The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead has given the go-ahead for a borough-wide rollout of RecycleBank, the rewards for recycling scheme. From July, 60,000 households in the area will be eligible to join the initiative on a voluntary basis.
Residents who took part in a trial scheme with RecycleBank last year have been able to earn vouchers for shops such as Marks & Spencer according to how much they recycle. The pilot scheme was implemented by waste firm Veolia Environmental Services, and more than 6,500 households were invited to help test the scheme last year.
Results from the trial showed that recycling tonnages in the participating households had increased by at least 35%.
Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead councillor Liam Maxwell described RecycleBank as a breakthrough for encouraging people to change their recycling habits.
We have demonstrated that incentives help change behaviour, he said. Incentives, not penalties, are the way forward and councils in other parts of the country are following our lead as they look for ways of helping residents change the way they dispose of waste and increase their recycling.
The beauty of the rewards programme is that everyone wins: residents, local businesses, the council and, importantly, our environment.
The pilot scheme showed that the technology and equipment are reliable. The significant increase in recycling is proof that the scheme not only works but is popular with residents. With the rollout taking place in phases from July, by this time next year all local households will be able to join in.