Earth911 Podcast Innovator Interview

Recyclops founder Ryan Smith has a vision for locally grown recycling services. The company’s Uber-like on-demand residential, apartment, and business recycling service is available in 16 states and adds three or more new cities every month. With pickups starting at $12 a month, customers can place plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, and other recyclables in a single-use plastic bag provided by Recyclops on their curb for twice-monthly removal and recycling. Drivers make about $25 an hour before their costs, servicing a regular route of about 100 customer homes or businesses. Find out where Recyclops needs drivers.

Ryan Smith, founder of Recyclops
Ryan Smith, founder of Recyclops, is our guest on Sustainability in Your Ear.

Ryan, who has been recognized as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur, shares how he developed Recyclops from an initial idea in 2013. The company responded to the pandemic, which shuttered recycling services across the country, with a plan to relaunch recycling in 100 cities. He describes why the company selected single-use plastic pickup bags over reusables and how Recyclops can support recovery of branded packaging to enable improved recovery rates of hard-to-recycle items.

The opportunities for innovation in a flexible, on-demand approach to recycling are virtually unlimited. Because anyone could start their own Recyclops route by recruiting their neighbors, the company’s app is a potential launching pad for a new, resilient, and constantly evolving recycling infrastructure built from the grass-roots up. Check out how to get started at

This podcast originally aired on September 20, 2021.

By Earth911

We’re serious about helping our readers, consumers and businesses alike, reduce their waste footprint every day, providing quality information and discovering new ways of being even more sustainable.