Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Recycle Bank

Location: 20 states, United Kingdom
Years: 2003-Present
Founder: Patrick Fitzgerald and Ron Gonen
Partners: 1,500 points redeeming partners

Recycle Bank is an incentive based recycling program started to combat cities eliminating their recycling programs because of the lack of profitability. Presently it serves one million people in twenty states and launched in the UK in 2009 and is an incentive-based approach to recycling that gives rewards for recycling that can be redeemed at both local and national businesses. Residents are given recycle bins that have ID's that track how much is recycled. The program elected to use a single-stream system where materials recycled together instead of in separate bins for ease of use. This amount is then converted to "points" (similar to credit card or airline miles programs) that can be redeemed at Recycle Bank partners.

In addition to individuals, the corporate program partners with (ie replaces) 25 partner municipalities (9 of those in New Jersey). As an example of the positive response from renewing the a city’s recycling program, Wilmington, Delaware saw an increase from 3% recycling to 32% recycling among its residents.

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