Laura Rodriguez of Lodi says that many residents aren't as devoted to recycling in their homes as they should be — so she came up with a device to help people recycle the paper and containers they no longer need.
Rodriguez will peddle her recycling containers, called BinBisa, at the Lodi Street Faire on May 5.
"A lot of us are not that aware (about recycling)," said Rodriguez, a fourth-grade teacher at Westwood Elementary, a North Stockton school in the Lodi Unified School District.
BinBisa is a white plastic container that is divided in such a way that you can separate recyclable materials from items that will end up in regular garbage. Each container costs $22, but they're designed to replace the traditional waste basket.
"I dreamed this up in the last week of school in 2011," Rodriguez said. "The idea for me came through when I went through my bathroom (trash)."
She noticed some empty shampoo bottles and cardboard containers for bar soap left in the bathroom. Both are recyclable. With a BinBisa container, you can put the shampoo bottle and cardboard in one side for recycling, and non-recyclable trash in the other side.
Rodriguez says her experience has taught her that men and women might want her recycling containers for different reasons. Men think of them more as a good functional tool to encourage recycling, and women want to make sure the design doesn't clash with the room's decor, especially in the bathroom, Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez, who has lived in Lodi for 27 years, also envisions the BinBisa being used in other locations where items aren't always set aside for recycling, such as hotel rooms, dorms and office workspace.
"People don't recycle for two main reasons — convenience and lack of education," Rodriguez said. "I wanted to design a tool that would address both of these problems. It's not so much that I created this, but I'm trying to create a movement (to recycle)."
Her website, www.binbisa.com, is under construction, but it will be ready for viewing in the near future.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.