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Recycling pays

Whatever works.

City leaders announced [last] Tuesday a partnership with RecycleBank, a New York-based company that rewards residents with points for the amount of recycling they put out for the city to collect. The points, akin to frequent flier miles, can be used at local and national restaurants and retailers.

The trial program’s goal is to increase recycling in a city that a 2008 trade magazine pegged with a recycling rate of only 2.6 percent.

“Success depends on two things: incentives and convenience,” said Scott Lamb, RecycleBank’s chief operating officer. “We’re providing the citizens of Houston with the best combination of both.”

Beginning Nov. 9, the program will be offered to the 22,000 households that use wheeled 96-gallon recycling bins provided by the city.

In which my neighborhood is not yet participating, unfortunately. I feel confident we’ll be racking up the points in short order. The good news is that the story says the program will be rolled out to another 50,000 households soon. I can’t wait.

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One Comment

  1. You need to offer some small incentive – at least in this city. We have recycling in our neighborhood that we pay extra for (and I do so happily), but probably only one out of ten homes actually participates. It’s pretty embarrassing.