Green is the New Black: How to Recycle in Style

“A recycling bin should be obvious in its use, but not obnoxious in its look.”

That’s the philosophy behind John and Melissa’s Ziech’s two year old business, RecycleBoxBin, a company that manufactures attractive recycling containers for use in the office, at home or school.

John, a recently-retired furniture showroom designer and executive at Steelcase, stumbled upon the idea for a new kind of recycle bin when he noticed that there was no one in his industry offering a practical way to recycle waste around the office. A few years later, he and his wife started RecycleBoxBin.

“Everything that I saw on the market was either too ugly or too expensive, or it was poorly designed. My goal was to build a beautiful and practical alternative to what was already out there,” said John.

John and Melissa Ziech at their home in East Grand Rapids

There are several unique features of the bin. First, bins come in single, double or triple configurations. Second, the bins come with a detachable labeling system that allowing the user to use the bins for a variety of different materials, and the Ziech’s provide a variety of pre-made templates, free for download on their website. Third, the recycling container actually looks nice. Unlike the plastic trash-can-designated-recycle-bin, this recycling bin has a sleek, functional design that doesn’t stick out in an office setting.

Finally, and perhaps coolest of all, the bin itself is made of all recyclable material. For John and Melissa, self-described environmentalists who were both involved in the very first Earth Day Celebration in 1970, their business isn’t just about meeting bottom-line; it’s also about educating their clients about the importance of environmental sustainability.

“Our sales are good, but that’s not everything. We want our clients to understand that it’s important to recycle,” said Melissa. The RecycleBoxBin has been sold all over the country and was even used on the set of the Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest movie, The Dictator.

“We haven’t seen the movie yet,” said Melissa, “but we have a lot of repeat customers. Maybe we found a niche!”

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