Innovative “Philly Rewards Recycling” Program Gets Underway
The City of Philadelphia is teaming up with Blue Mountain Recycling and RecycleBank to introduce single stream recycling to residents as well as an incentive program that gives them dollars off grocery
In the first phase of the pilot program residents will be able to put bottles and cans (steel, glass, aluminum and, for the first time, plastic bottles and jugs) into their recycling container, and set out mixed paper and cardboard in a separate bundle. In the next phase, the pilot program households will be able to set out all recyclables in a new container that will be provided by the partnership.
Each new container is outfitted with an RFID tag coded for each household that can be read and weighed by the truck picking up the recyclables. This allows tracking the amount of material recycled by each household.
New technology, pioneered
In phase two of the pilot, residents will each get a RecycleBank account that keeps a running total of the materials they recycle. Based on the amount they recycle, their account is credited with "dollars" that can add up to real dollar coupons redeemable at local participating grocery, restaurants, video, retail stores and sponsors like Home Depot and Coca-Cola. RecycleBank dollars can also be donated to local nonprofit and community groups.
It costs participating businesses nothing to be part of the initial coupon program since many businesses already have coupon programs of their own. The RecycleBank program becomes another way to deliver the coupons and drive potential customers to local businesses.
Each household will receive a monthly RecycleBank statement to track their recycling along with recycling reminders and special coupon offers. Households can "earn" up to $300 a year through the program (about 40 pounds of recyclables a month) and get access to their account and redeem coupons on a special website or over the telephone.
The sponsors hope to increase the recycling rate from about five percent of the total city waste stream (the current City average) to about 40 percent, pulling hundreds of thousands more tons of material out of the waste stream and increase the participation rate from 27 to 50 percent.
If this program is rolled out to other areas of the city, it is proposed that RecycleBank will
City residents will get a simple recycling program that recycles many more materials than they have in the past in a way that directly rewards them for their efforts.
The Philadelphia Office of Recycling run
Blue Mountain Recycling in
RecycleBank was founded in 2003
NewsClip: City to Reward for Recycling
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