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Sustainable packaging: Sacramento and RecycleBank team up for innovative partnership

Written by Packaging Digest
Published: May 24, 2010

Residents in Sacramento now have a new incentive to go green. Through a pilot program offered by a public/private partnership with RecycleBank, residents of Sacramento's South Meadowview neighborhood will receive valuable rewards such as savings on groceries, pharmacy costs, sporting goods, school supplies and much more for their recycling efforts.

City officials expect to see an increase in clean recyclables, a marked decrease in contamination, and meaningful savings on items such as groceries and household items for their residents. Sacramento is the second city in California to collaborate with RecycleBank, following Los Angeles, which began its program in April. RecycleBank is funded by a grant from the CalRecycles--State of California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery.

RecycleBank is a rewards program that motivates people to take greener actions, like household recycling, by rewarding them with points that are redeemable for rewards from local and national retailers, restaurants, pharmacies, grocers, and more. Similar to frequent flier programs, the more families recycle, the more RecycleBank points each household earns.

Sacramento is piloting the rewards program to help encourage proper recycling in the blue containers, decreasing contamination. Recycling contamination occurs when non-recyclable items or when unclean items are placed in the blue recycling containers. When sorted, these items are removed and taken to the landfill. The city hopes that the incentives of rewards will help the South Meadowview neighborhood to embrace the recycling program, become more conscious of what they are recycling and ensure that only recyclables are placed in the blue recycling containers for maximum RecycleBank Point earning.

"We want to lead the way in making Sacramento a greener, more sustainable city and part of that is the need to decrease our contamination of recyclables," Mayor Kevin Johnson said. "The City of Sacramento is proud of its commitment to sustainability. The Department of Utilities' blue container recycling program is an important component of this commitment and of our goal to be one the greenest city in the country. Partnering with RecycleBank is a proven way to protect our environment, help the local economy, keep our community cleaner and provide real savings to Sacramento households that recycle."

"RecycleBank is helping to create a culture that encourages people to take simple steps towards greener lifestyles," RecycleBank Vice President and General Manager Axel Newe said. "We're excited to further expand our services in California and bring valuable rewards to the families in Sacramento, while helping the City reach its environmental goals."

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Javier Flaim


The Coca-Cola Company, Craton Equity Partners, Generation Investment Management, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Paul Capital Investments, Physic Ventures, RRE Ventures LLC, Sigma Partners, Waste Management Inc., and Westly Group

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