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Recycle for Change Builds Win-Win Model for Waste Management


New NPO Combines Waste Management with Charitable Giving

By Lauren Nisbet, Staff Writer

‘Going green’ takes on new meaning with Recycle for Change’s innovative approach to waste management.

Companies and individuals will soon have an opportunity to donate to charitable organizations while supporting environmental sustainability, putting unwanted waste to good use.

“Our idea is based on offering the right kind of service.  We’ll assess your needs, establish the most efficient plan and deliver at a lower cost,” explains founder Ilia Shapenko.

Ilia Shapenko, Recycle for Change founder

Ilia Shapenko, Recycle for Change founder

The new non-profit organization is built on a three-pillar model, focusing on waste management needs, sustainability, and charitable giving.  Attracting clients with lower costs than other waste management companies, Recycle for Change will collect and recycle waste materials and donate the proceeds to charitable organizations such as SickKids Hospital and the United Way.

[pullquote]“We’re focusing on how we can benefit companies, the environment and social good to bring as much value as possible for the community.  No one loses from the process, and it has the potential to make a huge impact. ” [/pullquote]

Recycle for Change currently operates with the help of 12 part-time volunteers and a community of freelancers who contribute their skills in business development, web design, policy analysis, and environmental consulting.  Still in its early stages, a major goal of the organization is to educate people on environmental issues and sustainability.

“The idea is to come up with an integrated message that links the new generation of Facebook-users to the traditional business of waste management, showing people the importance of environmental change.  It’s a matter of grabbing their attention, creating a positive vibe and keeping them interested. ”

Business Development Analyst for the organization, Denise Kouda, was motivated to contribute by the initiative’s fresh approach to important issues. “I chose to join the Recycle for Change team for two reasons: it’s an organization with vision and it’s based on a distinctive business model.”

Kouda emphasizes the significance of environmental goals as part of the bigger picture for people living in the GTA.  “Issues of waste management and environmental sustainability go hand in hand with urban planning, population growth, economics and infrastructure development – environmental and public ethics are tied to all of these things. ”

These issues are explored further on the organization’s website.  Designed in blog format, the site features weekly articles on reducing waste, increasing sustainability, and other environmental issues with the goal of making facts and policy changes more accessible to average consumers.

In addition to its big-picture thinking, Recycle for Change sets itself apart by appealing to a wide range of interests.

“While we provide the tools and resources to help people understand the importance of environmental sustainability, we understand that not everyone is passionate about this cause” Shapenko says. “Others might be motivated by the fact that proceeds generated through our process will go to animal organizations and other worthy causes. Either way, the choice will lead to a positive contribution to the community.”

Shapenko hopes to expand the reach of the organization by offering clients the chance to support a diverse range of causes through Recycle for Change.

[pullquote]“The most common thing you see is the creation of waste.  Recycle for Change is a sustainable business that addresses a continuous need, and once we get started I believe that this organization can innovate the waste management industry.”[/pullquote]

After a year of developing the concept, Shapenko’s current focus is creating a strong base, organizing the logistics and fundamentals of Recycle for Change that will be necessary for its successful growth.

“The way I see it, one of the most amazing things about creating an organization is working with so many different pieces. 

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