The incentive scheme, which motivates residents to take green actions by rewarding their recycling behaviour with exclusive deals and offers was brought in on the back of a new recycling service in April 2012 when Wokingham BC moved from a fortnightly to a weekly kerbside commingled collection.

Recyclebank’s director of marketing at communications Rob Crumbie said it was a really positive way for a local authority to benefit.

“There’s an awful lot of change going on and the sweetener for the resident is that you can be rewarded for recycling,” he commented.

Crumbie said the aim of the scheme was to make it as easy as possible for residents to recycle as this would effectively drive up participation levels. Under the scheme, residents can join the membership programme for free and are given 300 bonus points for signing up.

“Here in Wokingham we’ve seen terrific registration levels,” he continued. “There are just under 21,000 registered members, so you’ve got a service here that is being opted into and participated with regularly by a third of households in the borough.”

Members contact Recyclebank every week via the recycling rewards programme’s website, by phone or iPhone/Android app and this entitles them to 10 points for their recycling behaviour.

In addition to the weekly bonus points, Recyclebank also pays out a monthly bonus to participating residents, based on the tonnage collected in the borough.

Wokingham’s waste & recycling manager Pete Baveystock said that the volume of recycling material has increased dramatically.

“The combination of expanding the volume for recycling by going weekly and restricting the volume for residual waste has driven recycling up. From the tonnage point of view, compared to the previous year, we’ve seen it go up by 28%.”

The incentive scheme, which enables members to shop for rewards online and use vouchers in local shops, stores and leisure centres, has helped drive forward the recycling message.

While recycling rates in England have increased by 3.3% over the past two years, Recyclebank says that its partners have seen recycling rates increase by 9.1%, nearly three times the national average.

LAWR will feature Recyclebank’s partnership with Wokingham Borough Council in a future issue.

Nick Warburton

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