"If the bartender isn't recycling... neither are you." 

That's the tagline of Recycle Revolution's impending (March 1, 2017) #RaiseTheBarDallas campaign to encourage more local bars & restaurants to recycle their glass bottles.

It's a catchy phrase, but it's also a fact - and a profoundly unsettling one, should you choose to take note of your favorite bartender's (or waiter's) disposal habits.

That's because of another profoundly unsettling fact:

According to the Texas State Comptroller, as of October 1, 2016, there were 1,168 (retail?) establishments permitted to serve alcohol in the city of Dallas... and, according to #RaiseTheBarDallas, just 9 of them recycled their glass bottles.

 

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Landfills, Lotts

In case you're not familiar with Recycle Revolution (RR), they're a local family-owned & -operated recycling collection service and Community Drop-Off Center located near the Dallas Design District. They were founded in East Dallas (just outside of Deep Ellum) in 2008 by a longtime bartender (Eddie Lott) and a lifelong educator (Maria Lott) who happened to be his mother, specifically to provide a recycling service for local bars & restaurants. Eddie had... There was just one problem: "The bars weren't interested in paying for recycling. Like, at all." And there wasn't - "and isn't" - enough money in glass as a commodity (RR presently makes $12/ton) to sustain a collection-based business model using rebates alone, given the costly logistics inherent to the local recycling process (which involves transportation at several intervals between parties).

2008 was a historically bad year for most small businesses - nevermind feel-good/"green industry" start-ups - but passion, conviction, desperation, ingenuity, and a willingness to work ("very") long hours for ("very") minimal return allowed the company to survive the economic downturn. "The bars weren't responsive to us, but luckily, thankfully, Texas's insular economy seemed to be bringing in Californians and West Coast people and people from other parts of the country who really valued recycling and were familiar with the idea and benefits of paying for service."