Could reward schemes boost UK’s recycling rates?

Incentive schemes can significantly increase recycling rates and lasting changes in behaviour. That’s the view of recycling rewards company Greenredeem which analysed data gathered from more than two million bin collections […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Incentive schemes can significantly increase recycling rates and lasting changes in behaviour.

That’s the view of recycling rewards company Greenredeem which analysed data gathered from more than two million bin collections over two years.

It found its members recycled an average of 48.4kg each month as opposed to non-members recycling roughly 11.6kg over the same period.

Recycling rates for long-standing partners, Halton Borough Council and the Royal Borough of Maidenhead, have grown by up to four times the UK average in the last six years.

As well as rewarding members through discounts and offers, Greenredeem also educates and motivates communities to reuse and reduce waste.

However, Greenredeem has revealed local authorities’ cautiousness to invest in incentive schemes has led to £5.1 million worth of funding not yet being invested.

Rob Crumbie, Director of Marketing and Communications at Greenredeem said: “For local authorities to make informed decisions, a clear distinction must be made between schemes that attempt to deliver quick-win results and those that will drive sustainable behaviour change.

“Creating communities and bringing people together works, supported and underpinned by a communications platform that makes recycling and reuse part of the everyday. There is no need for local authorities to attempt to reinvent the wheel by going it alone. To hit recycling targets, they need to look to proven methods of incentivising sustainable behaviour changes.”