Dr. Dan Knapp, 71, is one man who’s reaping the riches of the Zero Waste philosophy. He founded Urban Ore, a waste recovery business in Berkeley, California in 1980 with his wife Mary Lou Van Deventer. Last year the company did $2.7 million in sales.
Turning trash into cash was a natural evolution for Knapp. On a whim, as a college instructor in Springfield, Illinois in the early 1970’s, he purchased an old six-wheeled farm truck and helped students collect salvageable material lying about town.
“We were picking up anything,” says Knapp. “We went to a dump and I was appalled by what I saw.”
Then, Knapp recalls, he realized “There’s a business opportunity here.”