I’ll never forget the day we took part in our first Recycling Extravaganza – an amazing event put on by Kane County Recycles. This event gives Kane County residents an opportunity to be part of their local efforts to reuse, recycle, and divert waste. You can bring your used electronics, books, paint, fluorescent tubes, and other hazardous and hard-to-recycle materials to have them responsibly dealt with,so that they don’t end up leaching harmful substances into landfills and groundwater.
It was a blistering day in July, in the middle of the ongoing pandemic. Flat Can Recycling showed up to play at the Recycling Extravaganza, which was held in a huge parking lot in front of the Kane County Circuit Clerk’s Office. We had our PPE bin ready with gloves, masks, disinfectant wipes… basically all the things we would need to keep our resident recyclers safe.
As much as wearing a mask and rubber gloves in 91-degree weather sucked, we were filled with excitement, and no one complained about the steamy weather. Our team consisted of Pat Gordon (my husband), Amy Dabe (our Recycling Manager), and our friends Rob and Laurie Lee of Swift Link Worldwide.
We unpacked our gear and put on our lime-glo safety vests (in keeping with our “brand everything” motto, they have the Flat Can Recycling logo on them). Our 15-foot Recycle Your Spray Paint banners waved proudly in the breeze. We were ready to inspire others to Do the Right Thing by recycling their used aerosol paint cans, but the funny part is, on the way there, I had a pit in my stomach.
Were we prepared?
Would our Square credit card readers function properly?
Would people attending have to wait in line while we struggled to get our act together?
Would anyone even show up to recycle their spray paint?!
Thankfully, none of my fears turned into reality. The residents of Kane County, Illinois also showed up ready to play. With their masks on and empty spray paint cans in their car trunks, they dropped off over 300 used cans of paint that day. Way to go, Kane County!
Jennifer Jarland did a great job organizing the event, and trusted that we were a class-act company. It was thanks to her marketing efforts that people in the area learned about the existence of Flat Can Recycling.
One of my favorite attendees at the event was a smiling gentleman who had a Schnauzer on his lap. You can recycle all kinds of things at these community Recycling Extravaganzas, but this gentleman came to the event to recycle just three cans of spray paint. I was lucky enough to wait on him, and I was filled with so much joy that I not only started dancing, but I kissed the ground as my team watched. I feel like every event will have a story like this, and I’m almost in tears thinking people believe what we’re doing is important enough to wait in line for 45 minutes to recycle a few cans of spray paint.
Fast-forward to October, and we have a community recycling event every weekend this month. We have a ton of systems in place, including a pre-event checklist and post-event report we provide to the event organizer. Although we are a well-oiled spray paint recycling machine, we have a belief that Flat Can Recycling continues to evolve and get better as a result of each event. For example, now that we have a couple of events under our belts, we’ve decided that we will present a Flat Can Recycling gift pack to the first person who shows up to recycle spray paint cans at each event. It’s a great way to appreciate the event attendees, and we do have very cool swag, if I do say so myself! 🙂
We’ve got a few different components to what we do at Flat Can Recycling, but community events are our favorite – especially nowadays, when there are fewer opportunities to mix and mingle with friendly faces in public. Live events are an awesome way to play an active role in the community we live and work in, AND to get familiar with new communities that are nearby.
Our 2021 calendar is filling up with events. We can’t wait to meet more amazing people who believe in recycling! If you want us at your community event, give us a shout! Or, you can tell your local Ace Hardware location that you’d love for them to become a drop site for spray paint recycling!
We are at Kane County Recycles and Glencoe’s Drop Off & Recycling this weekend (10-10-2020). Click here for details.