Here’s a company that’s doing something very special. I watched Ron’s presentation at VLAB (MIT/Stanford Venture Lab) Green Tech for the Consumer Market this past January and got very excited. Then after hearing Trae Vassallo’s glowing presentation at the Silicon Valley West Coast Green conference, I knew they were out to change the world.
Recycle Bank is influencing the creation of a cutting edge process called single stream recycling. They supply their customers with a Recycle Bank garbage bin in which they can throw all of their paper, plastic, metal, and glass. The bin has an RFID microchip inside, which is read by special levers retrofitted onto city garbage trucks that weigh the amount of garbage. This value is sent to each individual consumer’s online Recycle Bank account, where it is converted into Recycle Bank Reward Points at a ratio of 2.5 reward points for each pound of garbage. These Reward Points can then be redeemed at local businesses that consumers normally buy from, such as Whole Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond, and many more. What an incredible incentive to get people recycling!
With such a dynamic program that will certainly increase the recycling rate, RB gains the credibility to negotiate exclusive long term contracts with city municipalities to deliver garbage from Recycle Bank customers to material recovery facilities (MRF) and in essence divert trash from going into a landfill. This creates great economic value for the city by allowing them to sell the trash to manufacturers such as Coca Cola or Pepsi instead of paying landfills to take the garbage. Wow, make money instead of pay money? and Recycle Bank takes a cut off the money saved from landfill diversion rather than the money earned from sales to manufacturers cialis prix. A very smart marketing decision that influences cities to broadcast how much money they made in a year, which in turn gets other cities excited about the Recycle Bank program.
This is big for 3 reasons:
1) high profitability with exclusive municipality contracts and a valuable online advertising engine
2) environmental health through the elimination of waste
3) the ability to influence consumption behavior
This 3rd reason is what really fascinates me. With other green businesses, sure it’s great to benefit the environment, but obviously the price has to be right for adoption. And yet, even when the price is right, people are lazy and don’t want to change their behavior. They might call their utility company and say I want green power, if and only if its cheaper (Austin Energy). With Recycle Bank, the single stream recycling program that they’re pioneering is enough to influence people to actually start recycling. And even more so, RB gains the ability to influence consumer purchases with their Reward Points system. For example, they’re planning to roll out a program that gives people greater rewards for shopping at ‘green’ businesses. Organic food stores, LEED certified establishments, and even specific products.
This is a business that’s right in front of the American consumer’s face… they can touch it, they can feel it, they can put more money in their pocket, while being guided to a healthier life and changing their local environment. Recycle Bank becomes an incredible solution to the entire consumption side of the sustainability equation. We still need the west coast to figure out solar and fuel cells so we can get off coal and oil, but this is a practical solution to get us moving in the right direction. I’m lovin it!Austin Energy, Bed Bath & Beyond, clean tech, Coca Cola, Coca-Cola Company, Energy, garbage, Kleiner Perkins, KPCB, Marketing, material recovery facilities, MRF, News, Pepsi, Recycle Bank, Recycling, RFID, single stream recycling, sustainability, Trae Vasallo, VLAB, Whole Foods