- The city of Phoenix has partnered with Recyclebank to bring a recycling rewards program to its estimated 1.5 million residents.
- Residents can earn points by enrolling in city waste programs, reading sustainability tips and diverting material for recycling. The points can be used to make donations, purchases at eligible stores and participate in community giveaways.
- The program launched on Jan. 15. Recyclebank is hosting an event on Jan. 31 to tell residents how the program works and educate them about other environmental issues.
Recyclebank was started more than 13 years ago and currently works with about 450 municipalities. The Phoenix City Council awarded Recyclebank a $10 million contract last summer, and the terms require Recyclebank to help reduce the amount of recyclables ending up in residential trash bins from 13.7% to 8.7% during the first year.
While the company continues to sign up new partners such as Allentown, PA, it has also lost others, such as Fort Worth, TX, due to low participation. Phoenix previously had a Recyclebank program back in 2009 that covered certain areas of the city and will help inform the operation of this new citywide program.
This is one of multiple initiatives that Phoenix is pursuing to reach its goal of a 40% diversion rate by 2020 and "zero waste" by 2050. The city has also partnered with Cisco Systems for a "hackathon" to develop new ideas around reducing contamination and engaging residents. The winner will receive a $20,000 prize and work with the city's Public Works Department to implement their concept.