Incentive scheme spurs recycling for Bracknell Forest Council
To provide an incentive scheme to boost recycling
The UK government wants to increase recycling rates in the country. Sharing that ambition, Bracknell Forest Council set out to provide a recycling incentive scheme designed to:
- Increase recycling participation.
- Reduce contamination.
- Promote waste minimisation.
- Provide wider health and social benefits.
e+ smartcards linked to rewards
Each participating resident has an e+ smartcard that contains a radio-frequency identification (RFID) number linked to their home address.
Identification chips in residents’ bins are connected to their e+ smartcards.
All SUEZ collection vehicles are equipped with on-board computing and RFID readers, so, as each labelled bin is lifted, the corresponding RFID is recorded.
Each collection of uncontaminated recyclables earns a household 200 points, which can be exchanged for rewards.
Residents can check their points total online via the incentive scheme’s rewards portal.
Points can be redeemed for a range of rewards from council-run premises, including:
- Leisure centre activities and membership.
- Various activities at golf complexes.
- Book, DVD and computer game hire from libraries.
- Green rewards (discounted water butts, composters etc.)
Alternatively, residents can donate their points to a good cause of their choice.
We worked in partnership with Bracknell Forest Council and SmartCitizen, who gave valuable input during the design and implementation of the scheme.
The e+ smartcard system was already in place, which meant that the council could manage the scheme with a paperless rewards redemption system.
Good communication was vital to launch the project and recruit participants.
The scheme, which was funded with government support, can be extended to other serves and benefits if required.
Recycling sorted correctly
The scheme was successful, raising participation rates and reducing contamination of recyclable materials.
It has also proved flexible, giving residents an extra incentive to avail of special recycling events, such as days designated for dropping off electrical waste items.
The scheme, which won a National Recycling Award, has raised awareness of recycling and increased engagement with residents, helping Bracknell Council to promote other initiatives.