In its quest to increase the city’s recycle rate, the city of Chicago has teamed up with RecycleBank, a recycling rewards program that encourages additional recycling participation. The six-month field test program compliments the city’s transition to the Blue Cart Program, which is already in place in more than 241,000 households in Chicago. Chicago is the first city in Illinois to deploy the RecycleBank program.
In addition to members earning hundreds of dollars in reward value each year through their recycling efforts, the city can expect to see about 600 tons of waste diversion and more than $500,000 in local economic stimulus as a result of the test program.
The City of Chicago has selected 10,000 households in wards 5, 8 and 19 for Phase 1 of the RecycleBank rewards program. Each Blue Cart in the pilot area will be retrofitted with an ID tag that matches the Blue Cart to the household address and account number, while tracking recycling activity. Upon activating their account with RecycleBank, either online or by phone, the household will begin to earn RecycleBank Points.
The RecycleBank Points can be redeemed for rewards, gift cards, groceries, and products at more than 1,900 local and national RecycleBank Reward Partners.
RecycleBank Partners include national retailers such as Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Target.com, Ruby Tuesday’s and CVS/pharmacy, as well as local participating Chicago businesses, such as Leona’s, Moo and Oink, “city sponsor” Carson Pirie Scott, County Fair, Treasure Island, the Chicago White Sox and the Children’s Museum. There is also an option to donate RecycleBank Points to local school environmental programs, charities and non-profits.
In 2008, RecycleBank expanded its operations, launching recycling rewards program in Montgomery, OH; Sioux Falls, SD; Eden Prairie and Maple Grove, MN; Carrollton and Plano, TX; North Miami, FL; Wichita, KS; Albuquerque, NM and Knoxville, TN.