Pedal-powered recycling pick-up… and more

Recycling does create energy savings overall, but if you watch those big trucks rolling through your neighborhood on pick-up day, you probably realize that there may be even more efficient ways to handle the collection of these materials. A couple in Northampton, Massachusetts, has found one: pick up those recyclables by bike.

Alex Jarrett and Ruthy Woodring’s cooperative business, Pedal People Cooperative, Inc., started with a love of cycling and a desire to make a difference in 2002. Northampton had no municipal trash or recycling pick-up service, and it just so happened that the Norwottuck Rail Trail led right to a transfer station. Jarret and Woodring had been looking for career alternatives that better suited their values, and saw an opportunity in pedal-powered trash and recycling hauling.

Eight year later, the company now has eleven worker-owners, and seven bike trailers. In addition to trash and recycling pick-up, Pedal People also offers:

  • Farm share delivery from Enterprise Farm
  • Grocery delivery from two other cooperative businesses
  • Pedicab service
  • Yard service

And if hauling everything from discarded beer bottles to recently married couples isn’t enough, the company also offers free bike workshops and classes.

What an inspiring example of passion-driven entrepreneurship! Know of other small companies dedicated to meeting local needs by bike power? Let us know about them…

via BusinessWest


  • Our upcoming blogathon is also pedal-powered… join the fun on March 26-27!
  • Check out our selection of Bianchi Bikes in the Green Choices store.

Image credit: Alex Jarrett and Pedal People Cooperative, Inc.