Company offers recycling perks

Published 10:05 pm Monday, May 23, 2011

Whether they’re already recycling under the volunteer system now in place in the city or they’re waiting for the program to become mandatory in July, folks in Suffolk are being encouraged to sign up today for a program that will earn them money-saving coupons for participation.

Recycling Perks, a subsidiary of TFC Recycling, is offering incentives to people in Suffolk to sign up for the program, which is designed to encourage them to roll their recycling bins to the curb every other week.

To drum up interest while the program gets under way, the company is offering 50 points per household to anybody who signs up online, whether they have their recycling bins yet or not.

Email newsletter signup

Recycling Perks Vice President Bill Dempsey says he understands that the city’s mandatory $18.50-per-month garbage and recycling disposal fee will be unpopular, but he and others hope that the rewards program will make it more palatable.

“I have complete sympathy to the people who have to pay $18.50,” he said. “But if we can chew off part of that $18.50, at the end of the day, hopefully we can make a difference.”

Points will be awarded to registered households for registering on the website and for putting the recycling bin out for collection every week.

Points can be redeemed on the website for coupons ranging from free sandwiches to automotive service to discounts on custom golf carts. And Dempsey said the company is working with other businesses from Suffolk and the surrounding area to encourage even greater participation.

“We’re trying to teach people to recycle,” he said.

But the program has been designed to be a bonus for everyone involved in it.

“The more points people get, the more points people spend, thereby driving traffic to local retailers,” he said.

For a while, at least, businesses will be able to feature their discounts online for free in an effort to beef up the number and variety of awards that will be offered. The idea is to put enough different discounts online to enable every household to exchange earned points for as much as $25 a month in savings.

“We thought, ‘How can we make a website that will be helpful for everybody?’” he said.

Under the program, TFC will get more recyclable material to process and sell, the city will have less garbage going into the landfill, residents can save with their coupons and businesses will get increased exposure, he explained.

In the future, Recycling Perks hopes to offer unique experiences from around the area as rewards, and there are plans to offer bonus points to people who participate in various environment-related community service projects, such as clean-up days.

“It’s a complete win for businesses,” he said. “We hope it’s a win for residents.”