Featured Business: Rabbit Recycling
Brothers Brian, 35, and Matt Siegfried, 33, started their business with a question. Why isn’t there a one-stop way to sustainably recycle products used in homes and offices, from batteries to plastics, regardless of quantity? In 2019, they came up with the solution, Rabbit Recycling.
“Simply put, the majority of uncontaminated items that end up in landfills can actually be recycled, reprocessed, or reused,” said Matt. “Less than 10% of household and business items are properly recycled. We want to change that.”
“There was no existing company in Philadelphia that had a road map to follow,” said Matt, speaking about figuring out the process of recycling so many different types of items. “So, we fine-tuned it as we went along. Jeff Carpineta, associate broker at Solo Real Estate, gave us some advice and helped us rent our current warehouse in East Kensington.”
It helped that Brian was a chemical engineer with degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Drexel, while Matt had a degree in mechanical engineering from Pitt. “We are problem solvers with an understanding of systems and processes,” said Matt. That comes in handy when managing their team of drivers, and sorters, and handling the logistics of City-wide service.
Rabbit Recycling has over 300 subscribers in every Philly zip code, plus also in Delaware, Montgomery, and Lower Bucks County. Their clients include FABScrap and Reanimator Coffee. “Our success comes from word-of-mouth referrals,” said Matt. “We didn’t seek out investors. It’s a seat of the pants operation with help from friends and relatives.”
“We partnered with local, sustainable businesses: Good Buy Supply, Bottle Underground, South Philly Food Coop, Circle Compost, and Ray’s Reusables,” said Matt. “We say, if you have plastic, we have solutions!”
Unlike other recycling services, Rabbit Recycling provides containers, starting with 5-gallon and 18-gallon bins. They also differentiate themselves by offering on-demand and subscription services with weekly, every other week, or monthly pickups. Use them just one time or regularly! The more you recycle, the more you save with 20% discounts for recycling over an 18-gallon bin per month.
“All our glass goes to Bottle Underground,” said Matt, “We take it to their headquarters at the Bok and, in exchange, they give us all their unwanted bottle caps which we recycle. We offer bottle caps and other recyclables to craftsmen and artists. If they don’t want them, they go to scrap metal plants rather than to landfills.”
What Rabbit Recycling Takes
- All food and drink containers must be cleaned and dry
- All clothing must be washed
- Cookware & Tableware
- Empty toiletry product containers
- Cleaning supplies & Appliances
- All batteries
- Holiday Decorations
- Office Supplies
For a complete list of what they accept, please refer to their website.
“Our biggest concentration is in Center City, South Philly, West Philly, and the Northwest section of the City. Multiple days per week, we transport 130 lbs of paper, metal, glass, and styrofoam,” said Matt. “We partnered with Penn and Drexel and picked up over 1,000 history books from Penn. We will let teachers have a look before offering them elsewhere.”
One of Rabbit Recycling’s most exciting partners is a local professional sports team’s practice facility. “We can’t say which one but they are known for their clean energy and sustainability,” quipped Matt. “We were introduced to them by Newman & Sons, a pulp and paper plant. They reached out to us to pick up cardboard from the practice facility and transport it to the paper plant where it’s turned into paper.”
To date this year, Rabbit Recycling has diverted 30,292 lbs of material from landfills, including over 17, 480 lbs of paper and cardboard and 3,299 lbs of glass. Rabbit Recycling is proud to provide artists, makers, teachers, small businesses, and other community members with free materials from our facility. Give their materials “a second life” by filling out this request form.