The City of Loveland partnered with Recyclebank in July to not only increase residential recycling in Loveland, but also to give our customers more of an incentive to recycle, by offering them both local and national rewards, and also increase foot traffic through our local rewards partners. The City not only took the "traditional" Recyclebank approach, by adding local partners, but we worked with local rewards partners and created the "Premier Partners" campaign to give our customers an even bigger bang for their Recyclebank buck, by offering free advertising to our local partners if they increased the overall reward that a recycling customer could earn.
Although the City of Loveland boasts a very respectable 61% diversion rate for all waste materials collected, that number has been static for a few years now and the City was ready to begin looking at how to get to the next level (62% and beyond). One of the main issues the city has had in years past is the lack of education we are able to provide our citizenry. The city does not employ any sustainability personnel and all outreach provided on sustainability/recycling/diversion is done through the Solid Waste Division. Recyclebank was a perfect fit, by not only offering a robust rewards catalog, but by also offering their marketing expertise in place of a full-time staff member.
Although Recyclebank has been around for some time and is in over 300 communities nationwide, there is no other program quite like that in which the City of Loveland has partnered with Recyclebank to create. Recyclebank’s program is well known and well run, but the City of Loveland wanted to involve their local, “homegrown” businesses more, and when the program began, they simply didn’t feel that there was enough local representation, but instead, saw a larger contingency of large, well known national brands and franchises.
With that, the City of Loveland, with the help of Recyclebank, came up with the “Recyclebank Premier Partners” program. What this program is, is exactly what the name implies – premier. Generally, Recyclebank Local Rewards partners offering a “reward” through the standard program, offer rewards that range from 5 to 15% off a meal, item, or service of some sort. The Premier Partners program offers rewards that usually range from 25% off on a service (i.e. automotive repair), and can go as high as 50+% off for food and beverage items at participating local establishments. Those who participate at a higher level of “reward” get greater advertising, all provided by the City of Loveland, GRATIS! The advertising package includes large (4’x6’) banners on the sides of our waste collection trucks, rack cards with information regarding the company and the Recyclebank program, postings on the City’s Facebook page and homepage, information in our Library, and more. Not only does this help with our recycling efforts, but it also gives our local retail and restaurant owners greater visibility with the increased advertising and the increased foot traffic into their establishments.
So far, the program has been a hit. We have a very good participation rate from our citizenry, redeeming rewards at many local establishments, and the businesses are seeing more and more people utilizing their rewards. Although the program has only been going for a few months, the businesses are reporting positive results. Some of the “rewards” have been too good; we have had requests to change the reward offering.
[Post provided by guest blogger Tyler Bandemer, Loveland, CO Public Works]