The Birth of the Free Green Can

It was the summer of 2008 and Steve Holland, Founder of Free Green Can, was attending his 11-year-old son's baseball game at a local park.

He passed a plastic water bottle to his son, and when it was finished, the boy looked for a recycling bin in which to toss it. There were plenty of trash cans, but they were stuffed with plastic bottles and aluminum cans -- and the solitary recycling bin was over-flowing. He asked his father "why aren't there MORE recycling bins than trash cans?". Mr. Holland didn't have an answer.

Two weeks later at a local town meeting, he asked about the lack of recycling bins at the park -- when clearly they were needed. The officials explained that the town simply couldn't afford purchasing an adequate number of recycling bins.

Taking his seat, Mr. Holland began sketching his idea for the first dual-purpose trash/recycling bin with panels on which environmentally-responsible companies could place their ads, the revenue generated being shared with the municipality, venue or entity hosting the bin at no cost.

Within a month, Mr. Holland's conceptual sketches were turned into a public recycling/trash bin prototype. Free Green Can had become a reality.


About the Free Green Can

The purpose of the Free Green Can is always to provide a recycling opportunity where there is a trash opportunity. This gives the public the option to help the environment with very little effort on their part. There is no need to walk an additional couple feet to find a stand alone recycling bin. The Free Green Can is a dual purpose recycle/trash container. The Free Green Can:

  • has two separate and easy to remove 30+ gallon insert liners. One for recyclables (plastic, aluminum, paper, and glass) and the other for trash.
  • is easy to install by using four grass or concrete anchors.
  • is very durable and built to stand up to the environment.
  • has a lifetime guarantee.
  • has a specially designed top to keep weather elements from entering and/or filling the Free Green Can.
  • has a unique design that compliments both modern and historical settings.


Free Green Can and the Environment

Over the course of a year, one Free Green Can...



1,820 plastic bottles

10,920 hours for a 60 watt bulb

2,795 aluminum cans

8,385 hours of energy to run a TV

1,387 glass bottles

5,548 hours of a 100 watt light bulb

1,147 newspapers

15 trees

* Volume approximations based on 32 gallon can, filled once per week with 25% plastic bottles, 25% aluminum cans, 25% glass bottles, 25% newspapers


Free Green Can and the Public

Recycling On The GO!

  • With consumers spending less time at home, 40% of waste is generated OUTSIDE of the home.
  • 77% of the US population recycles at home
  • Only 32.5% of total waste is recycled

                    United States Environmental Protection Agency Recycle Data

The Free Green Can gives the public an opportunity to do the environmentally responsible thing. It is important to give the public the opportunity to recycle as often as possible and with little effort. The Free Green Can also conditions our youth at any early age to recycle outside of the home. With a recycling opportunity being so available by using the Free Green Can it creates a natural public peer pressure to recycle.




Free Green Can is Comprised of People Who Are Committed To Making Nationwide Recycling A Reality.
Get to Know Us
Steve Holland

Free Green Can was founded by its President and CEO, Steve Holland.  A successful entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in the financial and real estate fields, Mr. Holland also served as the owner/founder of New Millennium Corporation.

Dave Whorton
Director of Strategic Alliances

Dave has worked as a sponsorship professional for over fifteen years developing and implementing strategy for some of the leading brands in the US including: Bank of America, AT&T, Coca-Cola, United States Olympic Committee, Citizens Bank/Charter One, Diageo - North America, QuikTrip, Fuel TV, Copa America, Minnesota Twins and Bank of the West.  He specializes in counseling corporate sponsors on increasing their return on investment, as well as helping properties maximize revenue. He draws from his experience as a corporate sponsor and his leadership roles at sports marketing agencies to advise clients on all strategic aspects of marketing and sponsorship including pricing, activation and measurement.
Dave serves as a thesis advisor for the Sports Marketing Program in the School of Continuing Studies at Northwestern University and as a guest lecturer in Clemson University's Marketing School within the College of Business and Behavioral Science.
Dave holds a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Clemson University. He resides in Chicago and is an avid supporter of the Clemson Tigers athletic teams.

Bliss Hansen
Account Director

Bliss has worked in the marketing industry for ten years and served in leadership roles with the PGA TOUR and IEG. While at the PGA TOUR, she lead the tournament services initiatives for The Barclays. At IEG, she managed client relationships with TD Bank, Fuel TV, the Orange Bowl Committee, the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO).

Jennifer Willis
Operations Manager

For more than a decade Jennifer has built her career uniting the worlds of sales and internal operations. As a successful sales representative she became the youngest divisional leader and increased her sales accounts by 200% in only one year. Her passion for developing customer relationships spoke for itself. She realized early in her career that in order to be top sales professional and provide excellent care and service to her clients she had to have a strong working relationship with her operational staff.

Her next endeavor gave her a hands-on operational opportunity. She was presented the challenge of starting and developing departments inside a financial institution that were being outsourced. Building them internally strengthened the company, expedited efficiencies and provided better service to the clients. Her duties included hiring and training, creating department operational manuals, developing procedures, and conducting audits - always ensuring the efficiencies of sales, operations, and compliance. She successfully completed these tasks while maintaining the number two sales account and managing a ten million dollar line of credit. The company grew from a small staff of five to eighty within three years.

Jennifer truly believes that the success of any company is the result of the marriage, understanding, and respect between sales and operational staff. All of which translates to great customer service, and that is why Free Green Can brought her aboard.

Bob Staake

Internationally-known for his award-winning creative work, Bob Staake's illustrations, graphic designs and images are used by some of the world's top media companies, Fortune 500 corporations and consumer brands. His clients include The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Anheuser-Busch, MTV/Nickelodeon, Hallmark Cards, AT&T, Coca-Cola, American Express, The Wall Street Journal, Random House, NBC, Target Stores, The New York Times, Kellogg's, Chicago Tribune, United Airlines, General Mills, Amtrak, The National Football League, The Walt Disney Company and TIME magazine, to name but a few. He is also the author and/or illustrator of more than 45 books, including The Red Lemon, The Donut Chef and Hello, Robots. A "visual thinker" with a eclectic range of aesthetic styles, Staake brings his creativity, branding and conceptualizing skills to Free Green Can. "I firmly believe that this country needs public recycling", says Staake, "and Free Green Can is at the cutting edge of making this a reality -- on a national scale." Staake lives and works in the village of Chatham, Massachusetts on the elbow of Cape Cod. For more information, please visit

An example (above) of the large format ads that enable Free Green Can to bring public recycling to communities, venues and businesses. Learn how to advertise your brand and share your "green message" on Free Green Can. Click here

The Illinois Recycling Associations mission is to encourage the responsible use of resources by promoting waste reduction, re-use, and recycling. This is provided through educational leadership through forums, programs and materials for the exchange of information and ideas, promoting waste reduction, re-use and recycling through public education and promoting market development that encourages sound recycling initiatives. The Illinois Recycling Association recognizes Free Green Can as a partner who has a similar focus by providing opportunities to recycle with their new product and their commitment to educating the public on the importance of recycling.                                   

Mike Mitchell, Executive Director, Illinois Recycling Association




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