The Green Can Collects Recyclables At Tampa Bay Apartments

A Tampa-based company has found an economically viable way to help the environment.

The Green Can places large green recycling containers in the shape of a soda can in apartment complexes and other high traffic areas. Described as "the perfect marriage of economic and social responsibility," the cans have a triple benefit: they make it easy for people to recycle, they support charities through the donation of proceeds from recycling, and they benefit local businesses through advertising.

The idea came about when CEO and Founder Dennis Gallagher was working as a painter for apartment complexes. He noticed that none of them did any recycling, which he found odd. After crunching the numbers he realized the reason was probably economical, since the proceeds from recycling would only pay for the process itself. It was then that he came up with the idea of adding advertising to the process, to make the business profitable.

"To sweeten the deal, we donate the proceeds from the recycling, so everyone can benefit," says Gallagher.

There are currently around 200 cans at 130 locations in the Greater Tampa area. The company is expanding into Pinellas this week with the same of its first franchise to Boley Centers, a nonprofit that services the homeless, youth and those with mental disabilities in the Tampa Bay region.

Gallagher recently designed a cap for the containers to keep the water out and plans to start collecting clothing donations soon.

Close to one million cans have been recycled in roughly a year’s time, with an estimate of 4,000 pounds of aluminum and plastic being recycled each month.

The Green Can is one of 13 local businesses honored recently with The University of Tampa’s Earth Charter Sustainable Business Awards.The awards were based on three criteria: people (employee and community wellbeing), planet (environmental health) and profit (economic viability).

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Dennis Gallagher, The Green Can

Read more articles by Megan Hendricks.

Megan Hendricks is a feature writer at 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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