The Environmental Protection Agency reports that U.S. recycling rates increased only 2 percent from 2005 to 2009. What’s a nation to do when apparently “helping the planet” isn’t sufficiently motivating?
Enter: Recyclebank. This startup company designs and launches innovative programs to motivate people to “go green.” In a growing number of communities across the country, Recyclebank rewards people who recycle everyday materials such as plastic bottles and containers with “points” that can be redeemed at www.Recyclebank.com.
Here’s how it works. Curbside recycling bins in participating areas are fitted with radio frequency chips, and residents are encouraged to collect everything that is accepted in the recycling program. During collection, each bin’s chip electronically transmits recycling points to the household’s Recyclebank account. Sometimes neighborhood collection is aggregated, and neighbors encourage each other to recycle so they all receive more points. Recyclebank “members” also can earn points for visiting educational websites, referring friends and environmentally friendly activities, such as recycling electronics.
The points are exchanged for products, discounts and coupons from Recyclebank’s 3000 plus retail partners, including local and national retailers, grocers and more. And communities can benefit through the increased sale of recycled materials.
Voila! An incentive-based solution that makes recycling a win-win for consumers and communities.
Does it work? Participating communities say so. Hartford, Connecticut, has doubled the amount of recyclables collected via their curbside program. In a recent sampling of ten communities, Recyclebank saw increases in collection from 39 to 406 percent, with a median of more than 100 percent. Participating recycling programs also are adding new materials for collection, such as moving beyond #1 and #2 plastic containers to add #3 through #7.
Major cities such as Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Houston in thirty U.S. states already are participating — there are more than 300 Recyclebank communities globally. Consumers and communities that want to participate can sign up on the Recyclebank web site.
For more information visit www.Recyclebank.com.