Break Box Recycling

Break Box is a mobile recreation attraction that improves the value of post-market recovered materials such as paper, plastic & aluminum.

Photo of Ryan Perpall
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Additional categories (optional)

  • Education

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth


Help us stay in touch!

Cell: 301-802-8220 Adress: 7412 Lake Glen Drive Maryland: Glenn Dale (20769)

Website or social media url(s) (optional): ( Instagram )

Date You Started Your Project Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

There is a recycling crisis going on in America. This crisis is mainly due to contamination. The number one contaminator of paper, plastic and aluminum is broken glass. Although glass can be recycled endlessly; without losing strength or purity, it has become tricky to recycle due to several factors. These factors include premature breaking during transport from homes and businesses and color contamination when breaking occurs.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Removing post-consumer glass from the recycling stream helps other materials (paper, plastic & aluminum) retain their post-market value, and lowers the contamination level in county Material Recovery Facilities. Our Solution is to remove and divert post-consumer glass away from the landfill; towards alternative end-markets that include glass artists, construction companies, & homeowners. We accomplish this by creating interactive glass breaking experiences (Bottle Throwing) and creative glass products (Cullet Chains) for your home, body or car! Offering low-cost glass throwing sessions accomplishes two wonderful things. First, it helps us break down recycled glass containers so they can be used as alternative material for artists and the construction industry. Doing this also makes sure that glass (which is infinitely recyclable!) doesn’t sit in a landfill or contaminate other valuable recycled materials at a Materials Recovery Facility. Second, it allows us to fund the collection, processing and entertainment costs of running a modern recycling company. At the end of the day, we are for the people & the environment.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

For me, Break Box has ALWAYS been bigger than ‘Breaking Bottles’. I did not name this company Break Box because people break glass in a box, I named this company Break Box because I am committed to ‘breaking the box’ on how things are normally done. I saw the waste and recycling industry firsthand while working at a junk removal company during my early college years. I saw how much waste was produced in a day. I saw how under-staffed and underfunded the Material Recovery Facilities were. I decide to start researching a better way to handle our waste and recycling. At times like these, its NOT enough to simply think outside the box or continue the insanity of funding initiatives that don’t work. Now is the time to try a new approach, - because even if we fail. We can say we fought valiantly ‘in the arena’.”

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Simply Put, Break Box provides the community with ‘Sustainable Stress Relief’. The Break Box team spent more than a year building the Bottle Throwing Trailer. We took our time to make it safe, durable and entraining. The Bottle Throwing Trailer (a.k.a The Break Box) is a place where members of the community are invited to sign up for low-cost bottle throwing sessions. Participants are given head, face, neck, chest and hand protective gear. They are given a in person safety tutorial and a ‘break lesson’ before their Bottle Throwing session.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

By combining 'recreational destruction' with glass recycling, - we have built a never before seen recycling company. Having people pay to break glass containers down for us allows us to fund the collection, processing and entertainment costs of running a modern recycling company. There is now a trojan horse to environmental sustainability, its called The Break Box. We hope to work with larger recycling companies in the future and help them include the community in their efforts to make the world a greener place like we doing with Break Box.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

We have built a following of over 600 people and have informed an additional 2,000 others of the recycling crisis and how they can do their part to keep glass out of their recycling bins, but also out of the landfill. We have just exited our demo phase and are looking to spread more awareness by bringing The Break Box to the College Park area before 2020.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

We are working on building out smaller tabletop break stations that can be used to break glass indoors and at events of different sizes such as corporate parties, weddings, or bars. We are working hard to find a home for The Break Box and engage people on a daily basis by offering Break Sessions and selling our Cullet Chains ( custom glass jewelry that we make from glass broken in the Bottle Throwing Unit).

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Public Relations

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Sales
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations between $100-$1k

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Black or African American (for example: African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Somalian, etc) (8)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Email

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Grace Messer

Hi Ryan!! I absolutely love this idea. I hate to get rid of glass jars and bottles after just one use because I know how much processing went into creating it. At this point we have a whole shelf full of bottles that we've either kept, found on the side of the road or (shockingly) had wash up from the lake (intact). I think at this point my older brother has decided he wants to make a greenhouse out of them! Your idea seems a bit more practical and a more large scale. I can't wait to hear what happens next. Saving the planet and stress relief? What could be better!?