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15,000 households are eligible to participate in recycling program

Written by ony Castro, Daily News Los Angelos
Published: February 23, 2010

Some 15,000 households in the west and central San Fernando Valley will soon be participating in a year-long pilot program that will reward them for recycling, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Tuesday.

Villaraigosa said the program, in which no money from the city's general fund will be used, is part of the city's campaign "to reach our goal of zero waste."

"Los Angeles' ambitious environmental agenda is one of the reasons why we already recycle more than any other big city in America and why we will be the cleanest, greenest big city in America," the mayor said in a statement.

The program will include households in districts represented by City Councilmen Dennis Zine and Greig Smith. To register to participate, call 888-727-2978.

Participants who use their blue bins to recycle will be rewarded with points they'll be able to redeem at participating local and national business partners, such as Kraft Foods, Dick's Sporting Goods, Bed Bath & Beyond and CVS/pharmacy.

"The program will motivate residents to recycle more and will pump money directly back into the local economy," Villaraigosa said.

The city's Public Works' Bureau of Sanitation will study the program's impact, the mayor said.

Los Angeles ranks as the top recycler out of the nation's 10 largest cities, according to a survey conducted a year ago by Waste & Recycling News.

The city currently diverts 65 percent of its waste away from landfills, and Villaraigosa has set of goal of 70 percent by 2013, the year he leaves office.

Citywide, the residential Blue Bin recycling program already collects an average of 4,600 tons of recyclables every week or more than 240,000 tons annually, according to officials.

Points will be awarded based on a community, weight- based approach, with rewards shared equally among participating households on each collection route, officials said.

Officials said residential participants can also opt to donate reward points to local schools through the RecycleBank Green Schools Program.

"RecycleBank continues to demonstrate that when financial incentives are aligned, people will make the better environmental choice," said Ron Gonen, chief executive officer of RecycleBank.

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New York, Philadelphia and Houston

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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

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