08/06/2010 Alcoa Extends Recycle Deadline
The City of Alcoa Public Works and Engineering Department announced today that it is extending the deadline for its residents to signup for RecycleBank, a program that offers residents the opportunity to reward themselves for their recycling efforts. Alcoa homeowners and small businesses should have received a letter explaining the new RecycleBank program. A follow-up postcard was sent to those not yet having signed up extending the deadline to Friday, August 13, 2010.
The City of Alcoa and Waste Connections, the City’s recycle contractor and local RecycleBank vendor, are now offering the RecycleBank program. RecycleBank allows homeowners to earn “RecycleBank Points” that may then be used for discounts at area merchants. Participating residents in the RecycleBank program have realized savings of $130–$240 a year.
RecycleBank is a 3-step process – recycle, report and reward. The more one recycles, the more one earns. Customers who sign-up to receive the RecycleBank service receive a wheeled 95-gallon recycling cart embedded with a computer chip replacing the current 18-gallon bin. When picked up, the recycling truck records the weight of the cart and transmits (reports) it wirelessly to an online account for the customer. Residents can view a video of the process as it is in Knoxville on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LF9_Qg0F3s. The customer’s account builds points that are redeemed for discounts / gift cards from area merchants; thus the rewards. RecycleBank points accrue month-to-month and year-to-year for as long as one remains in the RecycleBank program. RecycleBank points expire only if there is no activity in a member’s account for over 6 months.
Interested residents and small businesses willing to commit to the 12-month program are asked to sign and return their letter of commitment to the City of Alcoa by Friday, August 13th. Interested customers may also call 380-4800 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. While there was no additional cost to the city for the expanded single-stream program in 2008, RecycleBank participants will have a $3 monthly subscription fee added to their utility bill for the new service.
But remember, RecycleBank rewards the recycler. The average RecycleBank household receives about $15 – $20 per month in rewards. That’s a 5:1 return on your “investment” not counting the convenience of the wheeled cart instead of the current bins. RecycleBank points are redeemable for discounts at over 2300 RecycleBank partners. National partners include Wal-Mart, Olive Garden, McDonalds, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ruby Tuesdays and more (see www.recyclebank.com). In addition, RecycleBank will also be contacting local merchants to add as partners.
The small business owner may want to use their rewards points to recognize employees or loyal customers. Churches might want to use the points they’ve earned for your youth and other programs! Points can be donated to your child’s school where they can earn up to $5000 a year to go toward environmental programs through the RecycleBank Green Schools Program grant.
Other east Tennessee communities already participating in the RecycleBank program include Jefferson City with 2,592 participating, Oak Ridge with over 12,500 and Knox County with 10,000. For comparison, subscription service in other communities runs over $6 per month per resident. Again, participants in the Alcoa program will pay only $3 per month.
Video newscasts on these local programs can be viewed on YouTube at:
You may also use the search term “RecycleBank Knoxville” on YouTube to access these videos or view them from the City of Alcoa website at www.cityofalcoa-tn.gov/recyclebank.
For RecycleBank participants, the curbside recycling service will change from weekly to every other week. That’s another convenience. Those who currently have backdoor pickup because of age, handicap or other disability will continue to have backdoor pickup of the wheeled recycle cart if they choose the RecycleBank program. Weekly collection of the recycle bin will continue for those choosing not to participate in RecycleBank.
Residents can learn more about acceptable and unacceptable materials at the Waste Connection website, www.WasteConnectionsTn.com or the City of Alcoa website, www.cityofalcoa-tn.gov. The City urges residents to view Explore the Cycle, a video on the single-stream recycling process. It can be viewed at http://www.explorethecycle.com. It is a great presentation on single-stream recycling from start to finish, in easy to understand terms. I encourage anyone to watch it. As the video states, ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, it’s the right thing to do.
Questions may be directed to Alcoa’s Sanitation Services Division at 380-4815.
Alcoa’s Mayor, Don Mull said, “Citizens are excited about this program. I am personally excited and can’t wait for it to begin. This is a wonderful opportunity to reduce and reuse what is sent to our landfill while making our City greener and lessening our impact on the environment. I hope that all Alcoa residents and small business owners will take advantage of this new program to reward themselves while living a greener lifestyle.”