Just saw an interesting short news story on RecycleBank, which I hadn’t heard of before. They motivate people to recycle by offering incentives from big corporate partners like Coke and Kraft. Cities pay RecycleBank with money saved from landfill overuse fees, and the founder claims that most cities that implement the program have seen increases in recycling of over 100%.
A very interesting model for social entrepreneurship, and definitely seems to be scalable. Seems that they’re currently located primarily in the northeastern US, but I’m guessing that the CNN story will help them scale out more quickly. I’m very curious as to whether the customers (actually, I guess they should be called “end users,” as the customers paying for the service are the cities) have found the rewards program to be actually valuable.
I’m also really curious as to how the revenue works and the costs of the scanning equipment being retrofitted to the trucks (particularly upkeep/repair costs), but I’m sure that those things are trade secrets that won’t be revealed anytime soon. Very interesting model, though, and the type of thing that I’d love to write a case study for!