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Vote for ecycler!

March 12th, 2011 2 comments

We’ve entered the Green Giant “The Green Awards” contest.

Come Vote for ecycler!

On the ecycler contest page, click on the “Vote Now!” next to the video… It will most likely ask you to register which takes less than 120 seconds.

The registration process is easy, it will ask for a name, email address, password, birth date, city, ZIP code and where you grocery shop.

This is a spam-free site…

We really appreciate the vote! Please also tell your friends and family.

ELEVATOR PITCH:

At ecycler.com we bring together those who have recyclables to give away with those who want to collect those recyclables. Many US households, institutions and businesses are not offered curb-side recycling; we’re giving them that option.

The collectors—or community entrepreneurs—will redeem the recyclables they collect for cash.

We believe that the easiest way for individuals to make a difference in the improvement of the environment is to recycle, and our goal is to make it even easier by pairing discarders and collectors through our web site.

We currently are trying to reach people who would like to become ecycler discarders; we hope to get businesses apartments and groups of friends to start saving their recyclables for their local collector. Also we are looking for people to become a local ecycler collector and pick up recyclables from the discarders.

Don’t forget: Check out the contest and Vote for ecycler, we really appreciate it: http://voteforecycler.com/

Categories: achievements, ecycler Tags: ,

Electronic Waste – Reduce Reuse Recycle

February 23rd, 2011 1 comment

Millions of tons of electronic waste is generated every year in North America and the amount increases with every new gadget, computer and smartphone that hits the market. In our quest to improve our lives through technology we are creating electronic waste at an unprecedented rate. In response, we have seen more attention focused on methods to reduce, reuse and recycle electronic waste.

Reduce

In the pursuit for faster computers, more features on our smart phones and better picture quality, we are constantly replacing our electronics with newer and better performing models. But what if there was a way to get that improved performance, more features and better picture without increasing the amount of stuff we buy? Well, there already is a movement afoot to reduce the amount of computer hardware that needs to be purchased in order to stay on top of the tech race. The term is “cloud computing” and although it may sound like a weather forecasting computer it is actually a concept of sharing resources such as computer memory, processing power, and software over a network. For example you may need a fast computer to run software that you don’t currently own and perhaps will only need for a set amount of time. With cloud computing you would contract with a company that has the type of computer/software/memory you need and pay them a fee to access it on the Internet.

Why you may ask is this reducing the amount of electronic waste produced? Well instead of you having to purchase another computer and more memory you can use what you need, when you need it from the company providing the service. The company will have one very large computer that runs the software you and thousands of others are using. Essentially, their one computer replaces the thousands that would have needed to be purchased to complete the same task. Their one computer can be used more effectively because while you are sleeping someone in Europe can be using your portion of the big computer which likely wouldn’t be happening if it was sitting on your desk in low power sleep mode. An additional benefit is that the company providing the service is likely to be continuously upgrading and improving the software to retain and attract customers. This means that you aren’t going to get stuck with a piece of out-of-date software in a few years. And, if you’re a business you can add users by simply buying more access instead of having to buy more software and hardware to accommodate growth. Cloud computing is both lean and green.

Reuse

We know it’s easy to recycle cans and bottles but who wants your old computer that is far from high tech? The truth is that lots of people might want it including schools, low-income earners, and even those pesky computer geeks. While it may not suit your needs anymore there is such a wide spectrum of computer uses out there that your old clunker may be just the thing that Junior could use to practice his typing or learn basic programming. Sometimes the latest and greatest isn’t the best tool for the job especially if you are looking to do a little tinkering under the hood, which is what many computer hobby hackers do. They are looking for something that they can strip down, try some new tricks on or simply strip the good parts. Whatever the use, if you can find Junior or a hobbyist, your computer will extend its useful life before it meets a shredder in the next phase, which is recycling. If you’re having trouble finding a home for your electronic waste or have large volumes consider a waste consultant who can use their knowledge and experience to find a solution.

Recycle

OK, you’ve tried to donate your outdated electronic waste but it seems nobody wants your old clunker. Now it’s time to find a recycling facility that will take your old electronic device and safely recycle the materials contained within. But a word of caution on recycling of electronic waste because all may not be well. If you find someone that is willing to recycle your electronic, ask some questions like “Where does my computer go to be recycled?” or “Can you provide proof of recycling at an approved facility?” If the answer to the first question is another country such as China or India you may want to reconsider. Not that all recyclers in China and India are irresponsible but there is considerable evidence that much of the electronic waste sent to these countries is processed in ways that is extremely harmful to the both the environment and the workers that recycle the waste. You may think your old iPhone is being carefully disassembled for valuable materials when in fact it is being processed in an acid bath over an open fire, which is then dumped into a river. This brings me to my second rule of thumb, which is asking for proof of recycling at an approved facility. Ask the recycler where they send their materials. If they can’t or won’t tell you, it is a red flag. If they will tell you, do a quick Google search on the facility they provide and see what you find. Ideally you want to have your waste recycled locally by a government certified facility that is operating a safe and ethical recycling system. Most recyclers dealing with a certified electronic waste recycler will provide a record of recycling to certify that your electronic waste was recycled at an approved facility.

The solution to the ever-increasing electronic waste issue is to use computing resources more efficiently (Cloud Computing), reuse and extend the life of electronic waste (Schools and Hobbyists), and use a responsible recycler (Local and Accountable).

Cash for Cans, A Chicago Perspective

February 18th, 2011 1 comment

Did you know that it really does pay to recycle? The pop cans and old pipes laying around the house have value, and turning those items into cash is easy — if you know where to look.

The easiest items to cash in are those made from aluminum, such as beverage cans, foil and tins used for baking. Most buy-back centers in the area accept aluminum and pay an average of $0.50 per pound for it.

However, most places don’t list the prices they pay on their websites; you have to call for quotes. It pays to save up recyclables until you have a large amount to drop off. The more aluminum cans, for example, the more you’ll get for them.

A-1 Recycling, of Fox Lake, pays $0.55 per pound for aluminum cans, but for deposits of more than 25 pounds, they pay $0.57 per pound.

Many buy-back centers still don’t pay for plastic bottles and newspapers, but there are other household items people don’t typically set out in their recycling bins that can be redeemed for cash. Batteries and copper wire, for example, can be recycled for money. American Metals Company in Chicago pays $3 for car batteries while A-1 Recycling pays $2.25 for every pound of copper house wire.

For people who have batteries they wish to discard and just want to dispose of them properly but don’t care about making money from them, the city of Chicago has a battery collection program in which alkaline and rechargeable batteries — but not lead-acid car batteries — can be deposited at any Chicago Public Library or Walgreens Drug Store in the city.

When it comes to copper, different centers quote different prices, depending on the type of copper, be it wire or tubing, and whether it is soldered or not. Most places say they need to see the copper and won’t provide price quotes over the phone.

The easiest way to find drop-off centers in Chicago is to visit earth911.com, which requires people to input both their zip code and the type of recyclables they have in order to find the listing of buy-back centers. There is also a web page on the Chicago Recycling Coalition — http://www.chicagorecycling.org/sites.htm — which lists buy-back centers for all types of recyclables. The information isn’t obvious from the home page, but if you search for recyclables by type, you can find a link that lists the centers where the items can be taken. It also has an interactive map showing the locations of all of the city recycling centers.

Categories: ecycler, materials Tags:

ecycler Wins the Challenge

February 8th, 2011 No comments

Ecycler has won the Fairfield Inn & Suites Small Business Road to Success Challenge!

As one of ten small business finalists vying for the grand prize of $20,000, ecycler received 15 free nights at Fairfield Inn & Suites to be used between September 13 and December 9 to travel around the country for the sole purpose of growing its business.

Ecycler shared its journey with the public by blogging, tweeting and posting photos. Several videos were also produced and uploaded to YouTube accessible via ecycler.tv. During the Fairfield Challenge, ecycler exceeded its goals of improving the environment, enhancing the social value of recycling and supporting local communities.

Timothy Laurent, co-founder of ecycler, said, “This win is a real boost to ecycler!” Laurent goes on to say, “We set some difficult goals, but succeeded at each one.”

Craig Robertson, co-founder of ecycler, adds, “We are excited about being recognized and look forward to using this momentum to get the word about ecycler to more people, businesses and cities to use ecycler for their recycling service.”

Ecycler plans on using the $20k to create a mobile application for the iPhone / iPad and to host a recycling bin contest. The contest will encourage people from communities around the US to design and to build the most cost-effective, yet durable recycling bin using materials from the Home Depot or Lowe’s or their local building supply store. A high-quality recycling bin typically costs a couple of hundred dollars and it’s heavy to ship. The goal of the contest is to see if someone can come up with a creative way to build recycling bins locally without the need to ship to businesses.

During the 15 hotel stays, Fairfield Inn & Suites was used as home base; ecycler spread word to numerous businesses and individuals about how ecycler can help them recycle for free. Ecycler posters were posted at grocery stores, coffee shops and restaurants in all of the cities visited as a way to encourage discarders to join. Discarders are those who give away recyclables on ecycler.com.

For more information

http://news.marriott.com/

http://www.businesspundit.com/

http://www.prlog.org/

http://www.patch.com/

http://www.bizplancompetitions.com/

Categories: achievements, ecycler Tags: ,

Terbium! More Valuable than Silver?

February 7th, 2011 1 comment

Pssst…hey buddy, wanna buy some terbium? I got some going cheap for only $800,000 per ton.

Our desire for the latest electronic gadgets made from exotic materials such as terbium, dysprosium, yttrium, thulium, and lutetium have made these relatively unknown substances a very hot commodity. So hot in fact that the Chinese government has called for a halt to shipments of these materials for export. How come? Because these so called “rare earth elements” are so rare that Chinese officials are worried that domestic demand will consume all current Chinese production in the near future. Why is this big news? Because China supplies 95% of the rare earth elements mostly from mines in Inner Mongolia. Without this supply expect prices to spike dramatically which will certainly affect the electronics industry as a whole.

Rare earth metals are used in everything from iPhone circuit boards to flat screen televisions. With increasing prices and rising demand one thing is certain, rare earth elements are about to get a lot more rare.

While this may spell higher prices for consumers it’s good news for those that recycle old electronics because those old circuit boards are about to get really valuable. Like any market when a resource become scarce people get more creative in the methods used to obtain the resource. And guess what, it’s a lot easier to find terbium in used electronics than heading to the mountains with a pick and a shovel.

This is good news for the environment and recyclers. In the past there wasn’t much demand for old electronics as a recyclable item, old and outdated electronics usually gathered dust in a garage until the owners finally got sick of looking at them and carted them off to the dump. With increasing prices for the rare earth metals that outdated electronics contain that old stereo or TV could become a hot item with recyclers. Using marketplaces like ecycler makes it easier to match up those who have electronics to recycle with those who recycle electronics. If you’re like most people you have at least one old piece of electronic equipment cluttering up your house or garage, try listing it on ecycler to save yourself the hassle of recycling/disposing of the item yourself?

A detailed look at the rare metal situation: The Telegraph

ecycler iPad Giveaway Winner Announced!

January 10th, 2011 1 comment

ecycler is a new way to recycle! In an effort to spread the word about ecycler, we sponsored a giveaway. And, it was quite a success! We thank everyone who registered on ecycler.com as either a collector or a discarder.

So, what’s the difference between a collector and a discarder?

  • Collectors – Collectors are those who pick recyclables up from a business or house and then sell them to their local recyclable buyer.
  • Discarders – The discarders are those who give away recyclables.

We also thank everyone that made bonus entries by following us on twitter, tweeting about the giveaway, creating a blog post or commenting on the original story. Up for grabs was an Apple iPad that retails for $499.

We randomly selected a winner from all the new ecycler users that registered between October 25, 2010 and December 1, 2010 with their “bonus” entries. The result via random.org was the number 762. We cross-referenced this number to our database and the winner was identified.

Who won?

Melissa D. from Washington State!

Melissa responded back to our communication, “I got your email this morning and am SUPER excited that I won!!” A huge congratulations to Melissa–your iPad, iPad case and ecycler reusable tote are on their way!

* Apple and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc.
Categories: ecycler Tags: ,

ecycler Wiki

January 4th, 2011 No comments

Utilizing wikis, which are web sites that allow others to edit the content, is important for businesses.

The most well known wiki is Wikipedia, which contains information on companies and people and just about everything else. Because Wikipedia entries are often the first things that show up when people conduct an online search for a well-known person or business, the content is viewed widely by people and is often unquestioned. So for a business that already is featured on Wikipedia, it’s important to monitor the information that’s been posted, correct anything that’s wrong and update it frequently, so that it’s fresh.

ecycler’s entry in Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ecycler

People can also create their own wikis, like we did for ecycler. By creating your own wiki you can populate it with wiki entries that are specific to your company or project.

For example, we created a wiki entry for the Fairfield Challenge: http://wiki.ecycler.com/wiki/index.php/Fairfield_Challenge.

It’s important to be in the venues where your customers are congregating, so blogging and participating in forums like wikis are good places to interact with and communicate to the people using your product or service.

Categories: achievements, ecycler Tags:

ecycler and Squidoo

December 16th, 2010 3 comments

We officially launched our squidoo lenses today with a few interesting articles! All proceeds from the pages will be donated to kiva.org, one of our favorite charities.

Squidoo is a community website that allows users to create pages (called lenses) for subjects of interest. Naturally, all of our lenses are related to recycling and being more green.

Our first six squidoo postings:

Crush that Can!
Ecycler has taken its popular Crush that Can web series to a new level. In addition to our YouTube and Vimeo channels, we have now syndicated our series to Apple’s iTunes platform-the full videos are…

ecycler
We watch the recycling world and blog about important events, legislation or just plain interesting ideas. We also post updates regarding our main site, ecycler.com. Ecycler creates a new way to recycle…

Recycle Bin Setup
Setting up a recycle bin in a business (store, restaurant, office) or an institution is not as simple as your home recycle bin. Several factors including placement and signs are important to their success…

Top-20 Ways to Make your Business Greener
Businesses have an opportunity to offer their customers more than just a product or service – by making green thinking part of their culture, their customers gain peace of mind knowing that concern for…

Reverse Vending Machine
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…

Reasons to Support your State Bottle Bill
We watch the recycling world and blog about important events, legislation or just plain interesting ideas. We also post updates regarding our main site, ecycler.com. We fully support bottle bill legislation…

Visit ecycler on squidoo, today!

Categories: ecycler Tags:

ecycler Showcased on StartUpLift.com Today

December 14th, 2010 No comments

Ecycler featured on StartUpLift.com! Come check it out and make a comment. StartUpLift.com 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 ecycler.com, 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: http://startuplift.com/ecycler-collect-connect-recycle/

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 ecycler.com, 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 ecycler.com. 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: CrushthatCan.com. 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: ,