Knoxville considers other options for recycling incentives

Knoxville considers other options for recycling incentive program

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The Recyclebank program currently lets residents earn points for rewards based on the amount they recycle. The Recyclebank program currently lets residents earn points for rewards based on the amount they recycle.
"We've used it twice, and you know gotten cuts on dinners and things that we buy, like personal items like lotion and deodorant," said subscriber Gwendolyn Henry. "We've used it twice, and you know gotten cuts on dinners and things that we buy, like personal items like lotion and deodorant," said subscriber Gwendolyn Henry.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The City of Knoxville is considering changing the incentives attached to the recycling program.

Right now, the city offers the Recyclebank program, the same thing the City of Alcoa is dropping at the end of the month.

Knoxville's curbside recycling program is made up of 20,000 homes, and each of those homes has the option to get rewards from Recyclebank based on the amount they recycle.

"We've used it twice, and you know gotten cuts on dinners and things that we buy, like personal items like lotion and deodorant," said subscriber Gwendolyn Henry.

Right now, homes are given points individually. But starting April 15, rewards will be averaged in each community and given out evenly.

The City of Knoxville spends 50 cents per household on the program, and is looking at how many people are cashing in on the rewards.

"We look at who has actually signed up for RecycleBank and then actually who goes to the website and looks at redeeming points and then we look at who actually redeemed points. And we look at all those numbers and I think the overall utilization is below fifteen percent," said City of Knoxville Public Service Director David Brace.

Without people using the incentives, the city is trying to decide if it's worth the cost to keep paying for them.

"We are currently evaluating whether or not we want to keep that program, the incentive aspect of that program. Obviously the recycling program is still going to be around, but is the incentive program worth what we're paying for it right now?" Brace questioned.

Some subscribers say they signed up, but haven't used their points.

"We don't really use the program, we don't really check our points, but we do like to check our recycling and do it every two weeks," said subscriber Lauren Wilson.

Subscribers 6 News spoke with say they wouldn't stop recycling if the incentive program were dropped.

The city hopes to make a decision about whether to continue offering Recyclebank within the next couple of weeks.

Recyclebank says the new community-based system is easier for everyone and doesn't take away the recycling rewards.

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