Keeping Track Of Your Recyclables – And Getting Starbucks Coffee Too

June 25, 2008

Imagine checking an Internet website to keep track of how much you recycle a week, and cashing in “Recycle Bank Dollars” for coupons on Starbucks coffee and other things.   Sounds like a dream?   Not in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is using smart technology to keep track of how much each household is recycling.  A computer chip (more accurately, a RFID chip) and bar code is embedded into each recycling container.  As a “smart truck” empties each container, it also scans the chip and weights the container.  Residents can then check an Internet website to see how much they’ve been recycling.  As an added bonus, they get Recycle Bank Dollars that they can then redeem for coupons on Starbucks coffee, groceries, gas, clothes, and more.

This “carrot approach” has gotten Philadelphia residents so fired up that the recycling rate zoomed up from 6 percent (one of the worst in the nation) to an incredible 90 percent.  Talk about giving an incentive to recycle and how this actually produces results!

I’d love to see this come to my hometown as well.  Anything for more Starbucks coffee!

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3 Responses to “Keeping Track Of Your Recyclables – And Getting Starbucks Coffee Too”

  1. QueenAlpo Says:

    OMG. I second that emotion!

  2. Bill Says:

    I’d love to figure out where I can recycle stuff!

    Where do I find out where I can take my plastic containers for recycling?

  3. proudgeek Says:

    Bill, it depends on where you live … Check your county or city/town government website for recycling information.


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