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Early results show Recyclebank collecting record numbers from neighborhoods

Written by Soapbox Cincinnati
Published: February 15, 2011

The idea was to increase the amount of recycling throughout the city by providing larger and more convenient access for recycling. Sue Magness, the Recycling Coordinator at the Office of Environmental Quality, researched that the most successful strategies in the country were to change the bins to carts and to create an incentive reward program. The new carts are larger and easier to use with wheels and lids, therefore more people are then willing to recycle. The incentive program awards participants points based on their volume of recycling that can be used to get $200 worth in coupons or gift cards.

"We find education programs in theory work but don't change behavior," Magnesss said. "In recycling our goal is to change behavior and incentive programs have been proven to work in the commercial realm and improvement in social behaviors."

By rewarding participants and making recycling more convenient, numbers have significantly increased. This past December, over 1681 tons was collected - 300 tons higher than any other month in the 21 year history of the program. In addition to the growth of material collected, the percentage of recycling participants rose from 40% to 60% this year.

Final numbers concerning how much each neighborhood collects and how many participants are not yet available due to the recent finalization of distributing cans throughout the city.

"It is the largest infrastructure change we have made in over 21 years by delivering 90,000 carts within five months," Magness said.

"There are areas of the city where carts aren't practical, but we have small carts or bins with reward tags for the elderly or for those with limited space," Magness expressed.

RecycleBank hopes to hit its goal of 25,000 tons of material collected this year, further reducing amounts sent to landfills in the region.

You can also view this article here.

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Recyclebank At A Glance

Headquarters
New York

Offices
New York, Philadelphia and Houston

CEO
Javier Flaim

Founded
2004

Investors
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

Members
4 Million+

Communities
300+ in all 50 states

Reward Partners
4,000+

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