HURST (CBSDFW.COM) – As a mother of two, Amy Bilbo and her family can accumulate a lot of trash in a week’s time, but most of what they throw out doesn’t end up in a landfill.
Thanks to a new recycling initiative in the city of Hurst, the family is recycling much more.
“Our children think it’s a huge priority, so everyone in the family kind of gets in on it,” she said.
Now the family can earn rewards for recycling.
The city of Hurst launched a new recycling initiative last week that gives participating residents a chance to earn gift cards and discounts for reducing the amount of trash they throw away.
“About a third of our residents recycle and we want to increase that percentage, obviously,” said Ashleigh Whiteman, Hurst spokeswoman. “So we felt like having this program that rewarded people for recycling will increase those numbers.”
The city has distributed new, larger recycling carts to those who wanted to take part in the program.
Each one is embedded with a microchip that weighs the contents weekly when the recyclables are collected.
“Obviously the number one priority, we think it benefits the environment,” Whiteman said.
The more that the city recycles, the more points the residents who participate in the program earn.
Those points are then redeemable at area merchants. Through the program residents can qualify for up to $160 a year in rewards.
“There’s a lot of national retailers and several local retailers as well, so you can get gift cards or certain gift certificates,” Whiteman explained. “We love that it encourages residents to shop first in Hurst, as well as recycle.”
There is also economic savings for the city. If less trash is thrown into the landfills, the city will avoid raising garbage rates, Whiteman said.
For the Bilbo’s, the points are just a bonus for something they’re already doing.
“We were already recycling,” Bilbo said, “but it’s a great thing for those who weren’t already doing it.”
Residents can sign up for the program online. It’s free to participate. Those who sign up before September 20 receive an extra 300 points.