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New recycle carts, rewards coming to Sunrise

Written by Christiana Lilly, Sun Sentinel
Published: April 26, 2011

Forget recycle bins; in Sunrise there will soon be recycling carts.

The size of normal garbage rolling carts, residents will be able to recycle more and get rewarded for it.

"We expect recycling rates are going to go up," said Richard Salamon, the assistant director of the Utilities Department.

This summer, the 65-gallon carts will be issued to homes that are signed up for solid waste and recycling and will replace the red and blue bins residents use right now. Single-stream recycling, meaning residents don't have to separate the recycled items, will also continue.

Recycling costs do not increase with the implementation of this program, Public Information Officer Christine Pfeffer wrote in an email.

It costs the city $1.60 per person for recycling, and residents are charged 40 cents, Salamon said. Also, the city receives $100 for each ton of recycled material.

An added program to recycling is the partnership between All Service Refuse, Sunrise's waste hauler, with Recyclebank. The recycling company provides rewards to those who recycle. The more one recycles, the more points accrued for groceries, gift cards and more.

Sunrise will be the second city in Broward County to participate in the program, after Hollywood, who joined in February 2010. The program started in 2005 when outreach efforts to spread the word of recycling started to plateau, said Fred Hannon, the southeast general manager for Recyclebank. By adding incentives, even people who aren't "green" are moved to recycle.

The way the program works is through a scanner placed in the cart. When the recycling truck comes by, it registers to count the cart in a tally of those participating on the route; it does not release information such as who put out the cart or what is in the cart. At the end of the route, the pounds of recyclable material are measured and points are dispersed throughout all the participants on the route. Every pound is 2.5 points. When residents first sign up, 300 points are awarded as a bonus.

Residents can redeem their points with as little as 10, going up to a few thousand for to purchasing gift cards.

"In that first month, people will be able to take those points that they've accumulated…and make a redemption," he said. "Those points will actually turn into something that you want and use."

Popular choices are using points toward groceries at Publix and Winn-Dixie, or for restaurants and cultural activities. Points can also be used for donations to charities – last year, Recyclebank gave participants and opportunity to donate their points to the Haiti relief effort.

"An incentive gets everyone to recycle, so there are people that put a cart out that don't believe in global warming, don't believe in recycling, but what they do believe in it I can take that redemption and go to my Publix, I can take that redemption and go to a restaurant and get a free meal," Hannon said.

For more information about the city's new carts and, call 954-577-1135.

You can also view this story here.

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Javier Flaim


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