The MeCycle mission is to stop the tide of recyclable material going to landfills and oceans. And yesterday was a very good day. It's been just over a month since we started our pilot and we've been picking up full bins all over the place. In true start-up fashion, our garage is our first warehouse and we were full to the brim. So time to take the bottles and cans our MeCyclers scanned to the return recycling depot, so that we were sure that they did not go to landfills and oceans.
When you recycle things using the return system (the backbone of the MeCycle experience), they are almost guaranteed to be properly recycled and reborn as running shoes or new craft brews. When you recycle things in the regular recycling bin, sadly they have just over a 50% chance of making it - the rest goes to landfill or ends up in our oceans.
Why you ask? Because waste management companies run the regular recycling system. And, for every single company, recycling is less than 7% of their revenue. So if you are a garbage company, side hustling recycling, where is your focus? Not on recycling that's for sure. Consumers are super confused about how recycling works, and garbage companies are not in a hurry to help them. Cause if it doesn't get recycled, it gets landfilled and yep - that is where they make their real money.
The feeling of sending our MeCycle items off to the right place was amazing. Knowing that they would not end up as ocean plastics, and even more horrifically, as plastic rain (more on that later), made our hearts happy. It's so easy to MeCycle. Our pilot users spend less than one minute a day (we know because we can track these things). One minute a day to feel pumped. One minute a day to know you are doing the right thing for the planet. One min a day to get cash back to keep or donate. It is something we can do. In a world where it feels like there are problems with no solution, this one we can solve.
And that is a feeling. An amazing, wonderful, hopeful feeling.