Ron Gonen: RecycleBank

Check out the transcript of RFC’s conversation with Ron Gonen.

RFC recently interviewed Ron Gonen, Co-Founder and CEO of RecylceBank, to discuss the success of his company and how he and business partner, Patrick Fitzgerald, came up with the idea of rewarding participants for recycling. RecycleBank was recently recognized by the UN for their current environmental efforts across different socio-economic lines.

Ron Gonen

“We feel very fortunate to have been recognized for the work that we’re doing regarding the environment,” stated Gonen

RecyleBank helps divert waste from the landfills, and we also reward people for their positive green actions. The way that works is we sign a long-term contract with a city, every home gets one of our large RecycleBank recycling containers, there’s a chip embedded in the container, we retrofit the city’s trucks with a mechanical arm that picks up the container, reads the chip, identifies the home recycled and how much it recycled. The amount they recycled is translated to a recycle bank point that they can then use to redeem and shop at over 2,000 local, regional and national businesses.

“We’re in over 50 cities across the country, and we’re also providing service in the UK,” stated Gonen.

The idea may seem simple or even a “no-brainer”  for cities and citizens alike. The program has been picked up in urban and rural communities, and all different types of neighborhoods. Still growing, they are going international and branching out to commercial as well.

“We plan on getting businesses involved in 2010, but today we’re just focused on residential market,” stated Gonen.

RecycleBank helps to recycle plastic, paper, glass, tin, aluminum, and they also have an e-waste program just like Recycling For Charities. They are now also beginning to reward people for other green actions such as reselling and reusing goods through eBay and

“We try and get everything we can out of the landfills,” stated Gonen,

People can earn points for the amount they recycle.  They can log in to their account, and just like looking at your bank statement, they can see each week how much they’ve recycled, how many RecycleBank points they’ve earned, and then they can choose from the different stores in terms of where they want to shop, and they’ll get a redemption voucher to go to that store.

RecycleBank not only helps keep waste out of landfills but they also give households the option to “donate [their] points to environmental initiatives at local schools, and then will match the donated RecycleBank points into a real dollar contribution to that school.”

RecycleBank is a smart incentive to help promote reducing needless waste and rewarding people for it. Learn more about Ron Gonen and Recyclebank by listening to our podcast.

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