Excess materials, building supplies, recyclables and scrap metal have one big thing in common. They're lonely. And what's worse, they usually get heaped onto the trash pile with the rest of the rejects. That's not good for them and not good for us, because it's not good for the planet. Nearly 75 percent of waste faces that demise.
But one person's waste is another's treasure, as the saying sort of goes. And that's what RecycleMatch is all about. Today at the PopTech conference, I heard the company's founder, Brooke Betts Farrell, explain in five minutes what this Website is all about. And it's a simple, beautiful thing: an online marketplace that connects companies with excess amounts of (insert anything here) with other companies that need a lot of just that.
So for example, a contractor hired with replacing thousands of windows from a hotel could make the glass a available to a company that makes countertops from recycled glass. Got too much polyester? Metal? Wood? Chemicals? Rubber? Look no further.
RecycleMatch's website serves as the middleman. Company A confidentially posts its excesses to the site. RecycleMatch finds potential buyers and emails the information to Company A, who then choses the perfect match.
Betts Farrell comes from the waste industry and told us that when she and other waste managers go to a landfill, they smell money. Because all of the crap was purchased at one time by people like you and me and then disposed of all the same. (We only recycle about 30 percent of the time. Tragic.)
So far, RecycleMatch has managed to help divert more than 3 million pounds of materials from landfills. It's a match made in heaven.