Los Angeles will soon reward your family’s efforts to go green into green you can spend.
Los Angeles is teaming with RecycleBank to start a new pilot program that will compensate households for recycling. The goal is to increase Los Angeles’ recycling rate from 65% to over 70% and eventually, if Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has his way, push the city toward zero waste.
The program will weigh and record the recyclable contents of tagged bins each week. Depending on the weight of the bins, residents can earn points that they can redeem at local businesses like CVS, Bed Bath and Beyond and even restaurants like El Pollo Loco.
RecycleBank already has contracts with more than 50 cities around the U.S., including Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, and Atlanta.
15,000 L.A. area homes will be eligible for the program, including Northridge, Topanga, Sherman Oaks, Hollywood, Lincoln Heights and Cypress Park. The program kicks off April 5, and each household can earn recycling points up to the equivalent of $400 a year per blue bin. Residents along various routes will receive mailers in March that explain what they can recyclables are eligible and how to register for the program. The existing blue recycle bins will be given a bar code and ID stickers embedded with microchips with the resident’s account number to track their recycling rewards.
The rewards are based on weight of recyclable material and will be evenly divided among households along an entire route, not by individual participation.
If you live in the LA area, this is the perfect opportunity to teach your children not only about the importance of recycling, but working to earn money for the things they want. Kids can collect bottles and cans from the household and learn what is a recyclable material, and what isn’t. Set goals for your family to exceed the previous weight’s total and use the points you earn for family activities, like meals out, or make a special trip to participating stores so everyone can pick out toys, books or games with your family’s hard earned points.
Or think bigger: organize a recycling pick up day where families on the same route can band together and pick up recyclable materials around the neighborhood. The payoff? A greener, more connected neighborhood and a fun way to earn extra cash.