RecycleMe Iowa had a fantastic time participating in the first annual VeganFest2017! Hosted by Food Still Matters, the event was held February 18 at the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines. While some were getting down at the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, VeganFest provided an healthier foodie escape to over 600 attendees.

VeganFest was free (who doesn’t love free food?!) and featured samples from some amazing, delicious local restaurants including Tacopocalypse East VillageKrunkwich Ramen HouseHoQ restaurantFlavory BistroFresh Cafe & MarketMoar TacosGusto Pizza Co.5 Borough BagelsThe Grateful ChefROGUEsweetsCatering by CydDogpatch Urban Gardens, and Dirt Burger. Tiny But Mighty Popcorn and Trader Joe’s provided additional snacks and there was a Fong’s Pizza $50 gift card up for grabs.

veganfest signage

Of course all of the leftovers, materials, and waste had to go somewhere, which is where we entered the picture. RecycleMe Iowa rangers were able to help divert 37 pounds of waste—36 pounds of compost and one pound of recycling. There was still 11 pounds of trash, but the majority of that was from one-time use aluminum chafing dishes. Plastic spoons and ramekins, chip bags, and Styrofoam coffee cups also added to the waste.

Midst the food, people also had the chance to attend four different presentations that included topics like “Environmental Reasons for Eating More Plants” and “Healthy Vegan: Creating an Environment for Healthy Holistic Living.”

Food Still Matters Card

Luckily, the community, good food, and education didn’t end with VeganFest cleanup. Food Still Matters is a group that gathers monthly for a series of panel discussion and film screenings, in addition to a vegan potluck. At the meetings, the group explores topics relative to humans’ relationship with food such as food insecurity, local foods movements, the environmental impacts of food, nutrition, and workers’ rights. Interested in attending? The next meetings will be Thursday April 6 for a free film screening of Good Food and Thursday May 4 for a final discussion and celebration at the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, located at 1800 Bell Ave, Des Moines IA 50315. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., the vegan potluck starts at 6 p.m. and then film/panel discussions commence at 7 p.m. The May meeting will be the final event of the series. Plus, for all of you parents out there, they’re offering free childcare and the kiddos are welcome and encouraged to attend the potluck.

Interested in having RMI make your recycling rock at your next event? Don’t hesitate to contact us and get a quote!


New Year for New Habits

Welcome to the first High-Five Friday of 2013 everyone! Each January people around the world take a moment to reflect on the past year and the habits they formed, which ones they want to change and begin a plan of action to have a better, brighter and more fulfilled new year. As we plan our year at RecycleMe Iowa we too reflected on the past so we can have better, brighter and more filled recycling bins this coming year.

This is what we came up with as we reflected:
1. We have the BEST clients ever. Seriously. We call them our recycling rockstars because they are rockstars. They keep us inspired and motivated so we can continue this great recycling service with a smile. They definitely have gratitude in their attitude for being able to finally have a recycling service provided to them.

2. There have been many people behind the scenes that have been a tremendous help in executing successful events. Thank you GreenRU, Confluence Brewery, Fresh Cafe, Host, New Belgium Brewery, Star Bar, COSC (Center on Sustainable Communities), The Tomorrow Plan, Cale Neighbors, Chris Holz, Urban Ambassadors, Colton Davis, Ben Davidson, Tom Bos, Jamie Cunningham, Justin Schoen, Liz Aldelman, The newly married Tuttle’s, and all the family and friends who keep us grounded while pushing us forward. Cheers mates!

3. Team RMI. You’ve brought a new ‘can-do’ attitude to the Des Moines green scene and I couldn’t be prouder and more convinced that we will help the city see how it’s possible to be progressive in the waste industry. Just because we have plenty of land doesn’t mean we want more landfills. We will divert even more waste this year and do so with a smile on our face and end our weeks with High-Five’s on Fridays for a job well done. Onward and Upward to 2013! You rock team RMI!

**To all the business owners, workers, apartment tenants, landlords, team members, green organizations and event planners – Thank you for being awesome, progressive and having a positive attitude knowing that together we can be the change we wish to see in Des Moines.**

Want to join the good vibes movement and create a habit this year your friends won’t ask you to break?

Here’s how:
Small Businesses –
Apartment Tenants –
Events –

We look forward to another successful year in the progressive waste movement and bringing on more recycling rockstars with good vibes.

Party like it’s your Earthday; We did!


Good vibes in the Junction

We are officially in our terrible twos! RecycleMe Iowa turned two yesterday on our favorite day of the year. Earth Day!  A holiday that doesn’t encourage wasteful packaging, unnecessary purchases or decorating your home and work with evolved mascots in white fluffy beards or bunny ears. This holiday is all about remembering to be respectful for what we call HOME. To be conscious of our decisions, to begin or re-ignite positive habits, stop making excuses and chose to be grateful, not wasteful.

In celebration of our Earthday, Valley Junction threw a party for us! (We think Earth Day in the Junction is secretly code for RecycleMe Iowa’s Birthday extravaganza.) The busy birthday weekend took us around the community recycling good vibes and meeting some amazing people.

Rockstar volunteers

From the Trash Bash to the Science Center to Earth Day in the Junction; RecycleMe Iowa teammates tackled event waste and encouraged many to choose an Earth Day resolution. Many apartment tenants signed up for our doorstep service and we shocked event organizers as they saw the results of our waste diversion.

Only 1 bag of trash for 1000+ people!

Des Moines is filled with recycling rockstars, rangers and ninja’s going out of their way, leading by example as they make positive changes in their behaviors. Our friend Gandhi said it best;

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” 

So, what’s your Earth Day resolution?
Here are some of our suggestions:

1. Sign up for RecycleMe Iowa’s doorstep service.
2. Challenge yourself to take a reusable bag to the store EVERY time. Soon it will become habit.
3. Say NO to styrofoam! Not only does it never degrade, it also leaks toxins in your food when you reheat it in a microwave. So not cool.
*Sustainable option: Bring your own container if you are knowingly going out to eat or ask for a alternative option.
4. Adopt a motto such as ‘Bring it in, bring it out.’ If you have a recyclable item in your possession and there is no recycling where you are located, take it with you. If you were able to bring it in; you should be able to bring it out. Do this when going to parks and outdoor activities.
5. Call people out. Yep, we said it. It’s 2012 and recycling wasn’t born yesterday so it’s time to get with the program. Next time you see someone throw a cigarette butt or mindlessly throw recycling in a trash bin because they couldn’t seem to see the big sign you have our full support to open up a conversation.

As we continue to grow we promise our two’s won’t be so terrible. We’re putting gratitude in our attitude and encourage you to do the same. Choose an Earth Day resolution and choose to be awesome.

Oh yeah. And we made the news. Woo!

Yeah Willy!

Get your tickets ASAP, he will be here soon!

Who is ‘HE’? He, my fantastic recycling friends, is William Elliott Whitmore and he’s coming to the 515 for COSC’s (center on sustainable communities) annual fundraiser EVERGREEN at People’s Court on Nov 2nd.

I know, we too are super stoked!

Not only is he an incredible musician, he also cares about the environment. Which means he is extra cool in our eyes. We’ll have to give him some cool points at the show..

A quote from a NPR interview showed his appreciation for the land as he predicts a paradigm shift on farming saying, “…a more sustainable way of farming is something that’s going to make the land a lot happier…” We second that.

Here is a song from his new album Field Songs. (Rumor: it has been stated that this is “William’s materpiece”)
Enjoy my Recycling Rockstars.

Our buddy Mark, who helped film RMI’s PSA, shot this amazing video of Mr. Whitmore at 80/35 that we’d like to share as well. Check it out on his blog:

See you at People’s Court on Nov 2nd for EVERGREEN with Whitmore! (his last show in Iowa sold out so get your tickets soon..)

Six States, Two Events, Infinite RecycleMe Love

Well, we made it to Charlotte!!!
Upon arrival we stopped at the Kickstand for a drink and managed to find a kind southern belle to host us for the evening.  Big shout outs to Bobbie Jo for letting us crash for the night. Folks in the 28205 are absolutely amazing and some of the kindest people we met.  After getting up we made our way to the amazing EpiCentre in downtown Charlotte, where we worked out of Yoforia for the day.
Matt had his first experience with lychee along with $12 worth of yogurt (multiple servings).  Yoforia only serves 100% organic Stonyfield Yogurt free of any artificial flavors and colors.  Big props to Stonyfield!
Yoforia at the EpiCentre
Rain or Shine, its Clips of Faith time!!  It was a pretty chilly night with a few sprinkles, but there is nothing like a New Belgium brew to warm up your heart and soul.  Here are the post-event statistics from the event.
Recycling Ranger at Compost Office #1

Clips of Faith Beer and Film Festival 

Compost: 22lbs        57.89%
Recycling: 15lbs      39.47%
Rubbish: 1lb              2.63%
Total: 38lbs
Diverted from the Landfill: 37lbs    97.36%
Attendance:  100+


Next up: Train to be an Olympian.
Our day off was filled with incredible outdoor activities at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Canyon Crossing, Zip-Lining, and Whitewater Rafting were some of the highlights.  This facility in Charlotte is the official Olympic training site for whitewater racing. We were mistaken for professional Rafters. True story.
Olympian in training

Having a family dinner with our awesome new CouchSurfer Chris was the perfect ending to a great day. Chris, you are awesome! Hugs for the hospitality.

Sunday Funday at the Urban Assault Ride.  A beautiful bike riding day to end the work week. Work can’t get any more fun than this! Here is our the post-event stats from the event.

Urban Assault Ride
Compost: 85lbs         45.21%
Recycling: 87lbs      46.27%
Rubbish: 8.5lbs          8.51%
Total: 188lbs
Diverted from the Landfill: 172lbs     91.48%
Attendance: 800+


The road and Charlotte were so good to us it was hard to say goodbye. So tough, that we had to make one more stop in Asheville, NC before the long trek home to try some good vibes at Mellow Mushroom.


Thanks to our new extended family for such an awesome vacation with a purpose. The sustainable movement is staying strong with conscious companies like you. With the help of Earth Farms Organics and Mecklenburg County we managed to divert over 90% of all materials from the landfill.  Keep on keeping on Yoforia, New Belgium, U.S. Whitewater Center, Adventure Fit, Charlotte Area Bicycle Alliance (CABA), and Mellow Mushroom. Stoked to have you all on the happy train of sustainability! Cheers mates!
RecycleMe Iowa & NBB + Couch Host Chris

“Life is kind, and kind is kind.” Jack Kerouac, On the road

So far so good. The road has been filled with kind folks everywhere on our travels to NC so we wanted to give some special shout outs to those who have gone the extra mile and shared their kindness.

A nice little break in Covington, KY was shared with some great people and a stop at a restaurant where Rain Man was filmed. Cheers to Gary, Rhiannon, Madison, Machita, Marv, and Mitch! Oh yeah and Walter (the dog).

Pompilios in Covington, KY

An overnight rest thanks to CouchSurfer Klinton in Knoxville, TN let us get some zzzz’s before continuing the journey.

Quick stop to GSD in amazing Asheville, NC….. and where else would RMI get work done other than a recycled 1963 Lodekka Double Decker Bus! Stay tuned for more…

Entry to Double D's Coffe & Desserts


RecycleMe working on the patio of Double D's Coffee & Desserts


Live in NC and Like Beer & Bikes?

If so, New Belgium’s Urban Assault Ride Charlotte, is looking for a few more volunteers for this Sunday, Sept. 18th. @ Independence Park. Volunteers are needed starting at 8:30am.

All volunteers receive a food ticket, beer tokens (if over 21) and an awesome UAR Crew T-shirt.

Sign-up HERE!

If you happen to be there, don’t be a square and stop by one of the waste stations to get your free hugs and high-fives!

Check out Last year's UAR in Charlotte

Zero-Waste Warriors tackle the weekend events

The facts are in folks. If you’ve been living behind a rock, you may not know, so we’ll tell you now.  RecycleMe Iowa got it’s ‘Sort On’ last weekend in Des Moines with Ingersoll Live and New Belgium’s Urban Assault Ride.  Way to go Recycling Rockstars!

Check out these stats:
Ingersoll Live
Compost: 280 lbs
140 lbs
Landfill: 85 lbs
Total Materials: 505 lbs
Total Diversion:  420lbs  83%

Attendance: 7500+

Recycling Rangers & Compost Commanders at Waste Station #1

Urban Assault Ride
Compost: 120 lbs
Recycling: 160 lbs
Landfill: 15 lbs
Total Materials: 295 lbs
Total Diversion: 280 lbs     94.9%

Attendance: 1500+

Urban Assault Ride
Gettin' Sorted at Mullet's for the Urban Assault Ride

Happy High-Five Friday!!!

Tap your co-worker, friend, boss, enemy, brother, sister, dog, cat, parking meter people, or random person on the street on the shoulder and give them a High-Five for a week well done and a good kick-off for the weekend. Why? It’s High-Five Friday kids!

We’ve got a big weekend ahead of us tackling recycling for Ingersoll Live and the Urban Assault Ride.

Ingersoll Live is going to be stellar. And we could use your help. We need about 3 more RecyclingRockstars to help with the event. Email if you’d like to join the cool kids club.

Need convincing…
Reason #1:

I want to be an Isiserette! Love these kids!!!

Reason #2:

Brother Trucker starts around 5:45.


The Snacks are always pure entertainment.

We’ll be enjoying ourselves from 2pm-11pm this Saturday. Let us know what shift you want to work by emailing Rock on Recycla’s!