will no longer be able to redeem returnable beverage containers after January 31, 2011.
  • Stores will continue to refund deposits until that date.
  • The definitions and responsibilities with regard to this process will remain in effect until January 31, 2011.


  • Starting December 1, 2010, you should not be charging deposits on returnable beverage containers.
  • You must continue to refund returnable beverage containers to consumers through January 31, 2011. The definitions and responsibilities with regard to this process will remain in effect through that date.
  • As of February 1, 2011 you will no longer have that responsibility and you should no longer refund deposits to consumers.
  • You have until February 28, 2011 to redeem returnable beverage containers to distributors.
  • You will need to remit the 4¢ per beverage container fee to the Division of Revenue. This begins December 1, 2010 and includes the types of beverage containers that previously held a Delaware deposit value.

Retail Beverage Container License and Recycling Fee frequently-asked questions


  • Starting December 1, 2010, you should not be charging deposits on returnable beverage containers.
  • You must continue to refund returnable beverage containers to dealers through February 28, 2011. The definitions and responsibilities with regard to this process will remain in effect through that date.
  • As of March 1, 2011 you will no longer have that responsibility and you should no longer refund deposits to dealers.

We’re sorry to see Delaware revert its recycling policies–now we’re down to ten bottle bill states. With some luck and a bit of hard work, Tennessee and Texas will soon join those ten.

Original posting available on the State of Delaware site

3 Ways to Recycle Soda Bottles and Use Them in Your Garden

November 22nd, 2010 4 comments

Special guest post by Mike Lieberman.

Starting your own garden doesn’t require you to invest a lot of money on new containers. With a bit of creativity you can repurpose old items to grow in.

One item that I’ve been able to use in multiple ways is a soda bottle.

According to Earth911, “Less than 1 percent of all plastics is recycled. Therefore, almost all plastics are incinerated or end up in a landfill.”

So why not do your part and keep the soda bottles from the landfill.

Unfortunately soda bottles are a plenty and can be found nearly anywhere. During Keep America Beautiful’s 2009 Great American Cleanup, volunteers recovered and recycled 243,000,000 PET (plastic) bottles that littered highways, waterways and parks.

Here are three ways that I’ve successfully used soda bottles in my garden. Whether you have a backyard or a windowsill, you can utilize one of these low-cost ideas in your garden today.

Hanging Soda Bottle Planter

These are easy to make and hang well from railings and hand rails. I had about 10 of these lining the railing on my fire escape.

Self-Watering Container

If you have limited space and are lazy about watering, you can pack a lot of these in a small space to grow your veggies.

Herb Garden on a Shipping Pallet

For those of you that are bit more handy or would like a small challenge, you can double up on your recycling with this project by using a shipping pallet and soda bottles.

Help to give another life to a soda bottle and new life to a plant.

Thanks Mike!

Mike Lieberman started urban gardening and growing some of his own food in May 2009 on his fire escape in NYC. He inspires others to start growing their own food on his blog Urban Organic Gardener. Lieberman believes that growing just one herb or vegetable will make a difference. It will help to cut back the intensive resources that go into the production and transport of food to our plates. It will also help us to re-establish our connection with food that we’ve lost over the past few years. We are humans. We grow food. For more information on Lieberman, please visit

A Story of Machines

November 17th, 2010 1 comment

On ecycler‘s most recent trip through Michigan (a bottle bill state) we took the opportunity to document a typical grocery store redemption center. In four easy steps we went from having an empty soda bottle to being a dime richer…

A little background, first. A reverse vending machine is a device that accepts used beverage containers and returns money to you–the reverse of the typical vending cycle. Once a container is scanned, identified (i.e., matched in a database) and determined to be a valid container, it is processed and (usually) crushed to reduce its size.

Step 1 – Pick a Machine

Choose a machine based on the container material. In Michigan, for example, you have a choice between glass, plastic or aluminum cans.

Step 2 – Insert Containers

In this case, we have a plastic soda bottle. So, we begin by simply depositing the container in the large opening. The machine will “suck” each container into its bowels and increment the counter.

Step 3 – Review Value

Confirm the count as the machine iterates by one with each deposited container. Then press the big green button to finish the transaction.

Step 4 – Print Receipt and Get Cash

The machine will then print a receipt for you. Take this to the “Guest Services” counter or the attendant on hand for your cash!


It’s that easy… Most of the bottle bill states give a redemption value of five cents, Michigan takes the exception with its ten cent deposit value.

And, we created a special photo set on flickr:

Categories: materials, recycle Tags: , , ,

Cool People Care

November 11th, 2010 No comments

Cool People Care is aiming to be the online destination for people to live a more caring lifestyle.

Begun in 2006 as a way for people wanting to change the world to find organizations near them doing just that, Cool People Care produces daily content, hosts a nonprofit directory in the US, and lists charitable events for nearly every community in the US. Likewise, it offers an eco-friendly line of inspirational and fund raising merchandise as it grows its brand and impact with each sale made.

The founders – Sam Davidson and Stephen Moseley – co-wrote New Day Revolution: How to Save the World in 24 Hours in 2007. Since then, the pair have helped thousands of individuals and nonprofits connect and make the world a better place.

Visit and learn more about their exciting work, sign up to get their daily email of one thing you can do in less than five minutes to make a positive impact, and begin living the reality that cool people care.

Categories: ecycler, friends of ecycler Tags:

Upcycle with Bottle Caps

November 9th, 2010 No comments

What does it mean to upcycle? Upcycling is the process of converting discarded materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. We, at ecycler, have found some terrific examples of upcycling recently, but this artist has really caught our eye: RotorCaps.

RotorCaps are made with materials from everyday life that would normally end up in the trash. The aim is to transform these materials into jewelry for adornment and quirky personal expression. It is also to get people excited about recycling and the idea that we can look at these items in a different way and see that there is beauty and value in them.

Bottle caps collected from bars local to Philadelphia (the artist’s home town) are the main attraction. In addition, almost anything that is printed on metal–including cans and tins–will do.

The jewelry is eye-catching, interesting and whimsical. It is inspired by common symbols found in mainstream advertising that when removed from the product is transformed into a personal icon to be celebrated by the individual. Most importantly though, Rotorcaps are about fun!

Check out Jen Roder, renegade silversmith, and her creations at

America Recycles Day – November 15, 2010

November 3rd, 2010 No comments

America Recycles Day (ARD), November 15, is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products. Celebrating its 13th year, it has grown to include millions of Americans pledging to increase their recycling habits at home and work and to buy products made with recycled materials. Through America Recycles Day, Keep America Beautiful, Inc. (KAB) and the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) support local communities and raises awareness by educating citizens about the benefits of recycling. Volunteer America Recycles Day coordinators are positioned throughout the country and work to organize recycling awareness events in their schools and communities, and in conjunction with their local municipalities.

On November 15 each year, millions of people become better informed about the importance of daily recycling and buying recycled products. The purpose of America Recycles Day is to continue to promote the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling and encourage more people to join the movement toward creating a better natural environment.

Check out the America Recycles Day website and Take the Pledge to Recycle!


Radio host Kim Komando, whose weekly three-hour call-in talk show is heard on more than 470 stations, chose ecycler as a “Cool Site of the Day” on Nov. 15 in conjunction with America Recycles Day.

Can I Recycle a Pizza Box?

November 1st, 2010 3 comments

Issue at Hand: Over 1 billion pizzas are delivered every year, while over 11.5 million pizzas are sold every day in this country.

So Can We Recycle Pizza Boxes or Not?

The problem with recycling pizza boxes is the food, cheese and grease that both sticks to the insides of the cardboard box and the oils that permeate the fibers of the paper cardboard. In a nutshell, fiber in food is fine, but food on fiber that is due to be recycled is not! Paper fibers in the recycling bin are actually not recyclable if they have any food contamination on them.

Many recyclers will opt to take a pizza box that is still relatively clean, meaning very minimal or no grease stains at all. If cheese from the pizza has gotten stuck to the box lid, but the bottom of the box is still clean, then consider going the extra little bit of distance, removing the top half, and still recycling the bottom, clean half. Then, you can either discard the dirty box top in the trash, or consider composting it. For boxes with pizza crumbs and maybe a little bit of tomato sauce, consider wiping the insides clean and then recycling it.

What Are the Reasons Behind Not Recycling Pizza Boxes?

Remember, as long as pizza boxes are entirely clean and not soaked with cheese, grease or oils, they can be recycled along with other paper and cardboard. When the pizza boxes become overly saturated with oil and grease, the basic process of recycling fibrous materials is rendered useless, as the paper fibers themselves cannot be separated from the grease and oils.

What you may not know is that paper products are recycled in a process that employs water to do the dirty work. The oil and grease found in paper containers like pizza boxes or other food cartons gets into the water mixture during the recycling process and basically ruins the batch being worked on. As the oil separates and refuses to mix with the water, it gets in the way when in later stages, the mashed up mixture of paper and cardboard needs to be reformed to make recycled paper products.

Read more…

Categories: materials, recycle Tags: ,

Big Green Head – An Eco-Friendly Monster on a Mission

October 27th, 2010 No comments

There’s a new green monster in town and his name is Big Green Head! He’s an eco-friendly monster on a mission to change your perception about going green. It doesn’t have to be difficult, time consuming or costly; but you may wonder “where do I start?”

Where Do I Start Going Green?

This is the very same question Kate and Karen asked themselves. They’re the two moms who created Big Green Head with the purpose of leading their families and others down an easy green path. Their website,, takes everyday tasks and provides a less wasteful, healthier and many times less expensive alternative.

Not only will you find Kate and Karen’s friendly, approachable, monster on their website, but a positive attitude and a little fun and humor. They have created a platform for themselves and others to share their green trials and tribulations on the Big Green Blog. The site also reports on green current events and interesting stories, and introduces businesses, products and organizations that can help you on your green journey while keeping in mind a busy lifestyle on a budget.

Simple and Positive

“Taking baby steps and keeping a positive attitude is how real change happens”, says Karen. “The benefits we reap will be worth the efforts we put forth: a healthy family, community and planet”.

It’s Not Just for Treehuggers Anymore!

Check out Big Green Head on Twitter, Facebook and on his website

Categories: ecycler, friends of ecycler Tags: ,