Recycle your rubbish and earn rewardsBy Julie Spencer
November 16, 2012
Families who recycle their rubbish can earn reward points to pay for swimming, fitness sessions and family days out.
Bracknell Forest Council has received Government cash to introduce the Nectar Card-style scheme in April as a thank-you and an incentive to boost recycling.
The scheme, which uses the Bracknell Forest e-plus card, is worth up to £26 a year in points and will reduce the council’s landfill tax bill, estimated at around £800,000 next year.
Points will be redeemable at Downshire Golf Course, The Look Out, Coral Reef and Bracknell and Edgbarrow and Sandhurst leisure centres and can be used to reduce the cost of water butts and composters bought from the council.
The council’s executive committee approved the start of two-year pilot at a meeting on Tuesday.
Cllr Dorothy Hayes, who has overseen the scheme devised by council officers and SITA waste contractors, said: “I am very passionate about our helping our residents and this scheme is value for money. We want to thank people for taking some stuff out of their house bins and putting it into the recycling – even if it is only one bag.”
Once householders have opted into the scheme, points will be awarded for each kerbside recycling collection, regardless of how much is put out, to encourage single people to take part.
A grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is covering the £108,000 set-up costs and will fund ‘creative off-the-wall’ ideas to improve recycling.
Cllr Hayes is adamant the scheme would not be based on weight or a microchip monitoring system like in neighbouring Windsor and Maidenhead.
Instead a bar code on blue recycling bins will be scanned by a reader on rubbish trucks and credit points to householders’ e-plus accounts.
She said: “We did not want a chip as that is rather Big Brother and puts people off.”
The borough, which is already among the best in the country for recycling, hopes the scheme will help it reach the Government target of 50 per cent recycling by 2020.
Cllr Hayes said she hoped people in flats who did not recycle would get together with neighbours and use a single bin and points could then be shared or donated to schools or charities.
Each collection will earn 200 points and after five collections, 900 points will be earned which could be redeemed for an adult pitch and putt session at Downshire Golf Course. After 22 collections, a householder would have 4,400 points, which could be exchanged for a family ticket to Coral Reef, worth £21.95.
Leaflets and leaflets will be sent out explaining the new scheme.