Incentives the key to boost recycling, says industry group

by Search Gate staff. Published Tue 10 Nov 2009 14:44, Last updated: 2009-11-10
Incentives can help local authorities boost recycling

Momentum is building behind household waste recycling, according to RecycleBank and a recent report issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Statistics issued by DEFRA and reported on Search Gate show that overall household waste consumption is down, while recycling rates are up, meaning that less waste is being sent to landfill.

And now RecycleBank, a rewards-for-recycling programme successfully introduced from the US, is calling for more local authorities to boost residential participation and help meet national targets.

Sue Igoe, managing director of RecycleBank UK, commented: “DEFRA’s findings are very positive and we are pleased to see so many people in the UK are keen to help the environment through recycling.

“However, there’s always room for improvement and this is evident from a slight levelling off of recycling rates, so this needs to be addressed if the national 50 percent waste recycling target is to be met by 2020.

“The good news is that there is pent up demand for household recycling if it is made easy and rewarding. This will make it much simpler for local authorities to work with residents to stimulate mass participation and meet landfill reduction targets.

In one borough, Windsor and Maidenhead, three-quarters of eligible residents have voluntarily signed up to our RecycleBank rewards for recycling scheme so, clearly, the appetite is there.

“In the current climate, local authorities need to be using the stick not the carrot to energise their communities and convert the unconverted. Convenience and rewards are great incentives, which is why our mixed recycling rewards scheme has been so successful. The infrastructure and technology is proven, so there’s nothing to hold back local authorities and their residents from sharing in the benefits.”

RecycleBank currently services one million members across 21 states in the US, and has boosted recycling rates anywhere from 30-80% in the communities it serves. The company launched in the UK in June, running schemes with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and Halton Borough Council.



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