North Miami launches EcoBin recycling program

Source: Francis I.,(2019, November 22). South Florida Media Network, North Miami launches EcoBin recycling program. Retrieved from:

“North Miami is working toward a green future with new high-tech recycling bins decked out with solar panels, LED lighting and space for advertising.

The GoGreen-EcoBins, part of a program that launched Nov. 12, were provided without cost to the city. Instead, the company makes money via sponsorships.

“They try to encourage recycling not just from city hall or the businesses, but also from the residents,” said Tanya Wilson, North Miami’s director of community planning and development. “It’s pretty state of the art, it’s eye-catching. When you see it you’re going to notice it there.”

The difference between EcoBins and regular recycling containers is the design, which uses sustainable materials and features advertising space. The ads can be used by the city or local charities free of charge or by businesses that sponsor the bins. The bins also have solar panels on top that power LED lighting at night and are made out of recyclable stainless steel.

Guy Strempack, the founder of GoGreen, said the company reaches out to local businesses, such as restaurants and realtors, and asks whether they would like to sponsor a bin. He said the price has yet to be set in North Miami, as it varies based on the local market.

“Without these local businesses getting involved and saying, ‘Hey I’m going to choose you over … spending my budget on YouTube or Instagram,’ that says something, and it makes us feel proud, and it makes them feel proud,” he said.

The recycling business, as a whole, however, has hit some snags following the so-called China Ban. For over 25 years, China had taken nearly half the world’s recyclables and processed them, but in early 2018 it banned the importation of any recycling, claiming its processing system had been overwhelmed.

Many countries that shipped their trash to China did not have enough processing plants of their own, including the United States. This has led to more plastic ending up in landfills and incinerators rather than being recycled, even when people try to recycle correctly.

“We’re trying to figure out where to send recyclables or how we build that infrastructure here in the U.S.,” said Strempack.

He said his company has partnered with Lady Green, a Miami-based recycling company, to make sure items that come into the EcoBins are actually processed.

Michelle Salas, the founder and president, said the problem with the current system is that much of what is being put into cans is contaminated. For example, pizza boxes that have grease on them cannot be recycled as the oil cannot be processed.

Lady Green’s solution for this, she said, is sorting the recycling and only sending uncontaminated materials to be processed at a waste management facility here in Miami.

Despite the China Ban, Salas said there is still a market for uncontaminated recycling. She said Colombia has recently started accepting recyclables after losing Venezuela’s business due to that country’s current political instability.

“There is still a percentage that’s significant that is being recycled,” said Salas.

Besides recycling, Strempack said one of the goals with the bins is to grab people’s attention and hopefully get them to educate themselves on recycling.

“For us, I think it’s about education,” he said. “It’s showing people something on the street where they can walk up and ask themselves questions and say ‘well that’s pretty cool, maybe I should look into solar lights in front of my house.’”

Wilson said the EcoBins program is part of a larger effort by North Miami to become a more resilient and sustainable city. But, she said, it really starts with educating residents.

“Those that are informed get involved, [others] don’t. Not because they’re not interested, I just don’t think they have been educated enough to understand the urgency…to be a partner in the process,” she said.”

GoGreen interview with Voyage Miami Magazine

Source: VoyageMIA, (2020, July 8). Meet Bruce Wayne Renard of GoGreen-EcoBins in North Miami. Retrieved from:

“Today we’d like to introduce you to Bruce Wayne Renard.

Bruce, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

Our company Go-Green ECO-BINS started with a simple and straightforward idea and goal. How can we promote recycling in the community and educate people on sustainability and its importance both now and for the future. We designed the ECO-BINS, which are public space/curbside recycling bins that offer a public place to easily and sanitarily deposit recyclables and trash. We used eco-friendly materials, made the top of the unit Into a solar panel, and placed LED lighting inside to illuminate external sponsorship and public interest messaging.  Unique to our program, we came up with a way to provide these green units to local governments and festivals at no-cost, while offsetting the associated expenses by encouraging the local business community to sponsor the BINS with messages promoting sustainability and their own businesses. We were very fortunate to be able to launch and test the program in the fantastic City of Wilton Manors in our own Florida backyard. The Wilton Manor officials, staff, and the entire community “got” the program and its value right from the get go.  With our first rollout, we found the community really used the ECO-BINS for their recycling as hoped, which really validated the entire initiative and our underlying goals.

In essence, the local business community would drive this public recycling program – and in turn reap the green benefits from a no-cost, aesthetically pleasing and highly popular program that speaks well of the community as a whole. Our initial ECO-BINS product and business model have been thoroughly tested and refined, with the benefit of four years of upgrade to the ECO-BINS design, features, and business model. In 2019, we have set our sights on expanding the program and bringing its environmentally friendly benefits to more cities throughout Florida and ultimately the nation, as we seek to establish a grass roots community driven “Clean Streets Initiative” across the USA. With China no longer accepting US recyclables and Florida’s directive now in place to reach a 75% recycling goal this year, the time is now for our innovative ECO-BINS program to help lead our state on the ground to the forefront of America’s green revolution.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?

Thankfully, this has been a smooth and steady process overall. As with any new product, however, we have looked for and found ways to improve the ECO-BINS unit and program each year as we add new design features. In truth, the product remains ever-evolving. And, in the face of the new realities from Covid-19, we have had to continue to evolve and adapt in our business.  Our sponsors have been hit hard financially, and we are trying to balance our operational costs while giving them all a break on payments to help their businesses and ours keep moving forward. Our City of North Miami program and other projects had to be put on hold after our initial launch, due to disruptions in our supply chains for manufacturing and shipping the ECO-BINS. We have also learned during Covid19, that solid wastes have the potential to breed and transmit viruses and disease, and that proper recycling also plays an important role in helping address future health concerns and as a benefit to our overall economy.  We have altered our collection procedures and timing accordingly in an effort to protect our workers and the public we are privileged to serve.  We are adapting as well as possible to these dramatic new conditions, and we remain undeterred in our mission to bring this innovative and beneficial program to communities throughout Florida and the nation. Currently, we are In discussions with a good number of municipalities and counties here in South Florida and we are receiving enormous interest and extremely positive feedback.

Please tell us about GoGreen-EcoBins.

We are a local homegrown South Florida company, for which I am proud to serve as President along with a super talented senior management team. Our company is excited and gratified to have created an eco-friendly product and program from just the seed of an idea that we have been able to put into action. I am also pleased and proud to say that the ECO-BINS program has been successful and proven that the need is real. There is no other company that has this patented product and there is no other company that can offer communities a cost-free program that helps the environment and actually offers the opportunities for cities/counties to earn revenue from the program versus having to pay for the service. Never resting on our laurels, we are working on some exciting new features that  we are planning to test market in 2021. While we have installed our ECO-BINS at high traffic outdoor lifestyle centers in Miami, at music festivals, and also at chains such as Home Depot, our real niche will be municipal/county deployments where the recycling needs are the greatest and the educational outreach is most powerful in terms of its reach.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?

I think doing our homework and extensive field testing, along with our team’s enthusiasm for helping save our planet, coupled with having built strong strategic relationships with like-minded green companies, sets us apart from others. As examples, we have partnered with local grassroots recycling leader, Lady Green Recycling, based In Dade County, and Recycle Across America, with offices in North Miami. Having the ECO-BIN unit as our own unique concept and design, and now being able to manufacture the ECO-BINS right here in South Florida, make this initiative even more special to us.”

Great interview Bruce, thank you :)!