Recycling incentive company Recyclebank has lowered its carbon emissions by 27 percent, from 830 tons in 2011 to 602 tons in 2012, with the help of NativeEnergy, which calculated the company’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Becoming aware of the impact of its operations helped Recyclebank reduce its emissions, CEO Jonathon K. Hsu says. The company also partners with NativeEnergy to buy carbon offsets that finance GHG reduction projects in the developing world.
Through carbon offsets, Recyclebank is investing in NativeEnergy’s Help Build project in the areas of Siaya and Bond in Kenya. The project is installing more than 1,200 water filters in homes and schools where access to clean water places an especially heavy burden on women, and waterborne illness is the leading cause of child mortality. Without the water filters, many households use firewood to boil water collected from watering holes, ponds and untreated community wells.
Additionally, in the Siaya region, 50 percent of hospital visits are because of issues related to water, sanitation and hygiene. The water filters have been shown to remove 99.8 percent of deadly parasites and reduce diarrhea by 47 percent, the company says.
New York City-based Recyclebank was founded in 2004 and has grown to more than 4 million members, and is in more than 300 communities across all 50 states. It works with 4,000 partners: local businesses and national brands, such as Procter & Gamble, that offer discounts and deals to people for making environmental pledges, such as promising to use less energy or increase their recycling. Its investors include the Coca-Cola Company and Waste Management.
In March, Recyclebank and Waste Management announced that more than 75 communities have recycled 179 million pounds of materials in one year and citizens have collected $4 million in rewards under a program launched last year by the two companies. Waste Management plans to expand the program to more than 20 additional communities over the next several months.