Ridwell expands to Portland, collects hard-to-recycle items from your front door

AM Extra

PORTLAND (KOIN) — Recycling company, Ridwell is making it easier for you to dispose of and repurpose those hard-to-recycle items that city curbside programs don’t take, such as styrofoam, thin plastic film, bubble wrap, and those white and blue Amazon packaging envelopes.

“All of our items go to domestic recyclers that we know are going to sustainably reuse and recycle those items,” the general manager of Portland Ridwell, Taylor Loewen said.

Courtesy: Ridwell

The Seattle-based start-up expanded it’s at-home pick-up services to Portland last month and now has more than 2,200 customers in the city.

“It’s just an easy efficient and affordable way to dispose of it responsibly,” new Ridwell customer and Northeast Portland resident Will Musser said. Musser says the new service has helped him clear clutter without having to make the extra trip to a recycling drop-off site.

“It really cuts down on vehicle miles traveled and is just a time-saver. It really fosters sustainable behavior,” Musser added. “One of the most helpful things is just being able to put it in the box. You just do it right from your home.”

Courtesy: Ridwell

Here’s how Ridwell works: Members are provided with a Ridwell logo bin and labeled canvas bags to separate each category– plastic film, batteries, lightbulbs, and threads. The company picks up the hard-to-recycle and reusable items every two weeks. In addition, Ridwell also collects a rotating fifth category for featured items, that are often delivered to local non-profits that can reuse them.

“Last year, Ridwell worked with 25 different organizations to try to get them items. For example, last week was Christmas lights, they take the wiring out of, this week was bras, the next week is going to be wine corks and so on and so forth,” Loewen said.

Courtesy: Ridwell

Ridwell was started in 2018, when Seattle dad Ryan Metzger and his then six-year-old son, Owen began looking for the best way to recycle batteries properly. Since the company first launched, Ridwell has diverted more than 1 million pounds of waste from the landfill, according to Loewen.

“Our plastic goes to be turned into decking, our threads go to Pioneer Wiping Cloth to be turned into cleaning rags, our batteries are sorted locally and broken apart. Everything is sent locally. It really is local partners, local organizations and really a local impact”,” she added.

Ridwell currently serves in most Portland neighborhoods plans to expand citywide in the near future.

“Soon will be expanding to the Portland suburbs and really expanding our partnerships with local organizations so we could just deliver a bigger impact to Portlanders,” Loewen added.

The monthly subscription ranges from $12-$16 dollars per month. For more information, visit https://www.ridwell.com/.

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