Recycling to the Bank?

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As I pointed out HERE last month, London is currently consulting the community about waste management (if you haven’t already done so, click HERE and complete the online survey; speak now, or don’t complain later). So perhaps that’s why this story virtually jumped off the screen at me when I came across it. It seems that down Philadelphia way, they’ve got a program that pays households to recycle!

Apparently, it works like this. Each household gets a special large container with a computer chip in it. All of the recyclables go into it – no sorting. Then a special arm on the RecycleBank recycling truck weighs and scans the can. Then, every month, the households are rewarded with RecycleBank dollars that can be used in participating stores. Reportedly there was about a 5x increase in the average amount of materials diverted from the landfill almost immediately.

When ‘pay per bag’ waste disposal is discussed, some people suggest that it might lead to residents ‘donating’ their garbage to the neighbours. With a RecycleBank program, might they steal it from you instead? But, what I’d really like to know from Jay Stanford now that I’ve answered his question is, when do I get my first cheque? 😉

To view a company demo, click HERE. And to view a CBC video, click HERE.

Links:
2004/09/21 – ColumbiaBusSchool: Ron Gonen ’04
2004/11 – BioCycle: Single stream developments…
2004/12 – DailyNews: Making recycling greener
2004/12/08 – Philadelphia Inquirer: City to try financial reward for recycling
2005/08/19 – Philadelphia Inquirer: Go beyond trash talk
2006/02/21 – NewYorkTimes: Rewarding recyclers and finding gold…
2006/12 – Incentive: Doing well by doing good
2006/12/04 – WasteNews: Take it to the bank
2006/12/19 – Forbes: Making green from garbage
2007/01/21 – Boston Globe: You could be paid to recycle
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