Recyclers rewarded with gift certificates

December 8, 2008 11:25:20 AM PST
Barbara Watson may look like she's just tossing her recyclables. But she's doing a lot more. To her, this trash is cash!

That's because Wilmington is part of the Recyclebank program.

Here's how it works: Computerized sensors on special trash cans keep track of how many pounds of mixed-stream recyclables each household tosses each week.

For each pound, they get two-and-a-half reward points... Redeemable for all sorts of goods and services.

Rewards include gift cards for supermarkets, restaurants, online retailers, movies, vacations and more. Watson is saving up supermarket rewards to help her pay for her holiday dinners.

Since Wilmington joined Recyclebank in August of last year, recycling rates have jumped... from less than 2% of the trash stream up to 32%.

The city estimates residents have cashed in about three-million-dollars worth of rewards.

Recyclebank's programs are being offered in other municipalities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and also by some private haulers. And they're looking to expand.

For more information about the program, check out RecycleBank's website.


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