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  • Aimee Lee

The Power of Partnership

The Power of Partnership – Recycle Across America, GoGreenEcoBins, and Lady Green Recycling

It’s true that there is strength in numbers; however, there is also often great power born of collaboration. Small organizations, working together, can do big things. Although each may have its own unique-yet-different focus, like-minded companies, working together, can achieve the same ultimate end-goal.  In the example of recycling, these three small businesses have joined forces to make recycling a simple, attractive, and highly effective process. 



 

The Proven Solution – Standardized Bin Labels

Recycle Across America (RAA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit who’s on a mission to advance a standardized labeling system for recycling, trash, and compost bins society-wide to make it easy for the public to understand how to recycle properly wherever they are. Standardized labels present recycling in a clear, simple, and attractive way, with a design format that is consistent, yet specific to each unique sorting option.  The standardized labels are a proven solution to dispel confusion at the bin, making it easy to recycle properly, even on the go. Displayed on bins in major airports and sports stadiums, in large corporations and small businesses, in universities and K-12 public schools, in healthcare systems, and even entire municipalities, the standardized labels are helping people recycle properly, wherever they go.

 

EcoBins - Innovation Combines Form and Function

Go-Green is an innovative small business who has launched a series of attractive and sustainably produced “Eco-Bins”, also with the aim of addressing chaos and confusion around recycling. The solar-powered, dual-stream bins are constructed with sustainable materials, and include space for lighted PSA messaging free of charge, to promote recycling and other positive public initiatives. The program is completely funded by Go-Green and local sponsors and entirely cost-free to governments and taxpayers. 



 

A Natural Opportunity to Collaborate – GoGreen + RAA = Progress

With a common goal to end confusion at the bin, and to improve recycling levels, a collaboration between these two entities seemed natural, and in 2019, GoGreen began to display Recycle Across America’s standardized labels on all their EcoBins. The collaboration has resulted in a significantly cleaner collection of recyclable materials.

This matters, because while recycling is the most important action society can do to simultaneously help the environment, the economy, manufacturing and to prevent waste from going into oceans, it doesn't work if people are confused at the bin.  And when there is such immense inconsistency in how recycling looks - from different-looking bins, ambiguous labeling, and even varied sorting requirements from one community to another - it’s no surprise that recycling often feels like a guessing game.  Together, RAA and GoGreen are working to change all that. 

The Eco-bins Program has incorporated the RAA standardized labels on all their equipment and as a result, they are experiencing very low contamination rates across the board. The bins, placed on public sidewalks, are equipped with solar-powered lights, making it easy to see and recycle properly, even at night.  They also include messaging that reminds the public to think twice before tossing something in the bin (the RAA mantra has always been and continues to be, “when in doubt, throw it out”).  

“There is an environmental bottleneck with recycling due to public confusion at the bin, which is why we’re so pleased that Go-Green understands the societal, environmental and industry benefits that will come when people everywhere can see the standardized labels on bins and instantly know how to recycle right.  We commend GoGreen EcoBinsfor their leadership and their contribution to society and the environment, at this critical time with U.S. recycling,” said Mitch Hedlund, Executive Director of Recycle Across America.

Guy Strempack, the brain behind Go-Green, wants people to walk up to an Eco-Bin, scratch their heads a bit, and think about how they can be more eco-friendly. “For us, it’s all about education, first and foremost,” Strempacksays. “It’s showing people something on the street they can walk up to and ask themselves important questions and think about helping sustain our environment and the planet. I hope they see our EcoBin and say, ‘Well that’s pretty cool - maybe I should look into solar lights in front of my house, use LED lights in my kitchen, or think twice about what I put in my recycling container before I wheel it out front of my home for weekly collections.’”

 

The Recycling Journey – Beyond the Bin with Lady Green

The program doesn't end when an item lands in the bin. Equally crucial is what happens to the collected recyclable materials. This is where the collaboration with like-minded grassroots organizations such as Lady Green, becomes important. Together, they ensure that the back-end recycling process is executed right, so the recovered recyclables can be processed and reused.

Michelle Salas is the founder of Lady Green Recycling and is among those who wholeheartedly agree that the Eco-Bins program, signage, standardized labeling, and overall concept is poised for great success and positive accomplishment. “It’s always a pleasure servicing the Eco-Bins. Its sorting design helps reduce contamination in the recyclables and allows patrons to conveniently dispose of their garbage through the proper chutes. The Recycle Across America standardized signage is easy to understand and is a critical element to lower contamination levels, along with having sorting lids. Aside from its functional design, the Eco-Bins are stainless steel, solar powered, educational, and aesthetically pleasing. They are also a great tool for helping promote local businesses and municipalities.”

The partnership between Recycle Across America and Go-Green Eco-Bins, coupled with initiatives like Lady Green, is a positive step towards a more sustainable and educated approach to recycling. As we navigate the ever-changing world of recycling, it's evident that these efforts extend beyond the bins, shaping a future where eco-friendly practices and community engagement go hand in hand. Together, we're not just transforming our streets; we're building a cleaner, greener tomorrow.



 

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