BRIDGEPORT, Conn., Aug. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mayor Bill Finch announced that the City of Bridgeport increased its recycling participation rate by 67 percent as compared to the previous two-year period. The increase follows the City's switch to single-stream recycling and the expansion of the Recyclebank® rewards program citywide. A recognized leader in behavior change, Recyclebank helps create a more sustainable future by rewarding people for taking everyday green actions, like recycling, with discounts and deals from locally-based businesses and national brands. Bridgeport has dramatically increased its recycling participation rate since it launched the enhanced recycling program in September 2011.
"Increasing recycling rates is one of the highest priorities of our BGreen2020 initiative. We know that increasing recycling rates means a cleaner community for the residents of Bridgeport, a lower carbon footprint and money saved for the City," said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch. "During my tenure as Mayor, we have launched several initiatives to help improve our recycling efforts, including switching to single-stream recycling, increasing outreach efforts thanks to the Mayor's Conservation Corps and rewarding residents for recycling thanks to Recyclebank, who has been instrumental in our success and has been a great partner."
Bridgeport's BGreen2020 initiative was introduced in 2008 by Mayor Finch to create jobs, save residents money and to reduce Bridgeport's carbon footprint. BGreen efforts to increase recycling included the introduction of single stream recycling and the distribution of 64-gallon rollout carts to Bridgeport households in September 2011. Since these two advancements in recycling efforts, Bridgeport has increased recycling rates by more than 67%, avoiding approximately $130,000 per year in tip fees. The City has also earned more than $100,000 in new revenue from its participation in Southwest Connecticut Regional Recycling Operating Committee (SWEROC), the regional multi-town group that encourages regional cooperation on recycling. Additionally, in August 2012, the City Public Facilities Department took over responsibility for refuse and recycling service to Bridgeport public schools, canceling the Education Department's contract with private haulers, and saving more than $160,000 per year. In total, City officials estimate that these efforts have saved the City of Bridgeport nearly $400,000.
Additionally, in 2009, Mayor Finch launched the Mayor's Conservation Corps, a group of young adults who go door-to-door in the City talking about conservation efforts. The group is instrumental in helping educate the residents of Bridgeport on how to live greener lifestyles and helps sign up residents to join Recyclebank. Bridgeport's community activism and recycling innovations, along with Recyclebank's rewards-for-recycling program, have pushed the City's environmental success to higher levels than those typically achievable with just a switch to a single-stream recycling program.
Compared to data from several other cities that made the switch from dual-stream recycling to single-stream recycling, Bridgeport has achieved a more substantial lift.
"At Recyclebank, we are proud to be one of the City of Bridgeport's integral partners in its efforts to build a more sustainable community and we applaud its impressive achievement in recycling lift," said Paul Winn, senior vice president of client services at Recyclebank. "Bridgeport's BGreen2020 program should be an inspiration to other communities as they develop their own environmentally-focused initiatives. We're excited to continue our partnership and help inspire more Bridgeport residents to take everyday green actions—and reward them for doing so."
The Recyclebank rewards-for-recycling program also benefits the local economy. Bridgeport residents have saved nearly $47,000 through rewards earned from recycling and put $89,000 back into the local economy by redeeming rewards at locally-based businesses. Recyclebank's program is similar to a frequent flyer program, only residents earn points for being green instead. Unlike frequent flyer programs, points are easy to accumulate and members can begin redeeming rewards almost immediately. Recyclebank has hundreds of national and local reward partners, including Macy's®, Bed Bath and Beyond®, Connecticut Science Center, Foot Locker®, Hellman's, Clean Well, Kashi, Dick's Sporting Goods® and many others. Local, Bridgeport-based partners include Park Luncheonette and Compare Foods.
If not already a Recyclebank member, Bridgeport residents can easily sign-up by visiting www.recyclebank.com/recycle and following the quick prompts to set up an account and verify their home address.
Recyclebank helps create a more sustainable future by rewarding people for taking everyday green actions with discounts and deals from more than 4,000 local businesses and national brands. Through its online platform and partnerships with municipalities, haulers, small businesses and corporate brands, Recyclebank empowers individuals to make a collective impact on the environment by increasing household recycling and taking other environmentally-friendly actions. A Certified B Corporation, Recyclebank has been recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, a Champion of the Earth by the United Nations Environment Program and for Outstanding Excellence in Public/Private Partnerships from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Recyclebank is headquartered in New York City. For more information, visit www.Recyclebank.com.
Elaine K. Ficarra | City of Bridgeport
(203) 576-7931 | Elaine.Ficarra@Bridgeportct.gov
Jeff Harse | Recyclebank
(212) 659-6491 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Elissa Davis | Bateman Group for Recyclebank
(718) 355-8722| email@example.com