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[GreenYes] Re: RecycleBank

Sometimes it seems that in many ways the field of recycling (as opposed to
waste reduction or Zero Waste) is an enabling element for our materialist
world. Most of what we talk about when we talk about ³recyclables² is
non-durable, disposable material like packaging, newspapers, magazines, and
office paper. We perceive ourselves as creating a progressive solution to
disposal, but in some ways we¹re just perpetuating a system that many of us
back in our youth swore we wanted to change. Now that I¹m older, run a
household, and have three kids to help me consume I see that things are a
bit more complicated than they appeared back there in the good old 60s and

In this regard I don¹t really think RecycleBank¹s model is exacerbating
anything so much as creating a tighter feedback loop between consumption and
³re-consumption.² People are going to buy their cup of Starbuck¹s or go
shopping at Home Depot or their local supermarket regardless of their
Recycling Credits. In fact, the work that RecycleBank is doing with
Starbuck¹s right now, piloting some comprehensive recycling programs, may
work wonders for that company¹s ³waste print² nationally some day. In the
end, connecting the dots more definitively may do more to change corporate
ethics than any law or regulation can.

Besides, RecycleBank credits can also be donated to worthy causes, the
purchase of ³green products and services² and, hopefully someday, on-line
media like iTunes songs (one of the greatest waste reduction measures no one
ever talks about).

Certainly the work this company is doing should be watched carefully, but
from what I see so far support and optimism by the public sector and solid
waste industry will go a long way towards the success of RecycleBank¹s
overall mission?which is to see 100% participation in all of their recycling
programs around the country. Full participation minimizes collection route
costs and maximizes tonnage.

on 2/12/07 11:08 AM, Dennis Sauer at compostspecialist@no.address wrote:

> While the concept of offering a discount on groceries as an incentive to
> recycle is a good one, a look at their list of vendors reveals quite a few
> options for non-essential purchases; though I realize many of the people you
> mention may be opting for groceries.
> Dennis Sauer
> Central Vermont Solid Waste Mgt. District
> From: GreenYes@no.address [mailto:GreenYes@no.address] On Behalf
> Of Jerry Powell
> Sent: Monday, February 12, 2007 9:05 AM
> To: greenyes@no.address
> Subject: [GreenYes] RecycleBank
> While much attention hs been generated regarding RecycleBank's awarding of
> Starbuck coupons, in fact, more of their success in the Philly market and
> elsewhere is by attracting working families and lower-income residents to
> particpate in recycling by giving them discounts on their grocery purchases
> This has no waste generation effect. ..
> Jerry Powell, Editor
> Resource Recycling
> E-Scrap News
> Plastics Recycling Update
> PO Box 42270
> Portland, OR 97242-0270
> (503) 233-1305
> (503) 233-1356 fax
> jpowell@no.address
> I am using the free version of SPAMfighter for private users.
> It has removed 1012 spam emails to date.
> Paying users do not have this message in their emails.
> Try SPAMfighter <> for free now!
> >

David Biddle, Executive Director
Greater Philadelphia Commercial Recycling Council
P.O. Box 4037
Philadelphia, PA 19118

215-247-3090 (desk)
215-432-8225 (cell)


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