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Recyclebank Program Helps City Increase Recycling 323%

Written by Sustainable Brands
Published: May 22, 2014

RecycleBank announced this week that, through recycling innovations and incentives programs, it has helped the city of Rochester Hills, Mich., increase its pounds of materials recycled by 323 percent since 2008.

The company has worked with Republic Services and Rochester Hills to reward residents for taking more sustainable actions, such as recycling, with discounts and deals at local and national businesses. Rochester Hills also expanded its household recycling program and implemented single-stream collection, which allows residents to put all types of recyclable materials into a single bin.

Since 2009, residents have increased recycling to an average rate of 670 pounds per household per year with a 27 percent diversion rate. Overall, Rochester Hills has collected nearly 22,000 incremental recycling tons since April 2009. Through its program, RecycleBank also has helped save residents money and stimulate the local economy. A combination of dollars saved by residents and dollars spent at local businesses as a result of reward redemption adds up to more than $1.9 million since January 2011.

The City of Rochester Hills has renewed its partnership with RecycleBank for an additional five years, which will allow the city to continue offering residents the organization’s recycling-incentives program. Rochester Hills was the first community in the Midwest to offer RecycleBank’s program in an effort to help create a more sustainable community.

Rochester Hills schools have been longtime participants in RecycleBank’s Green Schools Program, and eight community schools have participated since the program’s inception. Green Schools awards grant money to schools to fund unique student projects that will green their classroom and community, such as a community garden or the implementation of in-school recycling efforts.

Rochester Hills is the latest in a string of municipalities across the country to strategically partner with external organizations to encourage its residents to be more conscious of the importance of recycling: In February, the City of Phoenix partnered with Citizen Group and ASU's Sustainability Solutions Services to launch the "Reimagine Phoenix" campaign as part of achieving its “40x20” goal — to engage residents in the region to increase their waste diversion to 40 percent by the year 2020; and earlier this month, the City of Austin partnered with Keep America Beautiful's "I Want to Be Recycled" campaign, as part of its goal to keep 50 percent of trash out of landfills by December 2015.

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Javier Flaim


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