You probably take your recycling out to the curb once or twice a week, most likely with your trash. For many of us, recycling has become a habit about which we don’t think much. Did you know, however, that you might be able to earn rewards for dropping your recycling at the end of your driveway? Recyclebank is making it rain.
We have a waste problem, a big waste problem. Especially in the United States, but also around the world, we are piling up garbage like it’s going out of style. Currently, we produce 3.5 million tons of trash per day and the problem is only getting worse.
We need a garbage game plan. We need a really good game plan if we don’t want to be buried in our own trash. We need a strategy that involves many solutions across myriad parts of a product’s life cycle. Have you seen the movie Wall-E? I’ll pass on that existence, thank you very much.
To enact really meaningful change, we need more thoughtful product creation on the front end of consumption. We need more companies to think about what happens to their products after purchase. We need them to understand and care about the full life cycle of the resources they consume, the goods they send out in the market, and the waste created when the product has been used up. Then they need to respond and rethink their products to help reduce the resource consumption and waste creation to reasonable levels.
Legislation to incentivize responsible production and disincentivize wasteful practices will likely be the largest catalyst for change. But consumer demands and commercial action must be a driving force to stimulate the conversation and spark legislation around reducing waste.
In addition to legislation, it’s reasonable to assume recycling will continue to be a component of our consumption cycle for the foreseeable future. While I hope we find ways to produce and purchase less, recycling is definitely a better alternative than stuffing landfills or oceans with our inevitable waste.
Recyclebank is a nationwide company with a mission to eliminate waste. Through various incentive programs and educational tools, Recyclebank strives to increase recycling rates, reduce waste and limit the churn on our resources overall.
What Does Recyclebank Do?
Recyclebank has a variety of programs through which they encourage everyday consumers and community members to be more thoughtful about the waste they produce and what they do with their waste when it’s ready for disposal.
Learn and Earn
Recyclebank has a large archive of short articles with tips and ideas to reduce waste and live more environmentally-friendly. Most of their posts are answers to specific questions about whether or not and how to recycle, reduce or extend the life of a particular product. They have daily questions and pledges that encourage us to come back regularly to learn more about how to limit our waste. Each time you read an article, you can earn points upon completion.
Earn Points For Recycling
If your recycling removal company is part of the Recyclebank program, you can sign up to earn points for household recycling. I initially signed up when we moved into our house. I earn about 25 – 30 points each week when my recycling is picked up by my waste removal company. Even if your waste removal company doesn’t participate, you can still earn 10 points per week for reporting that you put your recycling out for the day.
Support The Green Schools Program
Each year, Recyclebank rewards around 50 schools with a grant of up to $2,500 for a project that supports sustainability and environmentally-conscious learning. Schools apply to be part of the program, and community members donate their points to fund the program. This is such an easy way to turn our recycling efforts into money for our students and schools.
Discounts on Sustainable Products
Recyclebank has a marketplace, One Twine, through which they sell various products to help us lead more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyles. The marketplace includes cleaner and greener health and beauty products, kitchen tools, cleaning products, pet accessories, fitness gear and more. Points can be exchanged for discounts on purchase of products. In my recent order, I was able to use 200 points per $1.00 discount on my order, up to about 25% of my total price. As long as I’m buying products I would otherwise purchase, it’s such an easy way to save money on everyday purchases.
The Road to Recycling and Reducing Waste May Be Long But…
According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s November 2016 report on Advancing Sustainable Materials Management, a little more than 96% of municipal solid waste (i.e. everyday garbage) is comprised of paper, metals, certain plastics, food waste, and other materials that could be recycled or composted. However, only 34.6% of municipal solid waste is recycled or composted.
We will not achieve perfect recycling and composting participation anytime in the foresee future. Certain items eligible for recycling, for example, may get contaminated along the path to final disposal rendering them ineligible for recycling. We’re bound to run into situations where we need to dispose of recyclable products when no recycling receptacles are around (and unlike some more ambitious planeteers, I’m not carrying my trash around with me while I haul my kids to and fro.)
These circumstances aren’t inevitable by definition. However, hundreds of millions of people in our country are not going to comply with every recycling rule, so I’ve conceded that some recyclable items will end up in landfills, at least until we have better technology to prevent it. But 34.6%…. that percentage is pretty abysmal! We can easily do better than that!
Recyclebank hopes to influence that statistic and help it climb, as it has been stagnant for many years lately. Through their partnerships with waste removal companies to reward recycling and local businesses to offer valuable incentives in conjunction with their Eco Library loaded with articles for consumers about how to be better stewards to our environment, they are attacking the recycling and waste problem from a multitude of directions.
Find out if your recycling company partners with Recyclebank, and if so, sign up to earn rewards for dropping your recycling at the street (something you probably already do). Even if they don’t, be sure to check out the Eco Library for all sorts of tidbits on how to more responsibly care for, repair, reuse, and dispose of so many things in your home and your life.
Have you used Recyclebank? What did you think?
Heads Up: This post contains affiliate links to Recyclebank’s Awesome Neighbor Referral Program. This is not a sponsored post nor do I have a negotiated relationship with Recyclebank. The referral program is something available to all Recyclebank customers when they refer their friends. Thanks for reading!