Sponsored Content

South Bay mom shares her favorite hack for sustainable recycling

Hint: It’s an easy solution for San Joseans who want to be more green in 2024 — and beyond.

Sponsored by
a woman puts a bag in a white bin

Ridwell makes recycling so easy that you don’t even have to take your bin to the curb — they’ll pick it up at your front door.

Photo provided by Ridwell

Table of Contents

Meet Elizabeth Langer, a San Jose mom working in education and as a part-time consultant for a sustainable cleaning product company, who advocates for the three R’s (reduce, reuse, and recycle) — particularly with plastic. As we step into 2024, we asked Elizabeth to share her go-to sustainability tips with the South Bay community, in hopes of paving the path for a greener year.

Elizabeth has always been mindful of minimizing plastic in her daily life, choosing eco-friendly options like repurposing plastic containers for cleaning products, and keeping reusable utensils, straws + containers on hand. She faced a challenge when her son returned from college, resulting in a pile of air pillows and bubble mailers accumulating in the garage, prompting Elizabeth to seek a solution.

That’s when Elizabeth heard about Ridwell from her cousin in Washington. Ridwell, a Seattle-based recycling start-up, started as a father-son project with CEO, Ryan Metzger, and his son, Owen, trying to recycle their batteries in Seattle. And after receiving so much interest from the South Bay community, Ridwell came to San Jose in September 2023.

Ridwell has become an essential part of Elizabeth’s family routine, providing doorstep pickup for items like plastic film and multi-layer plastics (chip bags, snack wrappers) that are not recycled by regular curbside programs.

a warehouse baler with pallets of recycled plastic

After Ridwell picks up your plastic film, 98.2% of it gets diverted from landfills.

Photo provided by Ridwell

Beyond plastics, Ridwell collects batteries, light bulbs, clothes, and more. They partner with 200+ local and regional businesses to ensure responsible reuse or recycling of these items. One way Ridwell keeps plastic out of landfills is through its partnership with Hydroblox — a company that repurposes multi-layer plastic into construction materials.

With Ridwell, Elizabeth knows her small actions are making a difference and encourages the community to embrace this solution to send less waste to landfills.

For an effortless way to be more sustainable in 2024, become a Ridwell member. San Joseans can subscribe for as little as $14 a month, significantly reducing household waste. Pro tip: Join Ridwell this January and get your first month free.

Start your sustainable journey.


Which items would you like Ridwell to recycle for you? We’re curious.