UK’s first RecycleBank trial to kick off next week

26 May 2009

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and its contractor Veolia, have announced a June 1 start date for trialling the groundbreaking recycling incentive scheme RecycleBank.

We're proud to be driving forward the first recycle-reward scheme in the UK

 
Paul Levett, Veolia

From next Monday, they are working with US-based firm RecycleBank to trial a rewards-for-recycling service. It is hoped that the scheme, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, will help to raise recycling rates in the area.

Up to 2,800 households in the borough will be given the opportunity to receive rewards for recycling green waste. Households which choose to take part in the optional scheme will be provided with a wheeled bin fitted with an identification chip. The bins are weighed when collected and the amount of material collected per household is recorded.

Householders will then be awarded RecycleBank points based on the weight of green waste collected and how often they participate in the scheme.

Residents can then redeem their points at a variety of shops and venues across the borough, including Marks and Spencer which has recently agreed to become a reward partner.

Paul Levett, deputy chief executive at Veolia Environmental Services, commented: "We're proud to be driving forward the first recycle-reward scheme in the UK. We're confident it will help increase recycling rates in the area and we hope it will encourage other local authorities to take up similar programmes."

He added: "This is one of the many ways we're working with our local authority partners to modernise the UK's environmental practices and turn waste into a resource."

Mr Levett said he believed that reward schemes such as RecycleBank were the way forward for the UK. He told letsrecycle.com that alternatives, such as penalty schemes, would be "very problematic and extremely unpopular", adding: "We're in favour of the carrot rather than the stick approach."

He explained that he was concerned about how penalty schemes would work in practice and expressed fears that waste operatives would be expected to enforce penalties and collect fines.

Mr Levett said reward schemes were a way of getting people who were not currently interested in recycling involved. He said it was important to make recycling as easy as possible and give people am incentive.

Encourage

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead agreed to implement the scheme as a way of reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfill and encourage residents to recycle more.

Councillor Liam Maxwell, the Royal Borough's lead cabinet member for sustainability, said: "This is a scheme that is fair to everyone - the more you recycle the more you are rewarded. Above all, we are determined to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill because it costs too much money.

"The more we recycle the less we all pay in landfill tax. This scheme is further evidence of our commitment to innovative and effective local government and demonstrates that we always put our residents first."

The trial will be the first RecycleBank scheme to be implemented in the UK. RecycleBank, which was recently was also awarded with a United Nations, Champion of the Earth Award, already runs a number of scheme in the USA servicing one million homes across 19 states including Florida and Texas.

Matthew Tucker, president of RecycleBank said that it had "significantly increased recycling volumes across the USA while bringing economic benefits to both local economies and residents alike".

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