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Recycle Bank Gives New Incentives for Consumers to Recycle

| Monday February 27th, 2006 | 11 Comments

recycle_bank.jpgRecycle Bank is one of the coolest business ideas I’ve seen in a while. I was tipped off by this recent New York Times article about it. Basically, it’s a system wherein your recyling bin gets weighed, and you recive a coupon that’s redeemable at various stores for purchases. The arrangement is described in the article, and works so well that in the frst pilot neighborhood, participation stands at 90%, and the city (Philadelphia) is saving money on waste costs – all while the two entrepreneurs running Recycle Bank build a successful business.


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  • Irma

    I’m curious: Why would the garbage companies agree to participate? I live in San Francisco. We currently pay our garbage company for the privilege of having them remove not only our regular waste, but also our paper/cans/glass recycling *and* our compostable recycling (kitchen and yard waste). Why would they suddenly agree to start paying me back for the waste I currently pay them to take?
    Or is this more of an idea to incent communities who are not currently recycling?

  • http://www.646industries.com Nick Aster

    The garbage companies get paid too.. I can’t remember the exact details, but it was in the article somewhere. (can’t access it now)

  • Anonymous

    diversion, is the word they use. If garbage companies can get you to recycle more or have a higher participation rate, then they have less weight on their trucks going to a dump that they must pay to dump.

  • Anonymous

    RecycleBank does not “start paying” you for your waste. Communities contract with RecycleBank to provide a waste collection service which tracks each household’s participation in curbside recycling by weighing labeled containers used by each household. It costs less to dispose of the waste of a community which recycles because the cost of waste disposal is largely determined by the tonnage of material that must be sent to landfills and incinerators. RecycleBank provides a means to distribute the savings directly to those who contribute to the reduction of the community’s bill.
    If you have a private collection company, you can already reduce your bill by simply reducing the amount of waste you generate. Those of us who pay taxes depend on the behavior of the community as a whole to determine our expenses. RecycleBank provides an incentive for each household to recycle that is independent of their neighbor’s recycling effort, or lack thereof.

  • Anonymous

    I honestly think more communities and large metro cities will participate in this. The concept feeds on the fact that large cities don’t want to be considered “Un Green”. If residents have an incentive to participate, they will.

  • vshah

    They are a bunch of time wasting solicitors.
    They wasted valuable time from my small store. Its always the small struggling or money losing businesses that are asked to contribute.
    Of course, they wont walk into a big chain store and try to sell their pitch there.
    They ask for the small struggling businesses to contribute. Then, they reward people with discounts towards the big chains, hurting the small store even more.

  • Birgitta Hernestam

    In Sweden we already are recycling the garbage and we have to pay much money to get rid of it.
    If I will be payed for the garbage which I have already paid for in the shops I would be very thankfull and I would recyckle even more.
    Garbage is a big economic resource
    Kind regards Birgitta Hernestam Sweden

  • Cindy

    I have reved up my recyling habits and instead of my garbage being picked up twice a week I only have to put it out once a week. Amazing! You should try it too.

  • Anonymous

    Hi all, in Italy we are already making big steps in recycling (I mean in the north not in the south where landfills and incinerators are own by “particular” families) some cities riches more than 80%. If I will be payed for that(even by 5-10 euros off) I would be thankfull too even if is just an incentive sponsored by big chain..

  • Anonymous

    does anyone know who to contact if you want your city to start this incentive program?

  • Anonymous

    if you go to recyclebank.com they have some standard letter forms to send to your community I think