‘Ridwell’ Recycling Program Launches In Twin Cities, Collects Hard-To-Dispose-Of Items

1 April 2022

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – If you’re doing some spring cleaning, you may have come across items that require several different trips to get rid of. A new program recently launched in the Twin Cities can consolidate those trips and keep items out of the landfill.

The Seattle-based startup “Ridwell” launched in specific zip codes in the Twin Cities in January. The program collects hard-to-dispose-of items every two weeks to be recycled or reused.

“Our goal is to divert as much trash out of a garbage can and give it a second life,” Ridwell Twin Cities general manager E.J. Tso said.

Ridwell takes five categories — plastic film, threads, batteries, lightbulbs, and “featured category” — in partnership with local nonprofits.

“A couple weeks ago one of the featured categories was canned goods. So they will collect those cans and nonperishable items and take them to a local foodbank, so it makes it easier for me to do my part in helping others in the community who don’t have food,” south Minneapolis resident and Ridwell member Simone Parker said.

So far, Ridwell is in south Minneapolis and Edina. Later in April, it’ll launch in St. Paul. Where Ridwell goes next is based on neighborhood interest. Residents can search by zip code on the company’s website or add their email to a waitlist. Membership costs between $12 to $16 per month.

Since its launch in Seattle, Portland, Denver and Minneapolis, the company said it’s saved 5 million pounds from being added to landfills. They said the more people who participate in a zip code, the more efficient the pickup routes can be.

Ridwell said it doesn’t compete with curbside programs because they pick up different recyclables.

So far, more than 1,000 Twin Cities residents have signed up.

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