The City of Fort Worth, Texas is changing its relationship with outreach organization Recyclebank as it works to increase recycling among the multi-family and commercial sectors.
Recyclebank is an educational platform focused on helping cities connect with their residents on the subject of sustainability and recycling. Recyclebank does that by rewarding residents for their recycling efforts with points, which can be redeemed at local businesses or online.
Starting Jan. 1, Fort Worth residents can still earn points, but it will be a reward for completing online activities, including quizzes, instead of their actions at the curb.
According to the Star-Telegram, only 38,000 households out of 215,000 eligible households have signed up for the program since it started in Fort Worth in 2012. Even fewer actually earn points.
The City will use $300,000 in yearly savings to encourage recycling among businesses and residents of multifamily housing.
The executive vice president and general manager of Recyclebank, Paul Winn, said the group will continue to work with Fort Worth on outreach and educational programs. He understands every city is different and the same recycling message isn’t applicable everywhere.
“I think Fort Worth is very representative of many cities we work with today, where they have a program that’s been very healthy, very successful over the past many years,” he told Resource Recycling.
Winn said Fort Worth staff are going through a 20-year solid waste management plan and need a solution on how to increase multi-family and commercial recycling. Material from those sectors accounts for 57 percent of the City’s waste stream.
Recyclebank operates in more than 300 communities.
“What we’ve worked really hard to do over the last several years is focus on localizing our platform in those different communities,” Winn said. “So I think you’ll start to see a lot more shifting of strategies. We’ll still be working, but we’ll be deploying different parts of what we do.”