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Redesigned Trash Can Aims to Make Recycling Unavoidable

Inventor couple seeks funds to produce Solecan eco-friendly trash/recycle can via Kickstarter campaign that runs through Earth Day (April 22, 2013).
  • <strong>The Solecan™ is a dual-sided trash can; the two halves snap together in the middle, with one side designated for trash and the other for recycling. Made in USA from recycled plastic.</strong>
  • <strong>A photo of Jeff and Liz Helfrich, the inventors of the Solecan™.</strong>
  • <strong>A photo of the Solecan™ in a bedroom.</strong>
  • <strong>A photo of the Solecan™ in an office.</strong>
  • <strong>A photo of the Solecan™ in blue and white.</strong>
    DALLAS, TX, April 02, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Americans are good at avoiding recycling. Nationally, less than 35% of municipal waste is diverted for recycling or composting despite the fact that the EPA estimates nearly 75% of such waste could be diverted. Jeff and Liz Helfrich, a husband and wife inventor team, hope to make recycling inescapable with their new eco-friendly trash/recycle bin, the Solecan.

The Solecan is a dual-sided trash can; the two halves snap together in the middle, with one side designated for trash and the other for recycling. By unsnapping the two halves, one can easily empty trash into a larger trash can and recycling into a larger recycling bin. The Solecan is small in size making it a perfect substitute for the traditional trash can in rooms such as the bedroom, bathroom, office, dorm room, or almost any room that has a trash can today, but no recycle bin. "Americans can't be expected to recycle 75% of their waste if trash cans outnumber recycle bins ten to one. The Solecan takes away the excuse that recycling isn't convenient or takes too much time," said Liz Helfrich.

The Helfriches spent over a year taking the Solecan from a sketch to a pre-production 3D printed prototype. In order to fund the final production mold to make the Solecan , these entrepreneurs have turned to Kickstarter to raise funds. Kickstarter is a platform that allows people to "back" creative projects in exchange for rewards. Projects set a fundraising goal and backers are only charged if the project meets or exceeds its goal. In other words, Kickstarter funding is "all or nothing." The goal for the Solecan project is $75,000 and the campaign ends on Earth Day at 11:59 P.M. CT. If the campaign succeeds, the Solecan will make history as the first trash receptacle funded on Kickstarter and will likely be the most anticipated trash can in history.

The Helfriches are committed to keeping the Solecan as eco-friendly as possible. They have decided to manufacture the Solecan in the USA from recycled polypropylene. This costs significantly more than manufacturing overseas, but the environmental benefits are undeniable. The whole point of this project is to maximize the positive environmental impact, so shipping from overseas makes no sense, even if there is a cost savings involved.

What drove the Helfriches to develop a redesigned trash can? It all started with a typical disagreement among spouses. Because he didn't have a recycle bin in his bathroom, Jeff frequently threw recyclables in the trash. Liz spent many years "dumpster diving" in her own house to remove recyclables from trash cans. Finally, she put her foot down one day and insisted that they buy combination trash/recycle ("dual use") bins for their bathrooms. However, when they went to the store, they couldn't find any dual use bins. Even online, affordable options weren't available. Frustrated, the Helfriches decided to pursue their own solution. Come Earth Day, the Helfriches hope to share the solution to their marital disagreement with people everywhere. Those interested in supporting the Solecan project should visit and pledge before 11:59 P.M. CST April 22, 2013.

Solecan is a project of Alta Vista Creative, a Texas LLC whose sole managing members are Jeff and Liz Helfrich. Liz Helfrich is an avid recycler and full time mom. Previously, she worked as costume shop manager for Opera Colorado. She has an A.B. in History magna cum laude from Harvard University. Jeff Helfrich is a "convenience recycler" and works as a financial analyst. He has an A.B. in Economics magna cum laude from Harvard University.

For more information about the Solecan project or to schedule an interview, please email, call Jeff Helfrich at 765-391-0226, or reach us via twitter (@thesolecan).


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Jeff Helfrich
Solecan™ / Alta Vista Creative, LLC

Dallas, Texas
United States
Voice: 765-391-0226
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