Follow The Republic:
While city officials are grappling with how to offer curbside recycling, a Columbus couple have launched a business to collect residents’ paper, glass, plastic, clothes and other items to be donated.
Marc Nehring, 28, and his wife, Jasmyn, last month launched Waste Servant, which, for $16 per month, will make twice monthly curbside pickups.
Customers initially have to pay $15 to get an 18-gallon green bin to collect paper, which includes anything from cardboard to magazines, newspapers and toilet paper rolls. In a separate 38-gallon blue bag, customers collect certain plastics, glass bottles and aluminum cans, all of which should be rinsed.
Twice a month, Nehring will pull a 16-foot trailer through the neighborhood to collect the blue bag and empty the bin, in which he will place a new blue bag.
Nehring said that his business provides a needed service to customers, but also keeps trash out of the landfill. Customers also can collect books, toys, clothes and other items they want to donate to Sans Souci, and Nehring will pick them up and deliver them.
“It’s a service I think that a lot of people want,” he said. “(And) I really think it’s the responsible thing to do.”
In addition, he said, the paper he collects will benefit local schools. Nehring empties the paper and cardboard in recycling boxes at the neighborhood school near which the paper was collected. The schools get money for the paper that is collected. The more they collect the more dollars they get per ton.
Nehring moved to Columbus at age 9 with his family, graduated from Columbus North High School and studied business at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School. He and his wife met at BYU and lived in Salt Lake City for a while as Nehring worked for trucking company C.R. England. The couple, who have two children, moved to Columbus last year.
Nehring said that his family has always recycled, though it has proved challenging in Columbus. His mother used to have multiple bags and boxes in her home to sort recyclables and then took them to bins or the Bartholomew County Recycling Center.
“It was such an inconvenience,” Nehring said.
The couple conducted research, talked to neighbors, his mom and other people who recycled to see what kind of service they would like and how much they would be willing to pay.
Nehring said that he and his five brothers always had an entrepreneurial drive and a desire to solve problems. His brother Mike, who runs a lawn care and a tutoring business, helped Nehring with some of the licensing hurdles and other paperwork.
The couple bought a used pickup truck and trailer, went to a home improvement store and bought wood and paint to build and paint three wooden compartments on the trailer. While Nehring drives the route, his wife takes care of the marketing and the children.
Columbus city officials have discussed offering some type of residential curbside recycling for years, but Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown last month pulled a $250,000 request to start a curbside recycling program from the 2014 budget. Brown had presented the recycling plan during budget hearings in August, but the proposal won little support from City Council members. Council President Ryan Brand said he expected a curbside recycling plan to be fleshed out next year.
Nehring said he is happy with the 75 customers (including Mayor Brown) he has landed within the first few weeks of the business, and said he gains about one or two per day.
Tipton Lakes resident Kim Pence said that she has enjoyed the service, because it reduces clutter in her garage and requires little sorting.
“It’s just such a time saver for me,” she said. “And I love the convenience.”
Pence said that for years she sorted her recyclables and drove them to the recycling center. She recycles because she wants to keep as much trash out of the landfill as possible.
“I think it’s important for everybody to recycle,” she said.
Waste Servant customer Tammy Freeland said that she is glad that Nehring is offering a service that the city will not be offering any time soon.
“It’s good for the community,” Freeland said. “I think it’s the right thing to do.”
Freeland said she enjoys the Waste Servant service especially for its convenience. She had for many years driven her recyclables from her residence on the west side to the recycling center on the city’s east side.
Nehring said that in the second month, revenues already are covering expenses to run the business.
“I think it’s going really well,” he said.
He also has talked to local business owners and is considering expanding the service to commercial customers.
One man’s junk ...
Name: Waste Servant LLC.
What: Recycling business.
Owners: Marc and Jasmyn Nehring, of Columbus.
Service: Picks up paper, plastics, aluminum and other items twice monthly from local residences.
Cost: $15 startup for a paper bin, then $16 monthly for the pickups.
Accepted materials include: Cardboard, paper, magazines, junk mail, egg cartons, some plastics, aluminum cans and foil, some glass.
Not accepted: Wet paper and cardboard, waxy paper, broken glass, paint cans, perishable items, potato chip bags.
Information: wasteservant.com, email@example.com or 603-0734.
Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!
All content copyright ©2013 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.