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A decade of community recycling

Residential recycling startup Recyclebank turned 10 this year and, to celebrate, CEO Javier Flaim discussed what it takes to get Americans interested in recycling.

His top learning is that people need to be incentivized to recycle.  Messaging can range from basic educational information about recycling to messaging that makes people feel part of a larger group taking positive steps for the environment.

Once incentivized, people seek rewards for their actions.  Recyclebank uses a redemption system in which members can accumulate points and receive gift cards. Points can also be donated to schools who can use them to buy supplies.

Finally, Flaim noted that different things motivate different people.  Some people are motivated by the social sharing aspect of gaining recognition for doing good while others want to accumulate points toward those gift cards.

Whatever the personal reasons, Recyclebank has created more than 300 community programs in the past decade.  Last year, those programs resulted in the reclamation of almost 1.5 billion pounds of materials.
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