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#4: Clayton Kyle of Clynk

Clayton Kyle being escorted to the hockey rink

The remarkable thing about Clayton Kyle:  he has developed large-scale, successful businesses in two completely unrelated fields: commercial roofing insulation and beverage container recycling.  In between, he started a venture fund, and is skilled at recognizing opportunities.  When an insulation manufacturer consolidated, with no one left to serve the market, he put together a team and pursued the opportunity, developing a national business that still operates today.  When container recycling was frustrating (ever try “reverse vending”? – if so, you’re probably still in line), he licensed the technology to build Clynk, now processing more than 80 million containers a month. These startups were not based on specific technical knowledge, but rather upon Clayton’s ability to recognize an opportunity, and expertise in the business of growing businesses.

Clynk takes the frustrating out of recycling.  If you’ve seen Clynk’s branding, you know what I mean.  It’s eyecatching, and it conveys a key message: “we make recycling easy and fun”.  It even makes you feel a little virtuous (Clayton and I are both board members of The Upstream Policy Institute, which helps promote recycling legislation).  But the thing that surprised everybody (although it seems obvious now) is that a shopper is more likely to visit a store that offers Clynk.

Plus, you’ll learn things you didn’t know about deposit bottles; what to expect if your son builds a motorized bike; and the right kind of container to buy your beer in!

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