Recycling system proves ‘pointless’By Laura Herbert
May 16, 2012
Going green to cash in on recycling incentives has been labelled “pointless” as some users are missing out on rewards.
People registered for the Recyclebank scheme have discovered they will not receive points, even if they have recycled, if they fail to report recycling within the week it was collected.
Some residents have a small window of just 48 hours to report that they used their black boxes that week and claim the points they are owed under the new scheme.
Recyclebank has partnered with Wokingham Borough Council to offer the recycling incentives where members can collect 10 weekly points and be eligible for a monthly bonus.
Points can be exchanged for rewards from shops and businesses such as Marks & Spencer, hairdressers and cinemas.
Recyclebank told The Wokingham Times its week runs from Sunday to Saturday and reports must be made within the week in order to claim points.
Keen recycler Lucy Jones, of Woodley, said: “The points collection system seems flawed. If your collection day is toward the end of Recyclebank’s week you only get a few days to remember to log your recycling.
“If you forget, like I did, and leave it until the next Recyclebank week it allows you to collect the points.
“But then when I attempted to collect for my actual day later in that week I missed out on points as the system believes I’ve already recycled.
“There doesn’t seem to be any information on how to log missed weeks.
“It is already an effort to remember to log my recycling – I don’t then want to have to chase them for 10 missed points, I’d rather go without.
“Since when was two days a week? If your collection day is a Monday, you get five to six days to log your recycling – if your collection day is a Thursday or Friday you only get one or two days to log it.”
Rob Crumbie, Recyclebank’s director of marketing and communication, said: “Users will only receive the 10 points for recycling if they report within the week. Members only have to report once a month to qualify for the monthly bonus.
“To help people remember, we have reminders that can be set either on the website, or on the two smartphone apps to remind people that they need to report their recycling. Unfortunately once the week has passed, members cannot claim the 10 point weekly bonus for a previous week.”
Recyclebank launched the scheme in Wokingham in April as part of the council’s new waste plan. All households were given 80 official sacks for waste each year and recycling collection has gone from fortnightly to weekly.
Philippa Etheridge posted on Facebook group Wokingham Gossip Girls: “Keep forgetting to collect my recycling points and I always wonder what actually happens to the stuff we throw out, I suspect very little. I am very uncertain about what is accepted and what is not, so I just throw everything in and hope they sort it!”
Josie Mackenzie added: “I am remembering most weeks to register (think I have 500 points so far) but was already recycling as much as I could, so the new scheme hasn’t particularly ‘encouraged’ me to recycle more.”
Emma O’Brien wrote: “Finding it good that it’s collected weekly now but don’t think the set point system is fair. My parents’ recycling is weighed and then points allocated on that so the more u recycle the more points you get.”
Angela Azzopardi posted: “It has made zero difference to my recycling and the points system is – as someone else has said – pointless.
“I can’t see me keeping up with it, my time would be better spent seeking out discount vouchers on the net – same end result, less hassle.”
Helen Jessie Renwick added: “Regarding the points – to be honest if the inspirations hair and beauty discount voucher wasn’t there I probably wouldn’t bother, although I did notice a free coffee is also on offer when another is bought in Brown Bag. Other than those two I wouldn’t use them.”
Mr Crumbie said: “When we put it through at the end of April we noticed some members were short of as much as 13 points so before we had anything back from members we were pro-active and noticed the error.
“Because it is the first month of the monthly bonus we have awarded 50 points as a goodwill gesture.”