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Putting Money in your RecycleBank

Written by Sophie Braccini, Lamorinda Weekly
Published: January 5, 2011

Beginning in January it pays to recycle in Orinda and Moraga, as the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority launches a one-year pilot program called RecycleBank that offers a financial incentive for recycling. Residents who sign up and diligently use their brown recycling containers will get points they can redeem at local stores or contribute to local schools; success will be measured by neighborhood, not by individual bin.

When Paul Morsen, the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority's (CCCSWA) Executive Director, noticed a decline in metrics for the recycling of residential waste, his team immediately started looking for ways to encourage residents to do more. "When we heard that RecycleBank, a company that monitors the weight of recycled materials and provides rewards for improvement, was looking for a pilot program participant on the west coast, we started a discussion with them," says Morsen.

The objective of the pilot program is to increase brown-bin recycling by 20% (by weight) within a year. Recycled material is measured and recorded for each recycling route so performance can be benchmarked and measured over the course of time. Recycling trucks will use a special GPS system to identify which homes have taken out their brown containers. If a home is signed up for the program, the customer will be credited with points according to the increase recorded on the respective route. So registering is not enough, residents must improve their total recycling performance to be credited with points.

This week, RecycleBank is mailing information to homes in Orinda and Moraga. By mid-January, residents will receive a registration card with instructions for registering at Residents will also be able to go to this website to monitor and use accumulated points.

"While Recyclebank has national chain stores in place with whom they partner, the Orinda and Moraga CCCSWA representatives, Vice Chair Mendonca, Board Members Trotter and Glazer, and myself, worked hard to include local Orinda and Moraga businesses and restaurants in the mix of vendors who will offer rewards in our communities; we see this as a win-win for our residents and for our local businesses." says Orinda Mayor Victoria Smith.

Initially, RecycleBank points may be used at Lava Pit, Diablo Foods, Lindsay Wildlife Museum, California Shakespeare Theater, Curves, Lamorinda Pizza, Loard's Ice Cream, Mountain Mike's Pizza, Orchard Supply Hardware, Ristorante Amoroma, Terzetto Cuisine, Chillers, Geppetto's Caffe, Orinda Books, Shelby's, Casa Orinda, and McDonnell Nursery.
Check the RecycleBank website,, for updates on participating businesses.

You can also view the story here.

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