The total number of Nectar points for Birmingham residents who put out their paper waste for recycling each week translates to an incentive of only £3.25 a year per household, it has emerged.
Under the scheme, residents will receive 25 Nectar points every time they put out their bin for paper and cardboard recycling, which is collected fortnightly.
Birmingham City Council cabinet member for transport, environment and regeneration Cllr Tim Huxtable told MRW: “They [Nectar] give away 25 points every time someone recycles using their blue box. We collect 26 times a year, so the maximum households can benefit is 650 nectar points, which in cash terms, is £3.25 a year.
“My understanding is that it’s a loss leader, it’s a promotional tool for them [Nectar], but for £3.25, it’s being written about, it’s made the national paper and it might mean more people benefiting from the scheme might get themselves a Nectar card.
“It’s a good scheme in terms of that ‘nudge’ and, if it is successful, the council should benefit financially because we do get an income from a Birmingham-based business, so it should be a positive, albeit small, addition to our bottom line.”
According to the Nectar website, points collection tarriffs vary, but there is a rate of two Nectar points per pound for purchases in Sainsbury’s and Homebase stores, and 500 points are worth a £2.50 discount.
By collecting more paper and card, the council also stands to benefit financially.
Huxtable said: “We’ve got Smurfit Kappa based in Nechells, and the city council derives a small income from paper and card we supply to them, so the more that is recycled, it affects our bottom line in a positive way. And like all councils, we need all the money we can get.
“It’s a good story to tell, in that having a company in the heart of Birmingham, it’s not going all over the country, it’s being recycled, reused on our doorstep and Smurfit Kappa have said they need all the material they can get. It’s a real win-win.”
The set-up costs for the scheme were provided by a grant from the West Midlands Improvement Efficiency Network.
Huxtable added: “Nectar ‘give away’ their points so it doesn’t cost the council taxpayer anything and provides a benefit to the residents.”