Environmental

Cooper City Launches Rewards Program for Recycling

You should probably recycle just because it's, ya know, the right thing to do for the ecosystem, but Cooper City realizes that a few of us might need some incentive to throw jars into the recycling bin rather than the trash can.

It's instituting a program that rewards people for recycling -- like a SkyMiles account or similar customer rewards program.

A Recyclebank spokesperson explains that the program was launched on January 15 in partnership with Waste Management Inc., which handles recycling collection in Cooper City.

It is run through a third party -- Recyclebank.com -- and, he says, "participation is easy. Residents simply register on the website and then earn points by recycling as well as participating in educational games and activities online. Points can then be used to 'purchase' discounts to local and national brands including restaurants, home goods, and a variety of magazine subscriptions; or to shop on OneTwine, Recyclebank's online store for sustainable goods.

Recyclebank is a Philadelphia company that claims to have boosted recycling rates in 300 communities.

To earn points, page through slideshows like "the Four Basic Recyclable Materials" -- that gets you 25 points. It takes only 50 points to earn 20 percent off a 1-800-Flowers order, for example.

Cooper City City Manager Bruce Loucks says Cooper City is working to sign up local vendors, not just national ones, to redeem the points.

There is also an incentive to actually recycle, he says. Recycling trucks get weighed before they empty their loads at a facility on U.S. Highway 27, Loucks says. "If you are on that route and you signed up for Recyclebank, you get credit for weight collected."

He says the city pays "a small fee to administer the program." Of course, that is passed on to customers through their garbage bills.



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