New Recycling Bins Power Dreams

By Ginger Zee
|  Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011  |  Updated 3:30 PM CDT
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Thousands of recycling receptacles on the lakefront, and at Soldier and Wrigley fields, are changing the lives of disabled veterans.

Thousands of recycling receptacles on the lakefront, and at Soldier and Wrigley fields, are changing the lives of disabled veterans.

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As you stroll along Chicago’s lakefront in the coming summer months, you may notice new trash/recycling receptacles peppering the parks and lakefront trail. These Free Green Cans (the name of the company) are more than just an easy option for your waste, they are dream machines.

Steve Holland, the CEO of Free Green Can, said he came up with the idea in a local park.

"I was at a park with my son hanging out looking for solutions to better the Earth. I said to my son, 'Please recycle this,' and he couldn’t find a place to do it at our local park."

After realizing it wasn’t just his park, they came up with the idea for Free Green Can. Powered by advertising, their flagship sponsor is Pepsico.

"It is more than just a trash and recycle. It is the dream machine because the more bottles and cans recycled through this program, the more support we give to an organization that helps war veterans start their own business," said Meagan Smith, Pepsico's program director of the Dream Machine recycling initiative.

According to the company, just 12 percent of open spaces have an option to recycle in the nation, so it is not just Chicago that needs this.

It's recycling on the go, and according to Holland, it's a win for all involved.

"It’s not just a win for environment. It's not just for vets. It's not just city of Chicago. It's a a great thing for all entities," he said.

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