Truck promotes recycling bins that aid Pink Lemonade Project

$100 donation to breast cancer nonprofit buys one from Waste Connections

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian Health Reporter

Published:

 

Order a Pink Bin

To order a pink recycling cart, visit the Pink Lemonade Project website, www.pinklemonadeproject.org/pink-cart

Waste Connections and the nonprofit Pink Lemonade Project have been trying to turn Clark County pink, one recycling cart and a time, for the last five years.

Recently, the two organizations stepped up their efforts, turning one of the Waste Connections recycling trucks into a mobile billboard for the breast cancer organization. Waste Connections now has a pink-painted truck picking up recyclables in portions of Clark County’s urban growth area and east Vancouver.

“It’s pretty cool,” said Brittany Pratt, executive director of Pink Lemonade Project. “I’ve seen it out on the road, and it’s pretty eye-catching.”

The truck urges residents to “Help us turn Clark County pink” by upgrading their blue recycling cart to a pink cart with a $100 donation to Pink Lemonade Project. And, so far, it seems to be working.

Since Jarett Hill started driving the truck in August, he’s noticed dozens more pink recycling carts on his routes. He’s also had people stop him to ask questions about the truck and the pink carts, he said.

Waste Connections is quickly running through its stockpile of pink carts since requests started rolling in this summer, said Derek Ranta, district manager for Waste Connections in Clark County.

Not long after the truck hit the streets, one Clark County woman called Pratt and wanted to purchase 11 pink carts — one for each of her neighbors on her street. Nine of the 11 neighbors accepted the offer. The woman asked Pratt to give the other two carts to breast cancer survivors.

“Obviously, the pink truck is bringing attention to the carts,” Pratt said.

Waste Connections and Pink Lemonade debuted the pink recycling carts in early 2012.

Former Waste Connections regional vice president Rob Nielsen lost his sister-in-law, Deedra Rosamund, to Stage 4 breast cancer when she was just 35 years old. One of her final wishes was for her family to support a local breast cancer charity.

Nielsen got involved with Vancouver-based Pink Lemonade Project, and from there the pink cart project was born.

Waste Connections donates the carts, so the entire financial donation from customers goes to the nonprofit. Initially, the carts required a minimum $200 donation. The minimum was dropped to $100 in August 2015 after sales stalled.

To date, Waste Connections has distributed about 770 pink recycling carts, bringing in nearly $97,000 for Pink Lemonade, Pratt said. For a small, relatively new nonprofit (Pink Lemonade was founded in 2010), bringing in that kind of money over five years has allowed the organization to expand programs, Pratt said.

For Waste Connections, the pink truck was just a way to extend its support for the nonprofit, Ranta said.

“It’s not cheap to do it,” he said, adding that the paint and messaging cost about $20,000. “But it was something we felt was good for the community and for a group we really enjoy working with.”

From time to time, Waste Connections uses its trucks to do temporary messaging for other organizations.

The pink truck paint, however, is permanent, Ranta said.

“As long as Waste Connections is here and that truck is running, that message will be here,” he said.