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Behavior Change
Recyclebank Celebrates 10 Years, 1.5 Billion Pounds of Waste Recycled in 2013

2014 marks Recyclebank’s 10th year of inspiring and rewarding smarter, everyday choices for a more sustainable future. Founded in 2004, the company set out with a simple idea: Could education and incentives get people to recycle more? After bringing millions of people together with more than 2,500 local and national businesses over the last 10 years, Recyclebank knows the answer is a definitive yes.

Today, the company partners with more than 300 communities across the US who recycled nearly 1.5 billion pounds of waste in 2013 alone. Recyclebank members also took more than 21.6 million environmentally responsible actions for a total of $60 million in rewards value earned in 2013, achieving real-world impact.

The numbers

Between its partnerships with municipalities, haulers and brands, Recyclebank communities:

  • Driving Sustainable Behaviors From Store to Home

    Hear more from Petco's Francesca Mahoney on the pivotal role retailers and store locations play in catalyzing sustainable consumer behaviors — Tuesday, Oct. 17 at SB'23 San Diego.

    Increased the amount of recycling collected by 45 percent in 2013 — this means on average, members recycled an additional 157 pounds of material (roughly equivalent to the weight of more than 5,000 empty soda cans per household) in 2013, compared to the recycling rate prior to the launch of the program.

  • Avoided over 530,000 metric tons in CO2-equivalent emissions related to the energy spent in the extraction, transport and decomposition of waste in landfills, the processing and manufacturing of virgin materials and the increase of forest carbon stocks from recycling paper.

  • Recycled an estimated 505 lbs per household per year

  • Saved 2,83 trillion BTU — the equivalent to the energy embodied in 20.5 million gallons of oil or 243 million kWH

  • Saved roughly 3.02 million trees and 1.24 billion gallons of water by paper recycling

“Recyclebank was developed to change the way we think about sustainability and recycling. We believe that personal actions, can and do make a big difference; that people prefer the carrot over the stick when it comes sustainability. After 10 years of rewarding people for recycling, I’m thrilled by the progress we have made!” said Recyclebank CEO Javier Flaim. “Our 10-year anniversary is not just a celebration for Recyclebank, but a celebration for those communities, brands and partners who have worked tirelessly to truly make an impact on local recycling rates and ultimately, pave the way for a greener future.”

Recyclebank’s partnerships with communities have been the foundation of its business. The City of Philadelphia was the company’s first pilot program in 2004 and 10 years later the relationship stands strong. The City’s commitment to sustainability, innovation and community outreach has been the driving factor of its success over the past 10 years. Philadelphia, along with Rochester Hills, Mich. and Eastvale, Calif., illustrate how a deep commitment to a sustainable future and the Recyclebank program can result in great success for residents and the environment.

Rochester Hills, Mich.

Since launching the program in 2008, along with expanded household recycling and single stream collection, Rochester Hills has seen a 323 percent increase in pounds recycled. In 2013 alone, 70 percent of the community was subscribed to the program, logging 58,000 digital actions and more than $1 million in rewards value earned. Seeing the great effect the program has had, Rochester Hills renewed the program for five more years in May 2014.

Eastvale, Calif.

Eastvale launched Recyclebank and a revamped recycling program in January 2013. The community immediately saw results with a 17 percent lift in diversion rate in the first year. Residents also took advantage of Recyclebank’s eco-library, educational learn and earns and Live Green blog with more than 33 percent logging into over the year.

“The City of Eastvale is proud to be a forward-thinking, environmentally friendly city by offering the Recyclebank program to our citizens. We were excited to see our diversion rate increase so significantly in the first year, and are striving to see that number reach 20 percent by next year,” said Carol Jacobs, city manager of Eastvale.

Philadelphia, Pa.

Philadelphia recently renewed its relationship with Recyclebank, continuing the award-winning Philadelphia Recycling Rewards program. Since expanding the program to all Philadelphia residents in 2010, combined with the City’s recycling innovations including weekly single-stream collection and increased community outreach and education, the City has seen a 29 percent lift in diversion rate, which corresponds to over $11 million in avoided disposal costs and increased commodity revenue. The Philadelphia Recycling Rewards program has steadily grown since launch with more than 36 percent of Philadelphia residents now participating.

Recyclebank is also excited to welcome Sharon Hill, PA. Sharon Hill will be the first community in Delaware County, Pa. to partner with Recyclebank and will launch on September 15.

Not only has Recyclebank inspired millions of environmentally responsible actions resulting in billions of pounds recycled material, but it’s also been at the forefront of recycling education. Ensuring that youth are empowered and have the resources to become ‘green superheroes,’ Recyclebank launched the Green Schools Program in 2007. Since inception, the program has granted close to $450,000 to more than 150 schools across the country.

With so many labels, certifications and marketing messages, Recyclebank saw that people were becoming lost in a sea of products and knew there was a better way for people to source sustainable items. So to cater to Recyclebank members’ increasing desire for responsibly made products, on Earth Day 2014, the company launched One Twine, an online shop featuring carefully vetted products that are better for your home, your family and your wallet. Since its debut, the shop has added over 1,000 additional products from companies including Bambeco, WeWOOD and West Paw Design.

With an exciting 10 years completed, billions of pounds recycled and millions of users considering the environment when they act, Recyclebank is looking toward the next 10 years of innovation to help even more people and communities create a more sustainable future.


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