New scheme gives residents the chance to make their recycling rewards work for the local community
PRESS RELEASES | December 18, 2013

New scheme gives residents the chance to make their recycling rewards work for the local community

Royal Borough residents now have a great new way to back schemes that benefit people in the local community - by using their recycling reward points!

In a countrywide first, the council has teamed up with Greenredeem (formerly Recyclebank) to provide more choices for how local people can use the points they earn for their good recycling habits.

Launched today (Wednesday 18 December), the new scheme means that residents can:

  • redeem their points in the usual way for great value offers and discounts in local shops and businesses
  • and/or donate them to one of the local organisations bidding for cash in the council's Neighbourhood Budget scheme.

Neighbourhood Budget gives local organisations and charities the chance to net up to £2,000 in funding from the council's participatory budget simply by putting their projects online and encouraging their members and supporters to vote. The projects with the highest number of votes every two months are awarded the cash (with the possibility of a further financial boost of up to £2,000 in match funding).

Now, they have the chance to attract even more funding because voters will also have the opportunity to donate their recycling points to their favourite schemes through the online voting process.

Cllr David Burbage, council leader and chairman of the cabinet participatory budget sub committee, said: "Many local people have mentioned that they would like to donate their points to good causes rather than converting them into the usual discounts and special offers - so we have taken up the challenge and worked with Greenredeem to devise a scheme that will enable them to do just that.

"With 200 points worth £1, each project can benefit up to a maximum of £1,000 - another good reason for bidding organisations to rally their supporters and encourage them to vote.

"In this case points really do mean prizes for the organisations that attract residents' support."

Rob Crumbie, communications director for Greenredeem, said: "We're delighted to be working closely with the Royal Borough to reward community projects for individual's green actions. Inspiring residents to help create a better future is really important to increasing recycling rates, and being able to directly support local projects is another way of motivating people to take green actions.

Cllr George Bathurst, cabinet member for policy and performance, said: "Greenredeem points don't replace the existing Neighbourhood Budget voting scheme but rather add value and give residents even more choice about how to use their recycling rewards.

"This is the first time nationally that reward points have been used in a participatory budget scheme and we have high hopes that it will mean much-needed extra cash for local good causes and projects that need relatively small amounts of money to help them succeed. Taken together, the collective benefit to the local community has the potential to be huge."

The £20,000 funding for the scheme has come from the council's participatory budget and will be administered by Greenredeem.

The recycling rewards points donation scheme is available when people visit the Neighbourhood Budget voting area on the council website at www.rbwm.gov.uk (click on Your Local Budget).

Cllr Bathurst added: "The aim is to make voting and donating points as easy as possible and there are clear instructions on how to take part. Residents have the options of simply voting for their favourite scheme in the usual way and/or donating their reward points. It's that simple."