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Mesa First Arizona City to Partner with RecycleBank

Written by RecycleBank
Published: July 29, 2009

Recyclebank Will Help Promote Sustainability by Increasing Recycling Participation with Mesa Residents

NEW YORK—JUNE 29, 2009—The City of Mesa, in a unique partnership with aluminum leader Alcoa, is the first city in Arizona to bring Recyclebank® to its residents. As part of the city’s ongoing Green Initiatives, Mesa will pilot the rewards program that motivates households to recycle. Mesa Mayor Scott Smith spearheads the program in the spirit of environmental leadership.

With Recyclebank, approximately 9,000 Mesa homes will be a part of the pilot program. Their blue recycle barrels have been retrofitted with an ID tag that matches the barrel to the household address and account number. Mesa trucks have also been retrofitted with the necessary technology to read the tag while tracking recycling activity. Upon activating their account with Recyclebank, either online or by phone, the household will begin to earn Recyclebank Points based on the amount of recycling with each weekly curbside pickup.

Active Recyclebank members can redeem their Recyclebank Points online at, where they can also learn about their personal environmental impact through recycling. Residents can also access their account information by calling the Recyclebank Customer Care Center, 1.888.727.2978. Recyclebank Points can be redeemed for rewards, gift cards, groceries and products with national Recyclebank Partners such as Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Kiss My Face, and CVS/pharmacy, as well as local participating Mesa area businesses, such as Albertson’s, Amazing Jake's Food and Fun, Streets of New York, Bashas, King's ACE Hardware, and the Dos Gringos family of restaurants. There is also an option to donate Recyclebank Points to local school environmental programs and non-profit organizations.

Recyclebank is a true value for the residents of Mesa. On average, members earn hundreds of dollars in reward value each year through their recycling efforts.

“Mesa has set many goals in becoming a greener, more sustainable city. Partnering with Recyclebank will both increase recycling and reduce the amount of material going to our landfill,” Mayor Smith said. “We are thrilled to be the first in our state to bring Recyclebank to our community."

“Mesa is a beautiful part of the Valley,” Councilmember Dennis Kavanaugh said. “Working with a great organization like Recyclebank will enable us to meet our recycling goals and give something back to our residents. During these hard economic times, saving money on things we buy everyday is of significant value.”

Alcoa, the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina facilities is active in all aspects of the industry. In an effort to increase residential recycling rates and reclaim greater volumes of aluminum, Alcoa, which operates two plants in Arizona, employing around 400 people, has funded the community pilot program in Mesa.

“At Alcoa, it’s important for us to give back to our communities in which we live and work,” said Alcoa Director of Corporate Metal Recycling Strategy Gregory Wittbecker. “A program like Recyclebank is win-win all around since it fits into our aluminum industry goal of increasing the recycling rate for aluminum cans to 75 percent by 2015 which in turn helps save natural resources and reduce energy demand.”

“Recycling aluminum requires only one-twentieth of energy required to make it. This teamed with its strong and lightweight characteristics make it part of the solution to global climate change and an important contributor towards a sustainable future,” Wittbecker said.

Currently, Recyclebank services more than one million members across 19 states. These households have cumulatively saved more than 1.5 million trees and over 105 million gallons of oil through their recycling efforts.

“As Recyclebank continues to expand across the United States, our ongoing vision of rewarding households for recycling is becoming a reality,” Ron Gonen, CEO of Recyclebank said. “Mayor Smith of Mesa recognized the value that Recyclebank brings to communities by helping them reach their environmental goals, putting savings in their residents’ pockets and invigorating the local business community.”

Mesa will track participation and recycling amounts in the pilot areas of each council district. Success in these areas could lead to a citywide roll out of the Recyclebank program.

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Recyclebank is a rewards program that motivates people to recycle. We do this by quickly and easily measuring the amount of material each home recycles and then converting that activity into Recyclebank Points that can be used at hundreds of local and national rewards partners. Recyclebank is simple to implement, market-driven, and proven to work; saving municipalities’ money and rewarding citizens for their environmental stewardship. Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield and Byers, RRE Ventures, The Westly Group and Sigma Partners are institutional shareholders. Ron Gonen, the co-founder and CEO, is the largest individual shareholder. Recyclebank is headquartered in New York City. Recyclebank was recently honored as a 2009 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and has been named as a 2009 Champion of the Earth by the United Nations. Visit for more information.

Mesa is the third-largest city in Arizona and the nation’s 38th-largest city. The City provides the advantages of a thriving metropolis while maintaining the feel of a suburban environment. Just 15 miles east of Phoenix, Mesa covers 132 square miles. With dynamic recreational, educational and business environments, Mesa enjoys the best in a variety of amenities including parks within easy walking distance from home, a variety of sports facilities that cater to athletes young and old, highly rated golf courses for every skill level, a diversity of special events and community festivals, and Mesa’s ever-popular Chicago Cubs Spring Training baseball. Visit for more information.
Alcoa is the world leader in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina combined, through its active and growing participation in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components including flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, Alcoa also markets Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems. The Company has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for seven consecutive years. More information can be found at

Alcoa Recycling was started in 1978 to recycle used beverage containers. Since then, Alcoa Recycling has become an industry leader by recycling aluminum of all forms, including cans. In 2008, the Aluminum Association set forth the goal of achieving a 75% recycling rate of aluminum cans by 2015. This goal is what Alcoa Recycling aims for when investigating efficient and cost-effective recycling models, pursuing meaningful recycling legislation, and educating the public about the benefits of recycling. Developing greater convenience for recycling is also a key component of Alcoa Recycling’s campaign, which has prompted our massive recycling bin distribution program as well as partnerships with various community groups and corporate partners. For more information about Alcoa Recycling, visit our website at

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