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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Phoenix Recycling - Route 5 in NorthWest Carrollton

Click HERE to sign up for Phoenix Recycling!
NorthWest Carrollton gets the Neighborhood Association discount.

From: Phoenix Recycling
To: customers and potential customers
Subject: Competition
Date: Feb 11, 2010 12:05 AM

Competition is in the air and that's a good thing. It signifies more interest in recycling and more options. But, it's well funded and seems targeted at our most densely populated routes. It's using mailer cards and letters and advertising - things we've avoided due to the waste - both material and money.

We thought it would be best to address this head-on and help illuminate the differences in the options you have. We also need your help in getting our message out. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Tell them what their options are and encourage them to sign up with someone.

Cost -
Options exist ranging from $10/month to $15/month. Our base charge is $15/month for a residential account. To encourage support of Neighborhood Associations and to thank them for their support, we discount members to $14/month. If you pay annually; our best rate is $12.50/month ($150/year).

Referral Bonus - Effective immediately we are offering a $5 bonus for each new customer referral you provide. This can be in the form of a discount to your existing service or in the form of a check. If you prefer, we can make it a contribution to a school fundraiser or recycling program, or a business or non-profit program. The fine print is that the new customer must pay for the initial quarter before we can credit anything.

Contract -
We don't require a contract for residential accounts.

Service area -
Our competitors are only targeting areas with enough demand to ensure profitability, but excluding the rest of the City. We cover all of Orleans, most of Jefferson and some of St Tammany. Not all of our routes are 'profitable'. However we felt like, if there was demand, we should start service and encourage more participation - not wait on a certain area until we would make a profit. If we did so, we would only be serving Routes 1, 4, 10 and possibly 9 currently. To put us out of business would deprive many areas of curbside recycling - that's a step backwards in the recycling efforts for the City.

Bin vs no bin -
We decided not to provide bins for a few reasons. We don't know what the City will do, so didn't want to waste money and plastic to provide a bin that will be replaced 'soon'. It would increase our costs, which would either limit our reach or cost you more - for a bin you likely don't need and won't be using 2 years from now. What happens if the bin is stolen or broken? Will you get another? Will you be required to buy another? What happens to all of those bins when the City does start recycling?

Drop off vs pick up -
There are a few drop off options around and while it always feels good to pull up to the recycling center and check that chore off of the 'to-do' list, consider if it's more efficient for 100 people to bring their material or for us to pick it up and bring it on their behalf? Industry articles prove that collection creates a much smaller carbon footprint than drop-off and even encourages others to recycle.

Motivation - I started this in 1991 because there were limited recycling options at that time. We did it until the City started a curbside program, then we moved into other types of recycling. When the City was slow to resume recycling after Katrina, we stepped in and offered a needed service. Now that there is a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in town and it's "easy" for others to do the same thing, we are seeing more competition. One thing seems clear - our competition is motivated by profit. We are motivated by diverting material from the landfill back into the commodities markets - almost 10 million pounds in 2 ½ years. Where have these guys been? We've needed the help (you've seen our trucks!!). But now it's coming at a time when it's more likely the City will do 'something' soon. But, does that finally make it a good time to get into the Recycling Business and compromise people who've been working hard for years to provide alternatives?

If you are happy with us, tell friends, neighbors, co-workers and strangers in line at the grocery store. If you're not happy - tell me so we can address any issues.

David McDonough
504 324 2043

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