Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Recycling Rewards Program

I love this idea--getting rewarded for recycling. And look at the size of those bins! From today's Commercial Appeal...the article states this program will be coming to Shelby County soon.

Southaven rolls out curbside recycling program designed to reward residents
By Yolanda Jones

Photo by Stan Carroll

A big, blue trash can is joining the pink ones and green ones along curbs in Southaven.

On Monday, the city's curbside rewards-for-recycling program officially started when the 96-gallon, blue, wheeled recycling carts were delivered to some households.

The city is the first in Mississippi and the first in the Mid-South to implement a rewards-recycling program.

Called RecycleBank, the program allows residents to earn reward points by tossing junk mail, newspapers, magazines, cardboard, metal and aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles into a single recycling bin rather than in with the trash.

The material is weighed and residents receive points, which can be redeemed for discounts coupons, 2-for-1 purchase options, cash value certificates and even gift cards at grocery stores, restaurants, national chains and several local businesses.

The program is free to residents for three months -- October, November and December. Residents must decide whether to opt out of the program by Dec. 1 or pay the $6.25-per-month fee that will be added to their city water bills next year.

Over the next two weeks, the 16,000 recycling bins will be delivered to households throughout Southaven.

On Monday, crews with Waste Connections, the Knoxville-based solid-waste company that is implementing the program, began delivering the bins.

The new bins have bar codes and computer identification chips that will be used to track the amount of waste recycled by each household. Residents will be able to track their recycling points online or by calling RecycleBank.

"We are excited because the mayor and board of aldermen have been committed to recycling for a while, and this rewards program is a big next step for us," said Bradley Wallace, Southaven's director of operations. "We are hoping that the rewards program motivates residents to stay in the program after the free trial period ends. If they do, they will not only get discounts and coupons, but they will help keep a lot of waste out of the landfill."

Ernest Powell's North Creek Golf Course neighborhood off of State Line Road was the first to receive the recycling bins.

"It sounds like a good idea," Powell said as he watched crews delivering the bins on his street. "I'm willing to try it because nothing beats a failure except a trier."

Last year, Oak Ridge became the first city in Tennessee to join the RecycleBank program. RecycleBank, a New-York based company, is working with Waste Connections and offers the rewards recycling program in 300 communities in 26 states.

Roland Joyner, operations manager with Waste Connections, said they plan to offer the rewards recycling program to subscription customers soon in Shelby County, south Tipton County and western Fayette County.

-- Yolanda Jones: (901) 333-2014

Southaven's Curbside RecycleBank Program

Residents are urged to start collecting recyclables now.

If recycling bins have blue stickers, the recycling pickup begins the week of Oct. 4. If the bins have green stickers, the pickup begins the week of Oct. 11.

After that, recycling pickup will be every other week and will be the same day as residents' regular trash-day pickup.

For more information go to southaven.com or call (662) 280-2489.

For more information or to sign up for the RecycleBank program, go to RecycleBank.com or call (888) 727-2978.

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