Pedal People Put the Cycling in Recycling

Pedal People Put the Cycling in Recycling
by Laura Kaliebe for YES! Magazine

Pedal People co-founders Alex Jarrett and Ruty Woodring. Photo courtesty of Pedal People, Derek Goodwin

Pedal People co-founders Alex Jarrett and Ruthy Woodring. Photo courtesy of Pedal People (Derek Goodwin)

Alex Jarrett, 33, has never owned a car. Around town, he gets almost everywhere he needs to go by the power of his own two feet—walking or biking. So it seems only natural that Jarrett’s business, which he started with Ruthy Woodring in 2002, is bicycle-based.

Jarrett and Woodring are the founders of Pedal People Cooperative Inc., which they describe as “a human-powered delivery and hauling service” for the Northampton, Mass. area. In all types of weather, Pedal People’s staff of 12 can be found hauling up to 300 pounds of trash, recycling and compost on trailers hitched to the back of their bikes. The business also offers a compost service, a yard care service, grocery and diaper delivery, and even a pedicab service for special events.

Unlike many cities, Northampton has no municipal curbside pickup for trash and recycling. Residents haul their trash and recycling to the transfer center or contract with a private service. Jarrett and Woodring saw this as an opportunity to begin a bicycle-based business. Jarrett had been using his bicycle trailer, which is made by the company Bikes at Work Inc., to bring his own recycling to the transfer center. “Ruthy and I thought, ‘Let’s give this a shot. This sounds like a crazy idea, but let’s see if we can haul other people’s [trash and recycling] and if they’ll pay us for it.’”  Read the rest of this entry »

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