Video Review: Mode RCC-1075 all-in-one recycling center

The Mode All-In-One Premium Recycling Center is a recycling solution designed to help ease the burden of recycling. With 13 gallons of total capacity divided into a 5 gallon paper bin and an 8 gallon bin for glass, plastic, and metal, the RCC-1075 makes it easy to separate your recyclables. It also includes a unique compaction system, a nifty system to track how much you’ve recycled, and a programmable alert to remind you to take out the recycling.

Update: Yeah, I’m an idiot. The model I was reviewing is in fact the RCC-1075, while the original version of this post — as well as the video above — references the RCC-1000. The RCC-1000 doesn’t offer the fancy EcoTrack feature. Otherwise, the review stands.

Short version: The RCC-1075 offers an all-in-one solution for managing and tracking your recycling. The built-in can compactor helps you store more stuff in less space. The digital display tracks the current weight of your recycled goods, along with the total weight you’ve ever recycled. And best of all, the RCC-1075 includes an alert to remind you when it’s recycling day!

Long Version: The RCC-1075 is about the size and shape of a large trashcan. The aluminum siding gives it a nice look. The front of the unit has a digital clock, and a display for the EcoTrack function. This function records the weight of the recyclables inside the unit at any given time, as well as records a running tally of the total weight of recycled material to date. This is intended to help you track how effective your recycling efforts are.

Also available is a helpful reminder to tell you that it’s recycling day. You can set this reminder to activate whenever you want: the night before your local recycling pick up occurs, or the morning of. It can trigger every week, or every other week. The reminder is merely a little light on the face of the unit, so if you’re the kind of person who ignores the “Check Engine” light on your car’s dashboard, this reminder may not be particularly helpful to you.

The RCC-1075 makes separating some of your recyclables pretty easy. The front bin is for paper, and has an access slot in the front door that allows you to quickly slide paper into the bin. This 5 gallon bin has an adjustable divider, such that you can separate your mail from other paper you might store in here. If you get daily delivery of a newspaper, this is a nice place to store it when you’ve finished reading it. The paper bin will accommodate up to two weeks’ worth of newspapers, including Sunday editions! Note, though, that the EcoTrack feature does not pay attention to the paper bin.

Beneath the paper bin is a foot pedal which operates the unique compaction feature. You can place aluminum cans and a variety of plastic bottles into the compaction compartment, step on the pedal, and watch as the fully armed and operational battle stationrecycling center reduces the size of your recyclables! For crushing cans, this is only marginally more effective (although far less fun) than stomping on them with your feet; but for plastic bottles its much more effective. Reducing the size of your recyclables means you can stuff more of them into the 8 gallon bin, which in turn means you don’t need to empty the unit quite as often.

Bottom Line: the Mode RCC-1075 All-In-One Premium Recycling Center is a neat idea. I think it’s a little too expensive for most casual consumers / recyclers. The EcoTrack feature is pretty cool, and would be especially useful to help young kids understand the effectiveness of recycling over a period of time.

Personally, I think a lot of space is wasted on the foot pedal and can crushing function, but that’s mostly because I hardly ever drink anything from a can. The Deluxe Recycling Center is pretty much the same thing, except that it replaces the compaction system with an extra storage bin. If I were to buy a Mode recycling center, it would likely be this one.

Mode also makes recyclable bin liners, so you can be extra sure that your recycling efforts aren’t being undermined by nasty non-recyclable plastic trash bags!

Here are some fun recycling facts you can use to impress your friends and family:

  • Aluminum is the most abundant metal on earth, and two thirds of all of the aluminum ever produced is still in use today
  • Over 50 percent of the aluminum cans produced are recycled
  • An aluminum can can be recycled and back on store shelves in 60 days
  • 20 recycled cans can be produced from the energy it takes to produce one brand new can
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to power a 100 watt light bulb for 4 hours
  • Glass bottles can be recycled and back on store shelves in as little as 30 days
  • Every month we throw out enough glass bottles and and containers to fill a giant skyscraper
  • The amount of oil used to produce plastic water bottles in America is enough to fuel 100,000 cars for one year
  • Americans buy an estimated 28 billion plastic water bottles every year. 8 out of 10 of these end up in a landfill
  • About 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wrappers are used every year; but only 5.2 percent were recycled in 2005