Sustainable Success: Recyclops Brings Glass Recycling to Local Area


Recyclops began as just an idea nearly a decade ago when owner Ryan Smith realized that, while recycling is a great way to make a positive impact on the environment, not everyone had access to recycling services. In 2011, Smith was attending college and living in an apartment. Growing up in a community that recycled, he found it odd that his apartment did not offer the services.

“I just thought it was bizarre that there was not recycling at my apartment,” he said. “I decided to do something about it.”

The idea launched in 2013 and was initially targeted at apartments in Provo. However, it was quickly learned that not just apartments struggle with recycling; businesses and rural communities do as well.

“People should at least have the option to recycle,” Smith said. “Environmentally speaking, recycling can have such a great impact and it is so easy, but most people don’t have access to it.”

Recyclops has steadily expanded as it now brings curbside recycling to communities throughout six different states, including Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma. The company has an interesting business model, “taking a page out of Uber’s book,” as Smith described it. This means that recycling is retrieved by contract drivers throughout the communities that Recyclops serves, providing not only local recycling services, but local jobs as well.

“This is a problem everywhere,” Smith said about the lack of recycling for rural community. “I feel like we have a solution that works.”

In 2019, Recyclops and its thousands of customers made a huge impact. Customers helped save 3,838 trees (64,000 reams of copy paper), 1.58 million gallons of water (79,000 loads of laundry), 102,000 cubic feet of landfill space (100+ storage units), 11.79 million kWh of energy (22 years of non-stop TV), 1.03 million gallons of oil (206,000 oil changes) and 147.33B BTU of energy (enough to heat and cool 667 homes for an entire year). Just in Carbon County alone, Recyclops gathers between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds of recycling (paper, plastic, cardboard) per month, diverting it from the landfill.

“It is literally the easiest thing somebody can do to help the environment, besides reducing,” Smith said.

As Smith recognized the success of Recyclops and the desire to do more from local residents, he decided it was time to take the next step. For some time, many customers have had the same question: “When will Recyclops begin accepting glass recycling?”

Smith explained that glass recycling has always been a goal for the business, but there were hurdles, such as a lack of glass recycling facilities in the state. However, on Earth Day earlier this month, Recyclops was excited to announce that it had found a solution, and glass recycling will now be included in the business’ offerings.

Glass recycling will have a few different measures, but it will be a relatively easy process. First, Recyclops customers need to sign up for the service, which costs an additional $6 per month. Once there are 16 sign ups in Carbon County, the service will begin. While Recyclops retrieves recycling from households in Carbon County every two weeks on Tuesdays, glass pickup will only take place once per month, which will be the last pick up of each month.

Smith explained that glass recycling is going to be simple; while messy jars such and peanut butter and marinara sauce should receive a quick rinse, there is no need to remove labels from jars before recycling them. However, corks, caps and lids should be removed. Glass should also be kept in a separate bag from other recycling.

For Recyclops, this is just another step to not only expanding the business, but giving rural communities an opportunity to make a positive environmental impact with minimal effort.

To learn more about Recyclops or to sign up online, please click here. 



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