Member Spotlight: ReUnite

Published June 22, 2021

This is part of a series of interviews with NRC members. The purpose is to provide insights into materials management programs and best practices of member municipalities, businesses, and service providers.

The principle, “Think global, act local,” encourages people to think about the global ramifications of their actions while making an effort to improve things locally. This principle is the mindset behind ReUnite’s mission to stand against the Global Waste Crisis. After deep research into the local recycling industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, founders Tyler Jacobson and Jacob Orellana concluded that the most impactful way for us all to make a difference was to support our community in reducing, reusing, and recycling more. So to make recycling services and resources more accessible, simple, and educational, the idea for ReUnite was born.

ReUnite is a tech startup that connects communities to local recycling services and resources. Our platform is a mobile responsive web application that educates users on community-specific recycling guidelines and provides on-demand curbside recycling services. We offer over 100 options for mixed recycling, electronics, appliances, batteries, and sporting equipment, with over 60 of these options for just $1 each. We provide these services by partnering with local haulers, providing them with the necessary information from recyclers to operate more efficiently and recover higher-quality materials.

Having just launched our pilot in Lincoln in early June 2021, we are just starting locally but have large aspirations to expand our reach in the future. Our goal is to divert any recyclable items from the landfill that have value for local end markets or the ability to be processed and shipped elsewhere. In addition to increasing the amount of readily recyclable materials diverted from the landfill, we also help reduce carbon footprints. By communicating directly with local haulers, we can help optimize their order management and provide the collection services only when needed. As an organization, we also have a reduced carbon footprint as our team of 4 is fully remote, and we have plans to continue to grow remotely. An added benefit of being a fully remote organization is that it significantly reduces the carbon footprint and waste we produce.

In the months to come, we plan to continue to grow a sustainability-focused community on our social media platforms and find ways to get involved at local in-person events across Lincoln. We plan to host recycling drives and interactive booths and engage with those who actively use community resources to inform people of local recycling guidelines and community-provided resources directly. As well as gain feedback on adding services like compost, yard waste, and other recycling options that may be of interest locally. As the COVID-19 pandemic slows down and things reopen, we want to help our community come back together towards a common purpose, keeping the environment where we live clean.

With that being said, we would not be where we are today without the help of the Nebraska Recycling Council and the many others who have supported us. Our roots and mission are community-driven, so we are always seeking ways to partner with local organizations to reach our shared goals. If you offer recycling services and/or want to find ways to utilize recycled materials in your business operations, please reach out.