Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) has announced the launch of ‘Recycle and Reward’ schemes, a new £900,000 pilot programme offering monetary incentives to people who recycle glass, aluminium and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) drinks containers.
The scheme, which offers recyclers rewards such as money back, discount vouchers or vouchers for donations to charities, is currently being trialled at nine organisations: IKEA Edinburgh and IKEA Glasgow , Dundee University, Network Rail, Whitmuir Organics, Cordia Services LLP, Heriot Watt University, North Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Council and the Hebridean Celtic Festival.
These nine ‘Recycle and Reward’ schemes will be piloted across 14 locations and will run until September 2013. According to ZWS, they will be ‘independently monitored and evaluated’ to assess the potential impact they could have on recycling rates around the country.
Director of ZWS, Iain Gulland, said: “It’s vital that we consider fresh approaches to boosting recycling rates and capturing the value of materials which would otherwise be sent straight to landfill. Through this pilot, we want to assess the impact of this approach, which has proved successful around the world, including in Germany, South Australia and Scandinavia.
“It’s important we change the way people view waste in Scotland and we’ll be looking at how incentivising these recycling schemes impacts on recycling rates and complements other schemes designed to capture valuable materials, including kerbside, recycling centres and banks.”
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment, Richard Lochhead, added: “By offering customers incentives such as money back or vouchers for recycling their glass bottles and cans when out shopping, at college or travelling to work, I hope we can encourage more people to recycle on the go.
“Each year, around 22,000 tonnes of plastic drinks bottles alone go to landfill in Scotland. If that was separated for recycling it could be worth around £6 million to the economy and that’s why it’s so important that we help more people to recycle what they can.
“I hope this new scheme will encourage everyone to go that bit further, helping us to become a zero waste society. By taking small actions to go greener together we benefit Scotland today and for future generations.”
At IKEA, shoppers will be able to recycle any glass, plastic or aluminium drinks containers purchased from the restaurant, shop, or vending machines in their Edinburgh and Glasgow stores. Once returned and deposited through the machine, for each item shoppers will be offered the choice of a 10p voucher to redeem in-store or a 10p donation to one of the stores’ selected charities.
Linton Scarborough, Store Manager, IKEA Edinburgh, said:
“At IKEA, we are committed to ensuring sustainability is at the heart of what we do. We strive to be a good neighbour and we want to inspire and enable our customers to live a more sustainable life at home, helping them to save or generate energy, reduce or sort waste, use less or recycle water. We have a number of different sustainability initiatives in place in stores across the UK and also as a company, so we are thrilled to be the first business to trial the ‘Recycle and Reward’ scheme at both of the Scottish IKEA stores. We are excited about this great addition to IKEA Edinburgh and hope it will play a part in making sure recycling is always front of mind for both our customers and co-workers alike.”
As part of the programme, one of the organisations trialling the project, IKEA, has installed ‘reverse vending’ machines at its Edinburgh and Glasgow stores. Shoppers will be able to use the reverse vending machine to recycle ‘any glass, plastic or aluminium drinks containers’, purchased from the store to receive either a 10p voucher to redeem in store, or a 10p donation to one of IKEA’s selected charities.
Other projects which have been awarded funding through the Recycle and Reward pilot scheme are:
- University of Dundee – An on-campus initiative, with on-site reverse vending machines placed in prominent areas for use by staff and students.
- Cordia Services LLP -Reverse vending machines will be placed in the refectory areas of Glasgow Caledonian University for use by students and staff
- Heriot Watt University – An on-campus deposit and return initiative, with on-site reverse vending machines placed in prominent areas for use by staff and students.
- Whitmuir Organics – A deposit and return pilot project for the collection of glass, aluminium and plastic (PET) containers at Whitmuir Farm
- North Ayrshire Council – Reverse vending pilot for aluminium and PET at Garnock Academy, Ardrossan Academy and Largs Academy
- South Ayrshire Council – Reverse vending machines will be placed at the Council’s Community Recycling Centres in Troon and Marr College
- Network Rail – Reverse vending machines for aluminium and plastics (PET) to be placed in Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central rail stations for use by commuters
- Hebridean Celtic Festival – Reverse vending machines to be placed at the Celtic Festival