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The City of Philadelphia is using RFID's on the recycling bins in their|
pilot project in 2 City neighborhoods in which residents recyclables are
weighed and the resident receive discount coupons to area retailers
based on how much they recycle by weight. Contact David Robinson, City
of Philadelphia recycling Coordinator at 215-686-5504 or Steve Tilney of
his staff at 215-668-5513.
Here's a recent Waste News article on the pilot project.
Philadelphia offers recycling carrot
By Joe Truini
>From the January 3, 2005 Issue
Philadelphia is paying off its residents to pump up participation in its
curbside recycling program.
The city´s Department of Streets will begin distributing 36-gallon
recycling bins to 6,000
households Jan. 17 as part of its RecycleBank pilot program. Sanitation
workers will be able to
track exactly how much each household recycles through radio frequency
embedded in the bins.
The city will deposit credits in a recycling bank account according to
how much a household
recycles. Residents then can redeem the credits for coupons at more than
businesses, including national corporations such as Coca-Cola Co.,
Starbucks Coffee Co. and
Home Depot Inc. as well as local businesses.
If the pilot is successful, the city will phase in the program
throughout the city over the next three
or four years, said David Robinson, Philadelphia´s recycling
"I think if we can make all the conditions work, or even if we can get
close, this will revolutionize
the recycling industry," he said. "If all these pieces come together, I
think we´ll be looking at the
dawn of a whole new approach to how you capture material out of the
One of those conditions includes working with the city´s processor, Blue
Mountain Recycling LLC,
to ensure that the city receives revenue from the sale of recyclables.
Blue Mountain Recycling
has worked with the city to study single-stream recycling along with the
The processor started working with the city to improve its recycling
program and make it more
viable after seeing some U.S. curbside recycling programs fall by the
wayside, said David
DiIenno, president of Blue Mountain Recycling. "We did not see anything
progressive to keep these
recycling programs going," he said. "And we had a concern about that."
On Oct. 5, the city rolled out single-stream recycling to 6,000
residents and retrofitted three highdensity,
20-yard compactor trucks to pick up the material. Blue Mountain
Recycling upgraded its
facility to handle the material. The firm´s paper buyers have noticed an
upgrade in material
quality, DiIenno said.
"They came down, and they were frankly shocked," he said.
"Right now, the system seems to be performing at or better than the
Robinson said. "We´ll see when we start to get real hard-nosed city
stuff going in there."
RecycleBank LLC is developing the project with the city in conjunction
with the single-stream
curbside recycling pilot. The company created the carts with the
embedded radio frequency
identification tags. Co-founders Ron Gonen and Patrick Fitzgerald, who
went to high school
together in Philadelphia, spent two years working on a business plan for
the system using their
technology, legal and business backgrounds.
"We got a lot of good offers to do pilots, but we really wanted to make
it happen in Philadelphia,"
Gonen said. "Everyone´s kind of working together here to make it happen
Sensors on the trucks instantly weigh the recyclables and allow the city
to keep track of residents
who are recycling improperly, Robinson said. Sanitation workers simply
press a button when they
see improper material, and the Streets Department automatically sends a
letter to the household
to remind them which materials the program accepts.
The process also is a safeguard to keep people from putting
nonrecyclables into their bins to
increase their credits. The city also will limit the amount of credits
households can earn each
month to deter cheating.
The city will add plastic and corrugated containers to the curbside
program, which also will help
increase diversion, Robinson said. Philadelphia currently accepts
newspaper, glass, aluminum
and steel containers, magazines, junk mail and phone books.
His conservative goals are to increase participation and tonnage by 25
percent each by
implementing single-stream and the RecycleBank programs, he said. The
recycling rate is about 6 percent.
"The response has been tremendous," Robinson said. "Our anticipation,
our projections, are that
we are going to see a pretty dramatic increase in participation."
The program also gives local businesses a direct conduit into the
household while raising
recycling awareness in the commercial sector, he said.
"It is almost an infallible marketing tool," Robinson said.
The city mandates residential recycling and can fine households up to
$300, but policy changes
in the city government have put enforcement on the back burner, he said.
EPA, Region III
1650 Arch Street (3WC21)
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
From: Stephan Pollard [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, June 10, 2005 8:52 AM
To: Green Yes
Subject: [greenyes] Anyone know of any collection programs using RFID