Seattle Recycling Startup Goes Beyond the Blue Bin

Queen Anne-based Ridwell recycles items such as batteries, light bulbs and textiles for subscribers
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 
  • Queen Anne Startup Ridwell offers recycling service
Hard to recycle items such as batteries and light bulbs are accepted by Ridwell recycling service

This article appears in print in the August 2019 issue. Click here to subscribe.

“Wasting less, made easy” is the simple slogan of Ridwell, a Queen Anne-based service that recycles items such as batteries, light bulbs and textiles not typically accepted by existing recycling services. Local businessman Ryan Metzger had the idea for the service after his young son, Owen, began wondering what happened to dead batteries—a question Metzger couldn’t answer. The subscription-based, curbside service accepts four types of hard-to-recycle items: batteries, light bulbs, plastic film (such as Ziploc bags and Bubble Wrap), and textiles such as fabric and shoes. It also offers periodic pick ups of a rotating fifth category, such as oral care products, corks and eyewear.

Customers can subscribe to the service for a 3- to 12- month period at $10–$14 a month, options that Metzger says have attracted more than 1,000 subscribers so far. While the business is still in its infancy, his small team is excited by the prospect of a statewide expansion that could create jobs, encourage business collaboration and, most importantly, lead to less waste.

Related Content

Everyone wants to know when the pandemic will end. But perhaps a better question is: What will it look like to go on

Everyone wants to know when the pandemic will end. But perhaps a better question is: What will it look like to go on.

Abigail Carter had never seen her elderly neighbor. While social distancing, she worried how she might help him.

Abigail Carter passed the house with the mossy roof every day. But now, during the pandemic, she thought about her elderly neighbor she didn't know and had never seen while on her daily walks.

Photographer Ted Zee has been documenting the way people are coping with stay-at-home orders. "As part of an exercise in socially distant portraiture, and a way to address my own anxieties, I stepped out to learn more about my neighbors."

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price: “The employees bailed us out.”

A few years ago, Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments gave his employees a raise to $70K. They returned the favor: “The employees bailed us out.”