Recyclebank at 10: What We've Learned

Oct 2, 2014 10:45 AM ET
Campaign: Corporate News

Recyclebank at 10: What we've learned

Originally posted on GreenBiz 

By Joel Makower 

In 2004, a startup called Recyclebank launched with a simple idea: use incentives to increase residential recycling. In the decade since its launch, the company has created programs in more than 300 U.S. communities, which in turn recycled nearly 1.5 billion pounds during 2013 alone. While not all that tonnage is directly attributable to Recyclebank, its inventive programs have no doubt played a significant role.

How to you inspire and incent Americans to recycle? On the occasion of Recyclebank’s 10-year anniversary, I spoke to Javier Flaim, the company’s CEO, to glean some of what the company has learned over the past decade about engaging consumers around environmental behaviors.

That original idea of Recyclebank remains very much intact, began Flaim, who joined the company three years ago as head of marketing and is now its third chief executive. However, he says, “Lots of things have changed in the marketplace, from how we engage with residents offline, leveraging things like social media; how we partner with the city to leverage all the different assets that they have at their disposal to create real-world change; how we have continued to learn around what really motivates behavior change.”

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