Gurnee and Buffalo Grove are considering a program that would give residents an opportunity for discounts on goods and services by recycling.
Similar to retail businesses or credit-card companies that offer incentives to customers, New York-based Recyclebank allots reward points to those who don't wish to throw away bottles and paper with other garbage.
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At a meeting Monday evening, Gurnee village board members heard a pitch from John Getzloff, sales director for Recyclebank's north and central region. Getzloff said Recyclebank also has approached the Buffalo Grove village board.
Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik said she's been after Recyclebank to expand into the village so residents can get a little something in exchange for recycling garbage.
"People enjoy coupons. They enjoy earning points," Kovarik said before the village board indicated a willingness to negotiate a contract with Recyclebank.
Village Administrator Patrick Muetz said it's expected it would cost a homeowner about an extra $7 annually to link with Recyclebank. The price for Recyclebank would be on top of a roughly 3 percent fee hike for Waste Management Inc.'s collection starting June 1, which has various options and is billed every four months for refuse and recycling.
Muetz said the final cost for Recyclebank would be negotiated as part of a two-year deal for the program that likely would start in the summer if it receives final village board approval. He said residents using the rewards would come out ahead financially.
"It's on the resident to participate," Muetz said.
Getzloff said residents would visit a website and claim their weekly recycling points before garbage pickup. Participants could use the points for discounts and deals from major brands and local businesses. Recyclebank members save more than $130 annually through the rewards, according to the company.
Muetz said the initiative would boost Gurnee's recycling rate and help village businesses when residents use their rewards. Paper, cardboard, glass and plastics are accepted under Gurnee's curbside recycling program.
Recyclebank, which lists Waste Management as an investor, reports it has reward programs in 300 communities across 30 states. Getzloff said the company is starting to solicit business in the Chicago area.