Hamilton, ON – January 26th, 2015
It was just a few short years ago that RainBarrel.ca was launched; however this little company continues to grow and is very active in hundreds of communities every spring. It began with a problem that needed to be solved. Local manufacturers were generating large quantities of plastic 55 gallon drums that previously contained fruit, vegetables, beverage concentrates and other food grade ingredients. The empty drums could have been shredded, recycled and turned into new products, but that uses a great deal of energy and produces a minimal financial return to the recycler.
RainBarrel.ca decided to repurpose the drums and turn them into functional and durable rain barrels. Parts were either sourced or designed to filter leaves and mosquitoes, draw rainwater out, connect barrels in series and to handle excess overflow. The efficient, mass production of the “greenest” rain barrels from repurposed food-grade drums had begun, but how do you distribute tens of thousands of rain barrels each spring?
Rain barrels are bulky and expensive to ship in small quantities which explains why they sell for over $100 at retail outlets, but when shipped in truckload quantities, the transportation cost per barrel is reasonable. The final piece of the puzzle was to establish a distribution network where participants could handle a full truckload of rain barrels. Key factors to consider include having available space to receive and unload a full trailer and having communication channels within the community to share the bulk buy opportunity.
Owner, Larry Pomerantz had years of experience operating and promoting special events as Chair and founding member of Earth Day Hamilton-Burlington, a non-profit environmental awareness and tree-planting organization, which like most non-profits is always in need of fundraising dollars. Schools, churches, sport teams, service clubs, conservation authorities, neighbourhood associations and others have access to large parking lots, well developed communication networks, ongoing fundraising requirements and helpful volunteers. Partnerships have been developed with over 500 such organizations where truckload rain barrel fundraising sales have resulted in over $600,000.00 raised for projects within their respective communities.
To address the needs of distant communities, where even truckload quantities are too expensive to ship, RainBarrel.ca designed a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) rain barrel kit that permits homeowners to find a drum locally and turn it into a rain barrel. RainBarrel.ca also designed a newly manufactured rain barrel that is primarily distributed through municipal contracts.
In 2015, residents of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan will have opportunities to support local non-profit organizations through the purchase of a repurposed rain barrel. How far can this grow? Juice concentrate drums will be heading to the Big Apple, New York City in truckload quantities this spring.
As homeowners become more concerned about climate change and the cost of water, rain barrels are rising in popularity and becoming an essential addition to every home. The idea of collecting and reusing rainwater is nothing new and many decades ago, water collected would have been used to wash laundry, dishes and even used for bathing in. The most popular use now is of course gardening where rainwater is considered better for plants and vegetables than city tap water because it does not contain chlorine or fluoride.
Non-profit organizations seeking a new source of funds and residents seeking to purchase rain barrels are encouraged to visit www.RainBarrel.ca.
For more fundraising information, visit www.RainBarrel.ca/Fundraise.
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