Prattville – RecycleBank, a company that motivates people to reprocess their trash by rewarding them with redeemable points, would like to become the exclusive recycler for the residents in Prattville.
The idea is to increase recycling rates by offering incentives for consumers. A resident activates an account by signing up; points are accrued for recycling, and then the points are exchanged for products offered by a large selection of businesses that have partnered with RecycleBank.
Recyclers can choose to use the points themselves or donate the points to a local school.
Eric Kolb, Municipal Marketing Manager for Republic Services, and spokesman for RecycleBank, discussed the concept during a City Council work session at the Doster Center on March 22.
“We have a three-step program of recycle, record, and reward,” he said. “RecycleBank is the only company that handles curbside recycling like this. It has been proven that if you reward citizens, they will recycle.”
According to Kolb, 2,000 Prattville residents would have to enroll before RecycleBank is implemented in the area, and it takes about 120 days to get it off the ground. If every Prattville residence joined the program, he estimated $1.25 million reward points could be earned annually for the city’s citizens.
With a cost of $7.89 per month per home, three-year contracts are offered with an option to cancel if dissatisfied.
Prattville Mayor Jim Byard Jr. clarified that, although the program would be implemented in the city, this would not be a city business, and that he would like to offer this curbside recycling to city consumers.
“This concept is progressive and other communities will start it … I don’t want Prattville to lag,” he said. “But, it will not be mandated here.”
Helena is the first city in Alabama to partner with RecycleBank and offer incentives for going green.
“Helena saved two or more truckloads of garbage, probably averaging nine tons a load, last month,” says Kolb.
“The average participant in Helena could have gone about a week with no garbage collection at all,” he continued. “Prattville, with about 11,000 homes, has a potential of about 3,700 tons a year.”
Article by Melissa Parker
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