RecycleBank Meeting

October 7, 2008 at 2:14 am (city stuff) (, , )

I was able to cut out of a Girl Scout meeting early to attend the RecycleBank meeting at City Hall tonight. Accompanying me was my smart-ass eight-year-old son who was pretty disruptive (at least to me) the whole time. Still, I was impressed that he wanted to attend, and tonight before turning in he said, “thanks for taking me to the meeting thingy with you,” so it was good that he went.

I was a little naive. I try not to be. I assumed this program was already going to be implemented, but I got the impression that it’s still in the early planning phase. That was disappointing. Still, despite it essentially being a marketing tool for these companies who provide “rewards” (think type stuff, plus some local coupons and such), it really does look like it could work.

Pickup woud be biweekly. We’d all get 95 gallon rolling containers–which would be nice to have for my household trash, by the way–that are coded for our address. Each pickup logs the households who participated, and then an average is taken from the tonnage collected. Someone complained about it not being fair for her neighbor who has a one-person household getting the same credit that her four-person household would get. I agree in principle. Still, this is recycling, not government. It doesn’t have to be just, but it does need to be fair. I think a tip-pool-type program is fine. It is a definite improvement over what we have now (for those outside of Helena, you should know we have to drive all our recyclables to the bins at the sports complex–bins that are often full, full, full!).

The program accepts metals (soda cans, fod cans), paper, newspaper, slick ads, junk mail, magazines, type 1 plastics, and type 2 plastics. The type 6 plastic cups that most Solo-brand and other disposable cups are not accepted there. The cost for breaking down those plastics is too high.

An example the guy from RecycleBank gave was Cherry HIll, NJ. Before the RecycleBank program, the average amount recycled per household per year was 610 lbs ()this was with the regular 18 gal bins, like Alabaster uses). Once RecycleBank was implemented there, the amount jumped to 1,008 lbs per household per year.

I am willing to give it a try. I don’t care that much about rewards. I feel very guilty every time I throw a can away but I cannot keep every recyclable item around my house any more. My garage is getting full. We have recyclable stuff everywhere. I just want to get it out of here, and I’m willing to pay to do it.

Check out Hal’s blog for more information. I don’t know when it will posted, but he was there taking video and stuff so he’ll have it up soon.

Also, here is a link to a recent article in Newsweek about RecycleBank. And here’s the RecycleBank official homepage.

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