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Recyclebank Tops Wall Street Journal’s Clean-Tech Company List

Written by Bart King, Sustainable Life Media
Published: March 8, 2011

Recyclebank—a company focused on rewarding individuals for green lifestyle actions, like recycling—was ranked #1 this week on the Wall Street Journal’s list of Top 10 Clean-Tech Companies.

The ranking was announced at the Journal’s ECO:nomics Executive Conference in Santa Barbara, Calif., a forum for CEOs, entrepreneurs, policymakers and industry experts to assess the risks and opportunities emerging within the environmental sector.

As part of this recognition, Recyclebank has also been named to the Journal’s “Next Big Thing” ranking of the top 50 U.S.-based venture-backed companies across all industries, which will be published on March 10.

Recyclebank, which operates in 29 states and the UK, rewards people for recycling by giving them coupons at their favorite retailers based on how much they recycle.

The company does not own any recycling equipment or trucks, and instead relies upon contracts negotiated on behalf of the municipalities with which they are partnered. The haulers and waste processors are compensated by the municipality, and Recyclebank takes a small portion of the transaction as a fee to cover operating expenses. Additionally, the company makes money from selling sponsorships and advertising through a multitude of marketing channels including online, direct mail and on recycling containers.

Recyclebank was founded in 2004 by Patrick K. FitzGerald and Ron Gonen and a pilot program was launched in two Philadelphia neighborhoods.

“Recyclebank is off to an incredible start this year: we’ve launched a new and improved online customer experience and developed an innovative plan to counterbalance landfill. The recognition by the Wall Street Journal as the number one company in clean technology adds to our momentum and we are simply thrilled,” said Jonathan Hsu, CEO of Recyclebank, from the ECO:nomics Conference. “We firmly believe that motivating consumers to take small green actions can have a significant and long-lasting impact on the environment. This recognition empowers us to continue our mission of realizing a world without waste.”

Recyclebank has 165+ employees and investors include Generation Investment Management, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, Paul Capital Investments, Physic Ventures, RRE Ventures, Sigma Partners and The Westly Group.

A team from venture-industry tracker VentureSource calculated the WSJ rankings based on a set of criteria applied to 516 U.S.-based venture-backed businesses in clean technology. The stated objective is to identify the companies that have the greatest potential to succeed in the increasingly competitive cleantech sector.

According to WSJ, companies were analyzed on the amount of capital raised in the past three years; the track records of each company's founders, managers and investors; and the percentage change in its valuation in the 12 months ended Nov. 30.

The other companies on the 2011 list are:

2. Suniva (crystalline solar)

3. eSolar (solar thermal)

4. MiaSolé (thin film solar)

5. Opower Inc. (energy efficiency software)

6. GreatPoint Energy Inc. (coal gasification)

7. SeaMicro Inc. (energy efficient data servers)

8. Boston-Power Inc. (lithium-ion batteries)

9. Luxim Corp. (energy-efficient lighting)

10. Sapphire Energy Inc. (algae)


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Recyclebank At A Glance

New York

New York, Philadelphia and Houston

Javier Flaim


The Coca-Cola Company, Craton Equity Partners, Generation Investment Management, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Paul Capital Investments, Physic Ventures, RRE Ventures LLC, Sigma Partners, Waste Management Inc., and Westly Group

4 Million+

300+ in all 50 states

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