The idea of getting paid to recycle may sound far fetched and you may think the story will end with, “…and they lived happily ever after.” But that is not the case with a company from Pennsylvania who has come up with the genius idea about how to encourage people to recycle. The company is called RecycleBank and it’s a Philadelphia-based private company that has a very high tech idea about how to interest more people in the thought of recycling.
It may sound like a science fiction movie, but the idea is to issue wheeled totes to people that have a computer chip implanted in it that would keep information about the people who own the tote. In addition to the name, address and phone number information there would also be included a bank account number, linked to RecycleBank that would tally the amount of recyclable-waste that is turned in to a collection truck that would be equipped with a special computer and barcode system. It will work along the same lines as the self-serve lane at the grocery store and other retail stores.
Once the data of the weight of the recycled material is entered an amount of RecycleBank-Dollars would be deposited into the RecycleBank account. Residents would then have access to those recycle-dollars to be used at participating retailers. Some of the companies already working with RecycleBank include Target, Starbucks and Whole Foods Market and their hopes are to have as many local businesses included as well. Some may find it to be a rewarding experience in being able to donate their RecycleBank Dollars to a local environmental group or organization, rather than spend the money themselves. What a great idea and a great way for people to be given an opportunity to help an organization whose sole purpose it is to keep our planet alive and well? What a beautiful way for some of us to be able to make our contribution to the environment times two? First by recycling and then again by being able to donate the RecycleBank Dollars we tally up.
When you think of it, the opportunitites are nearly endless for single homes to be able to contribute to the positive changes of our environment and if that is the case, imagine the impact a small business could have? How many thousands of dollars and trees could be saved by the implementation of a program like RecycleBank?
For me, this idea is a much better one than the other option proposed by some companies of “Pay-As-You-Throw” (PAYT) which operates in the opposite direction where you would pay for what you throw away. I guess the ideas are similar but I sure like the idea of being credited for my good deeds rather than being punished for what I throw away.
How many cities and towns could gain not just monetary benefits from a program set-up like RecycleBank but the benefits of turning us all into recycle-oriented consumers and residents?