Taking trash to the bank

Maybe it’s those big bins, but we’re recycling more than ever, and it’s paying off

CINCINNATI — “Cincinnatians are recycling more than ever.

The city’s residents recycled more than 18,000 tons last year – 31 percent more than in 2010. That’s the biggest increase since the city started recycling in 1989, and it meant almost $1 million more for the city’s struggling operating fund.

Last year was the first full year for people to use the 64-gallon carts to wheel their recyclables to the curb every other week. The carts were controversial when the city bought them – council Republicans objected to spending the $3.8 million – but now 70 percent of city households are filling them with recyclables every other week.

…The 64-gallon carts seem to be the biggest incentive, as less than a quarter of recyclers signed up for Recyclebank. That’s despite the fact that Recyclebank offers, among other perks, a coupon for a free Graeter’s sundae. Recyclers sign up online for Recyclebank and earn points to spend on coupons for things like magazines, $5 off at City Barbecue and $25 off $125 at Kmart online.

It doesn’t matter which incentive worked best, said Larry Falkin, director of the city’s Office of Environmental Quality, just that something did.

Roughly every ton of trash not thrown in the landfill means about $100 for the city.”

— Jane Prendergast, Cincinnati Enquirer

Read the whole story: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120328/NEWS01/303280160