Preparations are under way to launch an initiative in Gurnee affording residents a chance to receive discounts on goods and services in exchange for recycling.
Similar to retail businesses or credit-card companies that provide incentives to customers, New York-based Recyclebank allots reward points to those who'd rather not toss bottles and paper in with other garbage.
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Trustees recently gave a formal thumbs-up to have the Recyclebank program offered through the village's residential trash hauler, Waste Management Inc. Mayor Kristina Kovarik has been bullish on the program since it first arose for public discussion in May.
"Our goal is to reward Gurnee's residents for the good job they've been doing recycling and we believe this incentive-based program can help us achieve even greater rates of recycling," Kovarik said. "Recyclebank is an innovative means that will benefit our entire community."
John Getzloff, sales director for Recyclebank's north and central region, said Thursday that preparations have started to launch the program in Gurnee. He said the goal is to have the village online starting Monday, Sept. 17.
Village officials said it likely will cost a homeowner an extra $7 or so annually to link with Recyclebank. The price for Recyclebank will be on top of a roughly 3 percent fee hike for Waste Management's collection that began June 1, which has various options and is billed every four months for refuse and recycling.
Getzloff said the recyclables collected from Gurnee's residential routes will be weighed at the end of each day. The households on the route with the heaviest recyclable weight will receive the most points for the week.
Residents will have a chance to earn bonus points in various ways, such as taking a quiz on Recyclebank's website on sustainable living or how to save water, Getzloff said.
Paper, cardboard, glass and plastics are accepted under Gurnee's curbside recycling program. Residents who elect to participate in Recyclebank will come out ahead financially, according to the village.
Recyclebank, which lists Waste Management as an investor, has reward programs in at least 300 communities across 30 states. Waste Management's municipal marketing manager in Gurnee, Mike Brink, said Gurnee will be among Recyclebank's first clients in northern Illinois.
Village Administrator Patrick Muetz has said the initiative will boost Gurnee's recycling rate and help village businesses when residents use their rewards.