Monday, January 26, 2009

Get Rewarded for Recycling

I love it when people translate awesome ideas into positive action. Naturally, I was stoked to learn about RecycleBank — a Philadelphia-based company dedicated to creating incentives for recycling. Here's how it works:

Step 1: Recycle. You're probably doing this part already (right...?). The only difference with RecycleBank is that it's easier than ever thanks to their uber-smart single stream recycling process. In plain English: you can dump your paper, plastic, and aluminum recyclables all in the same bin. Brilliant.

Step 2: Record. OK, so this isn't just any ordinary bin. It's a big blue bin with an RFID chip embedded in it that links to your family's (or community's) RecycleBank account. They call them "smart carts". So, every week when your recycling is collected, your cart gets weighed and scanned right at the curb. The system records the weight, converts it to points, and immediately credits your account.

Step 3: Reward. You'll earn 2.5 RecycleBank points for every pound of recyclable materials in your bin, and you can redeem these points at hundreds of local and national retailers, from Target and IKEA to the pottery shop down the street. Plus, you get tons of warm green fuzzies for diverting trash from landfills to save trees and gallons of oil.

Interested in learning more? Click here to watch The Cyclea animated, interactive look at the process of single stream recycling. Already sold? Just request service. If RecycleBank is already operating in your community, they'll hook you up right away; if not, they'll let you know when the program becomes available in your area. So far, they have no plans to expand to Slovakia, but for all you back in the states, hop to it! Enjoy the rewards.