Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Jersey town doubles its recycling

In one week after joining the much ballyhooed RecycleBank™ program, Cherry Hill, NJ saw the amount of recyclable materials collected more than double, according to program officials.

What motivates such a change? Rewards. RecycleBank measures the amount of recyclables collected at each house and converts the total into RecycleBank Points that can be used for purchases at such national outlets as IKEA, Starbucks, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Whole Foods. In Cherry Hill, the rewards also can be used for purchases from such local merchants as ACME, Norma’s, Erlton Bike Shop and Pat’s Pizza.

A RecycleBank press release claims that, after just one week of participation, there has been a 134 percent increase in recycling rates, with the amount of recyclables more than doubling from about 12 pounds per household to nearly 26 pounds.

Sounds like a program that other towns might want to consider, especially since New Jersey's recycling rates continue to decline. The state was a national environmental leader back in 1995 when it's municipal recycling tonnage total hit 45 percent. By last year, it had slumped to 32 percent.

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