News : Turning Seacoast trash into treasure

Dec 5, 2012

From Portsmouth Herald

When Rian Bedard founded EcoMovement Consulting & Hauling in 2009, he had been inspired by a year living in San Francisco, where residential curbside pick-ups of compost was part of the city's civic fabric. But when he started EcoMovement, the company struggled against perception.

"We were constantly fighting against the tradition of waste hauling," said Bedard of his Dover-based company. In a lean economy, banks weren't willing to lend to a small waste-hauling start-up. It was a challenge to secure financing and clients, but then, as Bedard found out, EcoMovement was blazing a one-of-a-kind trail not only in the Seacoast region but in the country as well.

"We had to create everything from scratch because no one was hauling at the scale we were," Bedard said about his business model. In its first year, the company used a pickup truck and a trailer, and Bedard ended up with a sore back from lifting the heavy trash containers. But the company began to pick up steam and ended with 30 customers after its first year. As it celebrates its third anniversary in December, EcoMovement now serves more than 70 commercial clients (businesses, schools and other institutions) and 100 residential customers in the areas of Dover, Portsmouth, New Castle, Newmarket and Kittery and Eliot, Maine.

In an unusual partnership, a few of EcoMovement's customers co-signed loans to help the company buy a more functional and efficient dump truck. This ethos fits in with the company's "triple bottom line" mission, Bedard said, to create a financially sustainable company, while educating its clients and the public and helping to build a sustainable community.

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