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Cloud Nine Recycling
TylerTawahongva  Tuba City,Arizona

Cloud Nine Recycling is a recycling business being started by Tyler Tawahongva based out of Tuba City Arizona on the Navajo reservation. A member of the Hopi Tribe from the village of Hotevilla on the Hopi reservation, Tyler grew up in the town of Tuba City and has seen the many phases of the town’s evolution. Tuba City was once a vibrant town with many businesses supporting the local economy now only a handful of businesses exist today. A few years ago Tawahongva heard of a program that was being presented in Tuba City sponsored by the local county called Hometown Competitiveness the thought was by cultivating local small business entrepreneurs that could keep people from moving away by stimulating the local economy. With this thought he decided to pursue the idea of starting a small business on the reservation and see what could possibly happen. This was the beginning of an interesting mission.  Tawahongva was enthusiastic that everyone would embrace the idea of recycling since natives tend to be eco minded. When presented to the community about his endeavor there was little or no interest which didn’t discourage Tawahongva.   Tyler had been doing recycling but on a modest level by buying cans and some metal from community members. However with the goal of starting a small business he set out to start expanding. He found cardboard is plentiful and for the most part just being thrown away. So he saw that if he could collect enough cardboard he may be able to start generating some revenue. The price of cardboard was surprisingly good so it became viable. Tyler approached local business to see if they would be interested in recycling cardboard. One of his first suppliers was the Moenkopi Legacy Inn. He approached the manager and he was willing to put the cardboard aside for recycling, today he continues to pick up the cardboard weekly. Tyler has been slowly building up clientele and counts the local food bank as a major supplier and has recently become the cardboard recycler for the local hospital. Tyler has achieved this with only his drive to make a small business succeed on the reservation and inspire others to maybe give it a try. Another majorsupplier has been the local transfer station Tyler noticed the bins filled up quite quickly and were not being hauled off right away so he saw this as an opportunity to gain material and allow people to continuing recycling instead of throwing the recyclable items such as cardboard, plastic and paper into the trash and into the landfill once the bins filled up. Tyler has successfully been able to keep the bins open longer and save the chapter money by decreasing the number of transports required. In Tuba City and the local communities there is much potential for expansion however Cloud Nine’s capacity is limited. Cloud Nine is in need of a moving van and a site to store the greater amount of material that would increase with expansion and equipment is needed  to process material. Without the equipment Cloud Nine is unable to gather enough material and transport material to expand operations. Right now renting vehicles is costly and the nearest location is 75 miles away. By eliminating that overhead Cloud Nine hopes to cut down on costs in order to sustain his business and his drive to make a small business succeed on the reservation and offer jobs to the youth. Cloud Nine recycling is currently crowd funding through please visit to donate. Go to to find out more about Cloud Nine Recycling also follow on Facebook and twitter @cloudnineiam.


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