This pandemic has definitely given us the season of inconvenience. From just about everything being closed, to supplies being unavailable at times, we've had to jump one hurdle after another. Here in Michigan one extra bump in the road has been what to do with all those returnables?

Brandon Leighton and Brandon Pritz, two entrepreneurs from Canton, Michigan have a plan. They not only will take all your empties off your hands, they will pay you for them as well.

The men launched a program call  "Yes We Can". The new program will pay you 2 cents per empty, and that's with picking them up and hauling them away. "We look at it as a way to help the public, make sure the empties are recycled and not thrown away, and as a potential business opportunity," explained Leighton who works for an aerospace company. "Look, no one likes taking empties back so, in that respect, we are offering a service."

Photo: Yes We Can
Photo: Yes We Can

Right now the duo is storing what they have collected so far in their garage and basement waiting for the green light to cash them in. "First of all, nobody knows when we'll be able to take all these empties back," Leighton said. "It's going to be a lot of work, picking them up, storing them and then, ultimately, returning them (for the 10-cent rate), but we're OK with that. We're hoping this could turn into a long-term business, even after the pandemic passes." Bottle return service was, of course, halted in Michigan as part of the stay-at-home order.

The pair has relied on the power of social media to market their new endeavor.  Those interested in the service can contact him through Facebook. Payment is made to their customer through Venmo or by placing a check in their mail box.

Of course some may worry about the safety of the service, but Leighton says, "Some people like our idea, but they're a little hesitant because, during these times, they don't like strangers going in their garage and touching stuff, but we assure them that everything we do is with safety first."

So far the team estimates they have collected between 3,000 and 4,000 returnables.

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