Getting Chicago to recycle is about as difficult as getting a straight answer out of Mayor Richard Daley.
So it was doubly surprising, Saturday, when Daley announced a new recycling initiative complete with prizes.
Chicago households will be encouraged to recycle by earning rewards based on the amount of reusable trash they generate. By using Blue Carts – the large, blue bins designated for recyclable materials – RecycleBank, a Chicago non-profit, will measure the amount of recyclables collected and top producers will get prizes from participating retailers like Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Ruby Tuesday and Target, and local businesses like Leona’s, Moo and Oink, the Chicago Childrens Museum and Carson Pirie Scott are hands in..
Blue carts don’t even require sorting or rinsing, people. It’s that easy.
The blue carts will have ID tags that match a household’s address and RecycleBank account in order to determine how many recyclables a given household generates. The amount of recyclables collected will then be converted to RecycleBank points that can be cashed in for rewards like gift cards, discounts, movie tickets or toys.
For the more giving-of-heart, the program allows RecycleBank Points to be donated to local school environment programs or non-profit organizations.
The first field tests of the RecycleBank rewards program are being conducted in 10,000 households in areas where smaller quantities of recyclables were being produced. These areas also “have the longest data collection from the Blue Cart recycling program and they have a good mix of single family homes and multi-unit buildings," Green Parent Chicago reports.
RecycleBank points can be collected as soon as RecycleBank accounts are activated either online or by phone.
If all goes well in the test run, the city plans to implement the program fully to 38,000 households in Chicago.
Global warming? You don’t care. Scarce landfills? Yawn. But coupons?! Finally, Chicago, you convince us with something we can all get excited about.