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Source: North Shore Sun

Local coupons added to town’s recycle rewards program


Posted: August 3, 2011
Originally Published: August 2, 2011

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko announced Monday morning that a new recycling rewards program now includes coupons to local businesses.

The Town of Brookhaven, which is the first municipality in the state to offer a rewards-based recycle incentive, is expected to launch the program developed by Recyclebank of Manhattan on Wednesday.

Under the program, residents will be able to convert their pounds of recycled trash into points redeemable for coupons or charity donations, Mr. Lesko said at a press conference in Blue Point.

“While earning everyday savings from Recyclebank, residents will have the opportunity to protect the environment, invigorate the local economy and keep their community clean,” he said.

Beth Kean-Waddell, regional vice president at Recyclebank, described the process as a “frequent flyer program for recycling.”

Residents will earn 2.5 points for every pound recycled within their garbage district. After recyclables are weighed at the town’s landfill, Recyclebank will convert those pounds into points and distribute the rewards among residents registered with Recyclebank.

Those points can then be redeemed for coupons with national companies, such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Macy’s, as well as with local businesses, including Blue Point Brewing Company, Carvel and Subway.

For example, residents could redeem 75 points for a $1 off on any size Coca-Cola product coupon. Or residents could redeem those 75 points for a discount at Blue Point Brewing Company, which is offering a “buy one jug and get the second at half price” coupon.

Since the rewards program isn’t based on an individual’s recycling rate, Mr. Lesko said after the press conference that he believes people should “reach out” to their neighbors that don’t recycle.

“I think they should get the word out that Recyclebank exists and that people can actually make money through the rewards system,” he said.

Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said she’s “thrilled” about the program because it “rewards people for being green.”

“It allows for collective, community action to achieve a beneficial community goal,” Ms. Esposito said.

The Town Board approved a five year $250,000 contract with Recyclebank in March and plans to pay the $50,000-per-year contract from landfill disposal savings and additional revenue earned from an increase in recyclables gained through the program, town officials said.

Last year, Brookhaven Town residents threw out nearly 186,000 tons of trash, of which nearly 11 percent was recycled. On average, it costs the town $95 per ton to dispose of garbage, and it receives about $50 per ton for recyclables. If residents recycle 5 percent more this year, which is the town’s goal, then about $1 million will be saved in garbage disposal costs and the town will receive $500,000 in revenue from recyclables, town officials said.

For more information and to register with Recyclebank, visit its website at Recyclebank.com.