Chicago is first Illinois city to partner with RecycleBank
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, along with 19th Ward
Alderman Virginia Rugai announced that Chicago has partnered
with RecycleBank®, a program that rewards households
for recycling and other positive environmental behaviors.
This program is designed to encourage additional recycling
participation and compliment the City’s transition to
the Blue Cart Program – a recycling program which is
already in place in more than 241,000 households in Chicago.
Chicago is the first city in Illinois to join the RecycleBank
RecycleBank measures the amount of material recycled
and then converts that amount into RecycleBank Points
that can be redeemed for rewards, gift cards, groceries,
and products at more than 1,900 local and national RecycleBank
Reward Partners. There is also an option to donate your
RecycleBank Points to local school environmental programs,
charities and non-profits.
The City of Chicago selected 10,000 households in wards
5, 8 and 19 for Phase 1 of the RecycleBank rewards program.
These areas were selected for of a variety of reasons
with the purpose of enabling the City and RecycleBank
to evaluate the increase in recycling and expansion of
These areas 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. They
also selected routes within those areas that produced
lesser quantities of recyclables. This ensures that the
test will illustrate more clearly that the incentive
system has the desired results.
Each Blue Cart in the pilot area will be retrofitted
with an ID tag that matches the Blue Cart to the household
address and account number, while tracking recycling
activity. Upon activating their account with RecycleBank,
either online or by phone, the household will begin to
earn RecycleBank Points.
On average, members earn hundreds of dollars in reward
value each year through their recycling efforts. The
city can expect to see about 600 tons of waste diversion
and over $500,000 in local economic stimulus as a result
of this six month field test program.
Neighborhood businesses are joining the recycling efforts
in droves. As an added benefit for Chicago RecycleBank
members, two local hometown favorites are going the extra
mile and offering bonus rewards to participating households.
The Chicago White Sox and their partner Comcast will
give away two free tickets to the first 200 households
who activate their RecycleBank accounts.
“The City of Chicago has set many goals in order to be
one of the greenest United States cities. Partnering
with RecycleBank will both increase our recycling rates
and lower our waste output,” Mayor Daley explained. “Our
partnership with RecycleBank brings a proven recycling
rewards program to our community and allows us to take
the necessary steps to achieving our sustainability goals.”
The steps following the Phase 1 field test are to roll
out fully in all three wards’ 38,000 households. “Through
education, community outreach and the use of our Recycling
Block Captain Program, we are confident that we will
see great results with RecycleBank,” said the Mayor.
“It’s important that residents understand that they must
do their part when it comes to recycling and preserving