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Posted by: Tomas Florian on 4/24/04 Title: Recycling - One person's garbage, another's treasure
Postnum: 233 EntryID:1076
Hello Everyone,

I see that this page has a "waste exchange" section. I'm a web developer and I'm thinking of implementing a non-profit web page in the style of e-bay that makes it even easier to hook up people who have garbage with people looking for treasure.

You could post your items that you want to throw out and anyone else could browse through them. If someone was interested in your item they would go to pick it up directly from you (no central depot). If no one was interested you would throw out the item.

Since I live in Calgary I was thinking of starting here. Can you guys give me some feedback or suggestions about this idea? Is it a good idea? Are there more ideas like this there out there? What do you think?

Thanks, Tomas Florian


Posted by: Barry @ SKR on 4/28/04 Title: Re: Recycling - One person's garbage, another's treasure
Postnum: 233 EntryID:1079
A good idea, but it has been done. There are many waste exhanges on the web already. However, you may want to think of designing a site that is divided into sections like: Dividing things into locations (IE: Canada> Western Canada>Manitoba>Winnipeg) And after that have "Will consider shipping at our cost" "Shipped at your cost" "Must Pick-up"

You might want to concentrate on those with materials to give away, rather than those who are selling, as there are many sites that offer listings of materials for sale.

You also may want to focus in on certain areas, specialize in non-toxic materials, certain industries, or whatever.

An auction format that does nto involve cash directlymay be "Will pick up" as a bid, or "will pick up for a period of year free of charge" (kind of like a response to a tender), "Will pick up at half what the disposal company is charging you", etc. Need a unique angle to get people's attention these days. All some ideas I'd like to have tried to implement, but we have our hands full already.

When you become a billionaire from some of these ideas, maybe you can buy me a coffee.... :)

Posted by: Tomas Florian on 4/29/04 Title: Re: Recycling - One person's garbage, another's treasure
Postnum: 233 EntryID:1082
Thanks for your feedback. I see that your angle is in terms of "materials" (I assume like from construction companies and such). I really don't have any experience with that so I don't know how that works. I was going into this thinking more along the lines of actual consumer products like: Furniture, Clothes, Electronics, sports equiptment, toys, etc. For materials I could understand that it could make a lot of sense to pay for having the ability to pick somehting up. For these consumer products (some of which can be very unvaluable to begin with) I was thinking about this without payment. I know that it is naive to believe that people could get motivated by "doing the right thing" so I'm thinking of perhaps having some "points" system where the people who make things available gain some kind of ranking online. ...or some rewards? ... something along those lines. What I'm good as is web development, with the other stuff I realize I might be completely out to lunch so that's why I'm fishing for more ideas and feedback.

Thanks, Tomas

Posted by: Barry @ SKR on 4/29/04 Title: Re: Recycling - One person's garbage, another's treasure
Postnum: 233 EntryID:1083
We actually deal with 'objects' as well...general new & used consumer goods (garage sale & thrift sale cast off, estate leftovers,salvaged goods from buildings from which businesses have moved out of, etc, etc).

We deal with things much differently than 'typical' recyclers. The baling, grinding, & mulching of materials is our 'bottom end', basically only done to keep the materials out of is not our main focus.

We view all things as recyclable & reusable....imagination is the key. Thinking way, way, way outside the box is what we do.

********* Your idea of a points system as a 'reward' for recycling is a good one..... You might want to look at getting Institutions involved (schools, hospitals, etc) who tend to toss 'objects' more regularly than the average individual.

Another idea would be to get a 'green' corporate sponsor (or multiple sponsors) that would award gift certificates for goods & services as a reward for reaching certain confirmed 'green points' levels. Human nature pretty much dictates a need additional motivation so people will go the extra mile...eventhough saving the earth should be good enough.

Due to the 'used goods' aspect, you'd have to watch the liability issue.... avoid opening yourself to the possibility of someone plugging in that free toaster & burning their house down & suing you as the facilitator of the deal. eBay & other auction websites have mastered that type of have other similar sites.

I don;t knwo how successful it would be, unless Calgary makes it difficult to throw away trash at will....IE: Do they charge per bag? or for over weight? For oversize? Are peopel tired of waiting for thrift stroes to pick up their stuff? Or the stores being fussy about what they are picking up? All of these are things to consider when examining your market...much more to consider than those, but they may be things you hadn't thought of..... Just some thoughts from my own overactive mind......

Posted by: Tomas Florian on 4/30/04 Title: Re: Recycling - One person's garbage, another's treasure
Postnum: 233 EntryID:1085
Thanks Barry! This will keep me thinking for a while. Maybe I should hook up with some people familiar with this kind of thing in Calgary. Does anyone know of any organization / person that it could be useful to talk to?

Thanks again.

Posted by: Glenn Howell on 5/25/04 Title: Re: Recycling - One person's garbage, another's treasure
Postnum: 233 EntryID:1108
You could start a freecycle group

The one n Winnipeg has gotten some positive press and seems to be growing quite well.

Posted by: Candace on 6/4/04 Title: Re: Recycling - One person's garbage, another's treasure
Postnum: 233 EntryID:1121
You might be interested in our group the Foothills Waste Exchange Project. We are based in Calgary and work on facilitating industrial waste exchanges primarily in the Foothills Industrial Park of SE Calgary. We are in our pilot phase (month 12 of 18), have over 100 participants signed on, and have diverted over 40,000kg of waste from the landfill! If you are what we are doing check out our website at or contact Sarah Begg at 667-6761.

We work primarily in the ICI sector however, the RCA (Recycling Council of Alberta) is currently exploring development of a on-line province-wide waste exchange for the construction, renovation, and demolition sector. They currently have a company out of the states called i-waste-not systems that specialize in designing waste exchange web software that they were planning on using to do their website but you could always contact them to see if they are interested in using your services.

In regards to residential waste exchanges in Calgary there is already a freecycle group here. Check out

Hope this helps!

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