Two Magic Valley trash companies are allowing their customers to make fashion statements with their trash bins while raising money for St. Luke’s mobile mammography unit.
PSI Environmental Systems began a campaign in July that allows customers to swap out their blue bins for pink bins at a cost of $50, which goes to St. Luke’s.
Jason Kirschenmann, a site manager with PSI, helped get the program started.
“About 10 years ago, when we were living in Vancouver, Wash., they rolled out something similar,” Kirschenmann said. “Around that time, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she went through everything, so it’s been kind of near and dear to her and me.
“Once we got teamed up with St. Luke’s, it was just a perfect opportunity to do it here.”
As of early October, about 240 customers had gone pink, which translates to $12,000 raised.
“It’s taken off even more than we expected,” he said. “We’re excited to keep it going.”
The idea is spreading. Western Waste Services, another Magic Valley trash company, began a similar campaign on Sept. 30.
“We had talked about doing this two years ago and we never moved forward with the program,” said Ann-Pell Rongen, marketing coordinator for WWS. “But then when PSI started doing it, we got a lot of inquiries from our clients.
“We decided to join in and help paint the Magic Valley pink.”
WWS is also charging $50 to swap out bins; the company plans a $25 annual renewal fee.
“That makes it an ongoing program,” Rongen said. “We’re becoming more and more involved with St. Luke’s and the different opportunities they have.
“This isn’t something we’re doing just for October,” she said. “This is something that Western Waste Services will continue to do throughout the year and also be more and more involved with other opportunities.”
Kirschenmann said that while the two companies may compete for business, this is one area where they can team up for a good cause.
“I’m happy that they’re doing it,” he said.
His wife shares that more-the-merrier outlook.
“Every time we’re out driving around and we see a pink bin, I look over and she’s smiling,” he said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Chris Langrill is a writer and copy editor for the St. Luke’s Communications and Marketing department.