By Jason A. Smith
The City of McDonough is working to educate its residents on the benefits of recycling, through a partnership with a recycling company that offers discounts on purchases at area venues.
Officials at Recyclebank, based in New York City, say they want to reward "green," or environmentally-sound behavior, according to Karin Zarin, account manager for Recyclebank's Southeast region. There is no cost to participate, officials said.
"Our program is being offered along with the recycling services for the City," she said. "Residents get a 65-gallon container, and they can put all their recyclables together in one container. All the people on that route earn points, based on the weight of the recyclables collected on the whole route. Then, residents can go online, and go shopping."
Recyclebank has 3,000 local and national partners, including restaurants and family attractions. Those establishments offer discounts to people who use Recyclebank, Zarin said.
"They can print out coupons from their home computer," she said. "They get 300 points, just for signing up."
Recyclebank will have a booth at Saturday's Geranium Festival on the Square in McDonough, according to Zarin.
The city began working with Recyclebank in August 2010, as a way to promote recycling, said Jestin Johnson, special projects director for McDonough. He said although the initial response from residents was positive, those efforts have "evened off" in recent months.
Johnson is hopeful the endeavor will create a shift in the culture of McDonough, to promote recycling.
"We're just trying to get the word out, to increase our recycling efforts a little bit more," said Johnson. "A couple of months ago, we did mail-out cards to really push the program. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, some residents are really big on the points, but the whole intent of the program is to get folks to recycle. The rewards program is merely an incentive."
Johnson said the city has developed a way to encourage involvement with Recyclebank for newcomers to the city.
"When we have a newly-activated account for water service, we actually include literature about the program," Johnson said.
For more information, call McDonough City Hall at (770) 957-3915, or visit www.recyclebank.com.