Cherry Hill residents may have gained a new trash bin and automated trash collection in 2016, but they may also have a harder time earning Recyclebank points.
Cherry Hill Township ended its participation in the Recyclebank rewards program at the end of 2015. Residents received emails from the township and Recyclebank in late December stating the township no longer was participating in the rewards program.
The township stopped participating in the program as part of the new five-year trash and recycling collection contract that took effect on Jan. 1 and resulted in the township having automated trash collection for the first time.
Township director of communications Bridget Palmer cited cost as a reason the program ended. The township was in negotiations with Recyclebank for the new trash contract, but the two sides could not come to an agreement.
“The new contract saves in the area of $1.3 million,” Palmer said. “About $300,000 of that was Recyclebank.”
The township did not make any changes to recycling collection with the new contract. However, with the township no longer participating in Recyclebank’s rewards program, residents can no longer earn points based on how much they recycle.
Palmer said Cherry Hill Township’s recycling rates have not decreased and the township has ranked above the state average in recycling for the last five years. Last week, the township announced it had received grants totaling more than $170,000 for its recycling efforts. A $139,961 grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection was the highest awarded in Camden County. The grant was awarded based on Cherry Hill’s recycling tonnage.
“It’s something we’re very proud of and it’s something we want to see continue,” Palmer said.
The end of the Recyclebank program does not mean residents lose their rewards points. All residents who created an account on www.recyclebank.com can access their old points and can continue to earn new points through activities on Recyclebank’s website.
“What you earned you won’t lose,” Palmer said. “You can still redeem them as long as the account is active.”
Residents must either earn or use points on Recyclebank’s website to keep their account active. An account’s points will expire after 12 months of inactivity.
Cherry Hill Township first launched Recyclebank township-wide in June 2008. Within months of the program’s inception, recycling in Cherry Hill increased from an average of 11 pounds of material per household to 22 pounds.
Cherry Hill received an Innovation Award in 2009 at the inaugural Sustainable Jersey municipal awards. Recyclebank points were also used to help fund grants for sustainable projects in Cherry Hill, including multiple projects with Cherry Hill Public Schools.
Palmer credited the Recyclebank rewards program as a big part of Cherry Hill Township’s higher recycling rates.
“It was a great incentive for people to realize that recycling was important,” Palmer said.
Residents with questions about curbside recycling can call the Department of Public Works at (856) 424–4422. Questions regarding Recyclebank accounts can be directed toward Recyclebank customer service at (888) 727–2978.