Phoenix recycling program gives restaurant discounts, gift cards, and other freebies

Posted at 5:15 PM, Sep 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-13 01:44:47-04

Phoenicians have a new way of looking at their trash. The more they can recycle into a blue bin, the more they get back in rewards. It’s all part of a program called “RecycleBank”.

The more you recycle the more you get back in rewards that can then be used for restaurant discounts, gift cards, donations to charities and schools and even magazine subscriptions.

“I've actually taken both my kids to the Science Center for free, Vanessa Castillo, whose entire family now pitches in to recycle, said. "Got some tickets through recycling.” 

“I think it's a great incentive to help me recycle at home, I get points not only curbside but also by reading articles answering quizzes online and watching videos," said Gina Conrow, who has used rewards to get two magazine subscriptions.

The program is free to sign up, after that all you have to do is recycle. 

As Conrow mentioned, you can also earn points by watching educational videos and reading articles on recycling. The quizzes you take afterward are all tracked on your log-in page.

“I think it's also making it a lot easier to know what is and isn't recyclable everything from something silly like keeping lids on plastic bottles to knowing not recycling a dirty pizza box,” said Conrow.

One of the biggest recycling faux pas is placing the recycling in plastic bags and then tossing the bags into the designated blue recycling bins.

The bags will only mean your recycling goes straight to the landfill.

“If you do that simple step of just taking the recyclables and putting them loosely in the blue bin, it makes a massive difference to the City of Phoenix," said Paul Winn with RecycleBank.

You also want to make sure your recycling is clean of food.

“All you have to do is rinse it, you don't have to spend 20 minutes cleaning it out with soap and water,” explains Lucas Mariacher, who works in the recycling department with the City of Phoenix. 

What earns you the most rewards is the sheer volume of your recycling and that of your neighborhood.

“I get my kids involved, we have a chart we follow and my youngest is adamant about recycling," said Castillo.

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