Communities throughout county considering RecycleBank program

Some county residents might soon have more incentive to recycle beyond saving the Earth.

Alabaster and Chelsea recently saw presentations on the RecycleBank program, a rewards program offered through Allied Waste’s curbside recycling service.

Allied Waste General Manager Eric Kolb said in an e-mail Helena’s curbside recycling service will begin in January 2010, and city residents will be able to join the RecycleBank program in February.

Curbside recycling with the RecycleBank program will cost Helena residents $7.79 per month. Curbside recycling alone is $6.79 per month.

Those who participate in RecycleBank can use points earned by the amount they recycle at many retailers, including Coca-Cola, Kraft, Ruby Tuesday, CVS/pharmacy and Bed, Bath and Beyond. The Web site allows participants to search by brand or by category.

“The program provides citizens with an incentive to recycle,” Kolb said. “The time, money and effort spent recycling literally provides more value back, with reward points to purchase products they need.”

On pick-up days, special RecycleBank trucks identify a household’s recycling cart and weigh the recyclables in the cart, which determines points awarded.

Kolb said recycling participation dramatically increases in communities participating in RecycleBank. He said Allied Waste hopes the program will spread throughout Shelby County.

“We look forward to providing this service throughout the county and its cities and communities,” he said. “Our priority is to get Helena underway as we offer the opportunity to other areas.”

Chelsea council member Juanita Champion said city leaders would decide whether to offer RecycleBank after first securing curbside recycling for residents.