2010 SI Fellow Brooke Betts Farrell

“The smell of money.”

That’s how 2010 Social Innovation Fellow Brooke Betts Farrell described the stench of this country’s garbage piles. The amount of resources – money, energy, land, water — that go into dealing with the things we throw away is staggering. Her idea is simple – she wants her company RecycleMatch to be the eBay of trash. Take polyester scraps from the clothing manufacturer and sell them as seat stuffing to the chair manufacturer; make bags out of billboards. Match those who have waste with those who need it.

Brook Betts Farrell

“Recycling in this country is inefficient. Only about 30% of what we throw away is recyclable,” Farrell said. “That’s not good enough. I want companies to see their waste as a resource.”

(Photo credit: Kris Krüg)

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