Enhanced Recycling Program Sees Success In First Year
City Saves Nearly $1 Million; Recycling Participation Up 75 Percent
This month, the City of Cincinnati celebrates the-one year anniversary of the launch of its enhanced recycling program and the implementation of the Recyclebank rewards program, with initial results indicating great success in the City's efforts to improve environmental quality. Recyclebank rewards people for taking everyday green actions with deals and discounts from local and national businesses.
The City of Cincinnati can now boast a 49 percent increase in the recyclable material tonnage collected in the past 6 months compared to the same period the previous year. The City has also increased recycling diversion to 17 percent, which exceeds the 2011 benchmark of 15 percent established by a City Council motion in May 2008.
"We had a great first year," said Larry Falkin, director of the Office of Environmental Quality. "We were able to grow participation in the recycling program by nearly 75 percent, increase the amount of recyclables collected curbside by nearly 50 percent, and save the City nearly $1 million through decreased landfill disposal costs and increased revenues from the sale of recyclables."
When the enhanced recycling program launched in October 2010 in partnership with waste hauler Rumpke Recycling, recycling cart manufacturer Cascade Engineering and Recyclebank, Cincinnati became the largest Midwest city to offer residents Recyclebank's innovative rewards-for-recycling program citywide.
The program's success can in part be credited to the adoption of the larger recycling carts, which allow residents to recycle three to five times more material than the traditional 18-gallon bins. As part of the enhanced recycling program rollout, each resident received a 64- or 96-gallon recycling cart to use for biweekly recycling collection.
"Cincinnati's enhanced recycling program is even more successful that we expected. It is clear that our community wants to recycle more to help the environment and save the City money," Mayor Mark Mallory said. "The more we recycle, the less the City has to pay to dump our garbage at the landfill. As we head into year two, we look forward to even higher levels of recycling and more savings."
The City's environmental success also benefits many local businesses. Cincinnati residents can earn Recyclebank points each time they recycle and can then use those points to "shop" at Recyclebank.com for rewards like discounts and deals from local and national businesses, including local favorites such as Thornton's, Graeter's, LaRosa's Pizzeria, Penn Station East Coast Subs and many more. The program is similar to a frequent flyer program, only residents earn points for being green instead. Recyclebank also has hundreds of national reward partners, including Ziploc®, AVEENO®, Coca-Cola®, Macy's, McDonald’s®, Nestle Purina®, Unilever, Brita®, Bumble Bee Foods® and many others. Unlike frequent flyer programs, points are easy to accumulate and members can begin redeeming almost immediately.
"At Recyclebank, we are proud to partner with the City of Cincinnati in their commitment to environmental quality, and, as their success in raising recycling rates demonstrates, the City is truly a leader, not only in the Midwest, but also on a national scale," said Atul Nanda, Midwest vice president at Recyclebank. "Cincinnati's fantastic success truly exemplifies the collective impact we can have in our communities by taking small, everyday green actions -- all while earning great rewards from your favorite local and national businesses."
"At Rumpke, we are seeing a greater volume of material coming to our Cincinnati Material Recovery Facility, in large part due to the addition of larger recycling containers, not only in the City of Cincinnati but in other parts of our service area," said Jeff Rumpke, vice president, Rumpke. "The addition of these carts helps us with our company's overall goal to reduce the amount of waste entering our landfills through increased recycling efforts, and we are glad many Cincinnati residents are helping us with our mission."
Rumpke began preparing for the expected uptick in recycling in the Cincinnati in 2009 with a $6.5 million renovation of its material recovery facility, now one of the top 50 facilities nationwide. The upgrade included the most advanced recycling technology available to allow more material to flow through the plant and enable Rumpke to easily expand its acceptable items list as those markets became available.
About The City Of Cincinnati
The City of Cincinnati government is comprised of over 5,000 employees, dedicated to maintaining the highest quality of life for the people of Cincinnati. The City is focused on economic development to create jobs and pursues partnerships to help create opportunities that benefit Cincinnati's residents, diverse businesses and visitors. As part of these pursuits, The Green Cincinnati Plan, first developed in June of 2008, includes the City's goal of increasing recycling. The day-to-day business of operating the City is the responsibility of the City Manager, who functions as the Chief Administrator for the City. The paramount responsibilities of the City Manager are executing the policy set by the Mayor and City Council, delivering services to the citizens and customers of the City of Cincinnati, managing government finances, and providing continuity of government and support to the Mayor and Members of City Council.
Rumpke Consolidated Companies, Inc. has been committed to keeping neighborhoods and businesses clean and green since 1932 by providing environment friendly waste disposal solutions. Headquartered in Colerain Township, Ohio, just outside of Cincinnati, Rumpke is one of the nation's largest privately owned residential and commercial waste and recycling firms, providing service to areas of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia. Rumpke divisions include Rumpke Recycling, Rumpke Portable Restrooms, The William-Thomas Group, Rumpke Hydraulics & Machining, Rumpke Haul-it-Away and Rumpke Park. For more information, visit www.rumpke.com.
Recyclebank® helps create a more sustainable future by rewarding people for taking everyday green actions with discounts and deals from more than 3,000 local and national businesses. Through its online platform and partnerships with municipalities, haulers, small businesses and corporate brands, Recyclebank is empowering individuals to make a collective impact on the environment by increasing household recycling, reducing household energy usage and learning to live greener lives. Recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, a Champion of the Earth by the United Nations Environment Programme and for Outstanding Excellence in Public/Private Partnerships from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Recyclebank is headquartered in New York City. For more information, visit www.Recyclebank.com.