With the Solecan™ Recycling Will Be So Easy That People Always Do It
Our goal is to create the world's most affordable, convenient, and eco-friendly recycling solution so people can't help but recycle more. Did you know that nearly 90% of Americans now have access to recycling programs? However, as of 2010 less than 30% recyclable plastic bottles were recycled. What gives? Studies have shown a major impediment to recycling participation is convenience. We designed the Solecan™ to be a single can trash & recycling solution that makes recycling incredibly convenient anywhere. Since it will be made in the U.S.A. from recycled plastic, it is also eco-friendly. With your help, we will be able to bring the Solecan™ to market and potentially keep millions of pounds of recyclables out of landfills.
How It Works
The Solecan™ snaps together using something called an annular lock snap fit. This type of snap fit is frequently used in toys or to make a marker cap snap on to a marker. When it is snapped together the Solecan™ functions like a single trash can with one compartment for trash and the other for recycling. However, when it is time to empty it out, the Solecan™ snaps apart so you can empty one side into a larger trash can or dumpster and the other side into a large recycling bin. For those who insist on using bags (we love ours without any), the snaps on the Solecan™ work perfectly for holding a standard 3-4 gallon size small bag in place in each half. The center handles allow for lifting the Solecan™ when it is filled with something heavy. The outer handles make it easier to unsnap the compartments and haul them away individually.
Who Needs a Solecan™? Anyone who...
- is a recycling fanatic will appreciate the Solecan™.
- lives with a spouse, child, or roommate who is a "convenience recycler" will benefit greatly from a Solecan™. As one of our Facebook likers said, "I'm tired of 'dumpster diving' in my own home and having to pull out all the recyclables my husband has thrown [in the trash]."
- thinks recycle bins really should be more than one color.
- wonders why all recycle bins have to be "industrial ugly."
- wants an affordable trash/recycle can combo.
- recycles in an office, dorm room, bathroom, bedroom, family room, man cave, or anywhere else.
needs some extra feng shui.
YOU could use a Solecan™!
Why Did We Develop The Solecan™?
We developed the Solecan™ to solve a dispute we had about recycling in the bathroom. Like most people, Jeff knew recycling was the right thing to do, but he hated the mess that piling up empty shampoo bottles, toilet rolls, and bathroom recyclables made. He also might have been a little lazy. Many things ended up in the trash can that shouldn't have :(. Liz, on the other hand was adamant that we recycle as much as possible. So we went to the store to find a combination trash/recycle can to place in the bathroom. The problem was we couldn't find one that we liked or were willing to pay for ($80!! No thanks). So one night we scribbled the idea of an affordable combo trash/recycle can on an a cocktail napkin. Later we saw our daughter Katie playing with a toy that was made with a snap fit. We incorporated the snap fit into our design and the Solecan™ was born. From sketch to 3D printed prototype it has been well over a year, but we are finally ready to go to production. We just need a little help from you to complete this last step!
Why Is It Called The Solecan™?
The name Solecan™ came from the idea that our product should be the only or "sole" can you need to handle trash and recycling in any room. Furthermore, we believe that doing well by the earth is also good for your "soul" or at least shows that you are a kind one! The bottom of each half of the Solecan™ is kind of in the shape of the sole of a foot. Finally, the yin yang shape when you look at the can from the top reminded us of a South Korean flag, the capital of which is... wait for it.. Seoul. That sure is a lot of "sole" for one little can, isn't it?
How Will We Produce The Solecan™?
We plan to outsource the production of the Solecan™ to a California-based custom injection molder that does millions of dollars of revenue per year. The molder has given us a quote for a P-20 steel mold which should be capable of producing at least 150,000 Solecans maintenance-free and probably up to 500,000 with some maintenance. Our planned partner has on-staff engineers to help make sure our design (in particular the snap fits) will work as we move from prototype (where we are now) to mass production (where we'll be with your backing). In addition, the molder has significant experience working with recycled plastics. We think by partnering with an experienced manufacturing partner we will maximize the likelihood of success for this project.
Solecan™ Proposed Specifications
Made: In U.S.A;
Material: Recycled Polypropylene;
Diameter at Widest: ~10";
Diameter at Narrowest: ~8";
Weight: ~2 lbs. 3 oz.;
How Will We Will Handle Fulfillment?
If this project succeeds we are going to have to ship a lot of Solecans! We plan to utilize Fulfillment by Amazon (or some other third party fulfillment) to help make shipping all of these cans manageable. Because Amazon gets really good shipping rates, their scale will actually make shipping the Solecan™ more affordable than if we did it ourselves.
$1 - Listed as backer at www.solecan.com
$2 - Tweet from @theSolecan
$5 - Recycle Sticker
$17 (early bird) or $20 - "Kickstarter Edition" Solecan
$24 - "Domino" Solecan
$25 - "Aren't All Recycle Bins Blue?" Solecan w/ White or Black (your choice)
$27 - Color Democracy - Vote For Any Two Colors Below; Combo With Most Votes Wins!
Why Do We Have Such a High Goal?
The economics of our project are driving the goal. Essentially, it will cost nearly $40,000 to make a mold to mass produce Solecan™. Fulfillment costs for this project are also quite high. We estimate it will cost nearly $10 in shipping and handling alone for each Solecan™ we ship to our backers. In addition there is a per unit cost to manufacture each Solecan™. We thought that the Kickstarter community might be excited to participate in funding the mold because it will be used to produce every future Solecan™. That means that Kickstarter backers will be responsible for all the recyclables diverted from landfills from every Solecan™ ever made. But, it only will happen if we hit our goal, so please spread the word to make this project a success!!!
As Seen On:
1-800-Recycling, Jenny at Dapperhouse, Hearpreneur, One Acre Farming, Green Source DFW, Organic Cents, Ecologica, Erfworld (In the Kick it Forward Slot), Preston Hollow People, Preston Hollow Advocate, Made In USA Challenge, Coupon Bible, Green Living Savings, DJ Grandpa's Crib, Redesign Revolution
We could not have made it this close to bringing the Solecan™ into the world without a lot of help. Below are some people who have helped us with our project. Maybe they can help with yours!
Dan Ewert - Contract CAD Work, Erin Applegate - Strategy/PR/ Branding, Nested Strategies- Marketing/Social Media, PartSnap and Solid Concepts - 3D Printing, Tiffany Gehrke - Patent Related Work, Kara Square - Awesome Ukulele Music (in our video), The Open Source Community. Tools we used: FreeCAD, Paint.NET, Audacity, Apache, Joomla w/ Gantry. Open Source Rocks!, Kicktraq - Cool Data/Charts From This Project In Real Time
Thanks so much for taking the time to learn about our project. If you are as excited about the Solecan™ as we are, you can help by backing us and spreading the word via email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and on your local street corner! We only have until Earth Day (April 22, 2013) to meet our $75,000 goal. If we don't meet it, no one gets a Solecan™! We look forward to your help in keeping a whole lot of recyclables out of landfills by making the Solecan™ a reality. Happy recycling!
Risks and challenges
This project definitely has various risks. They probably fall into two categories:
1) Execution Risks
Liz and Jeff are not engineers or industrial designers by trade and have never really developed a product before. Please keep this in mind as you consider funding our project.
However, we are hoping to mitigate this risk by leaning on experienced partners. So far, we have already enlisted the help of an engineer to help with our 3D CAD model (thanks Dan!).
We have had discussions with an experienced custom injection molder that does many millions per year in revenue and has on-staff engineers that will help us make sure the end product meets our exacting performance standards. This particular molder also has experience working with recycled plastics which is critical for us.
We are taking this project seriously which we hope increases our chance of success. We set up an LLC specifically to house this project. We keep our books with Quickbooks. We are trying to do this right. It doesn't mean we will succeed, but we are putting forth every effort to be sure we can execute for our backers if our campaign succeeds.
Finally, we have baked in some padding, but time slippage is a risk with almost every Kickstarter project that we have seen and that applies here as well.
2) Design Risks
There is risk with the design. For instance, we may have to modify the design a little for the injection molding process. We will definitely need help making sure our snap fits are designed to work properly with the recycled polypropylene we intend to use to make the Solecan. What we are saying is the pictures you see in this presentation will hopefully be very similar to, but not identical to the end product. If you are an engineer with significant expertise, please raise any questions/ideas in the comments.
Another design risk has to do with colors. Making components from recycled material is apparently pretty easy if you want black while getting consistent bright colors (e.g. Kickstarter green) from recycled material can be hard and/or expensive. We are going to try to match the colors as best we can, but there may be some challenges because we want to use as much recycled plastic as possible.
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