The Pink Cart Program
Photography by Alice G. Patterson
Supporting breast cancer research isn’t just for women. Plenty of men join in the fight, too. One of them is White Glove Waste & Recycling founder Brett Maring. Brett is responsible for the sea of pink trash cans lining the streets of Baldwinsville. This month, he told us about his business and what inspired him to, as he says, “kick cancer to the curb,” through The Pink Cart program.
SWM: Tell us about founding your company.
Brett: I was working another job. I was doing document destruction, and we were taking pill bottles from CVS Pharmacy to an incinerator. So, I got to see the back end of the trash world. All these garbage trucks were rolling into the incinerator while we were taking care of our documents and stuff. I started watching them, and I was like, “If these people are doing it, I can do it, too.” And I can probably do it better.
SWM: How did you grow the company from one customer to more than 1,500?
Brett: Basically, my first two customers were friends from the neighborhood I grew up in, my friend’s parents. I told them I was starting a trash company, and they said, “Sign us up.” So, I started with the one customer, and then the next door neighbor signed up, and it just kind of slowly snowballed.
SWM: How did you find the pink trash cans?
Brett: We get all different sorts of waste hauler publications. I saw something about the pink bins. I thought it was just an awesome idea, and ended up contacting the company. They ended up approving me to become an exclusive hauler with them. I’ve been with them since 2011. It’s been an awesome program. The Pink Cart Program
SWM: Do you have family members who have been affected by breast cancer?
Brett: [When I was] growing up, my aunt had breast cancer. And then, my wife’s aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. Coming up in October, she’ll be a year in remission.
SWM: So, the cause hits home for you.
Brett: It’s a great cause. [For] every can that I purchase, $5 goes to the American Cancer Society for breast cancer research. It’s over $10,000 that we’ve donated. It’s cool to do business with a greater cause than just paying the bills.
SWM: Do you know what percentage of customers use the pink can?
Brett: I’ve purchased over 2,000 pink cans. I still don’t have all of my customers converted over to pink cans from the first two years that I was in business, but we’re slowly doing that as time and money permit.
SWM: Have you connected with customers affected by breast cancer because of the pink cans?
Brett: I’ve met a lot of people who aren’t on my route. I’ve had people who have driven from New York City, Connecticut, Albany. People have driven all over to come buy these from me, because I do sell them to people outside of the trash service. People want to give them to their mom as a present for Mother’s Day or their birthday. SWM
For more on White Glove Waste & Recycling, visit whiteglovewaste.com.
Interview has been edited for length and clarity.