We are surrounded by rewards programs. I have a club card to shop at the Safeway grocery store, where I can buy some soda with “Coke Rewards” points, and I can also earn United frequent flier miles based on my total purchase amount. Finally, I pay for everything with a credit card that gets me cash back.
Now, here’s a rewards program to help us recycle more. With RecycleBank, each participating household gets a recycle bin with a computer chip that helps you track how much you recycle. The more you recycle, the more points you earn, which can be redeemed for purchases at stores like CVS pharmacy and Home Depot. You can earn up to $540 annually.
The municipality wins as well, because now there is less waste being sent to landfills, which lowers their costs dramatically. Both RecycleBank’s income and the consumer rewards come from these savings. According to this Time article, recycling rates in one of the first Philadelphia neighborhoods that RecycleBank served rose from 7% to 90% in a matter of months.
Not a bad idea at all! I agree that most people like the idea of recycling, but many of us could use a push in our busy lives. The only catch, really, is that even though are expanding, there are still only a relatively limited number of participating cities. See if yours is on the list.