RecycleBank scheme to be introduced

April 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead agreed at a meeting last month to be the first council to trial the RecycleBank initiative which has proved so popular in America. It will start in May and there are high hopes that it will prove to be as successful as it has been on the other side of the Atlantic.

Special radio frequency identifiers will be fitted to bins which will calculate the amount of recycling put out by each household and rewards will be given by means of discounts and tokens which can be redeemed at participating stores.

No details are available yet to indicate where householders will be able to use the vouchers in the UK but in America companies such as Coca Cola, Evian, Foot Locker, IKEA, and Starbucks are key players.

The Conservative party has been keen to see whether using incentives rather than punishing people for not recycling will help the UK’s efforts and shadow environment minister, Nick Herbert, has praised the “fresh and positive approach” taken by Windsor and Maidenhead.

When Boris Johnson was elected Mayor of London last May he named RecycleBank in his environmental manifesto as a prime example of householders being rewarded for doing the right thing rather than being fined for doing the wrong thing. In the 500 American cities which have introduced the scheme, recycling rates have increased to as much as 40%. If it is successful in Windsor and Maidenhead it is hoped that the scheme will be introduced in other Conservative run councils throughout the UK.

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