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Mesa Recycling Program has Early Success

Written by Brian Rackham, KTAR
Published: September 8, 2009

Mesa's pilot program that pays residents to recycle seems to be working.

About 9,000 households are eligible for the program, which uses electronic tags on recycle bins.

"Our trucks have been equipped with on-board systems that can actually read the container, so when it gets serviced, we know that that household has gone ahead and participated in the program. Then they earn points based on their participation," said Mariano Reyes with Mesa's Solid Waste Department.

You won't get rich from the points, but you can cash them in for discounts and freebies at local retailers.

Since the program began a month ago, recycling in the test areas has increased about 2 percent, Reyes said. If the program is deemed successful, it will be expanded.

Not only is the recycling helpful to families, Reyes said it helps the city.

"The more material we can collect while we're at each individual household, it will help our overall operating expenses. The city does receive revenue for the material it recycles."

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