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Hagerstown's new recycling program includes rewards for participants

April 09, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — Hagerstown’s new recycling program gets under way later this month and includes a rewards program that allows participants to redeem points for gift certificates and coupons at national and local businesses.

Residents who requested a new trash container should expect to receive them between Wednesday and April 28, city officials said in a news release.

Once it arrives, people can register online for the Recyclebank program, which rewards users with points for recycling based on tonnage collected city-wide each week.

Participants will receive 300 points for registering, and those points can be redeemed beginning April 23 when the city’s program takes effect.

The types of rewards people could earn depend on how many people participate and how much is recycled in total, city spokeswoman Erin Wolfe said.

“It really depends on what national and local chains we have participating in our program,” Wolfe said of potential rewards and coupon opportunities.

The city has about 10 local businesses on board, Wolfe said, adding that more details of the program will be discussed at this afternoon’s city council meeting at City Hall, which starts at 4 p.m.

As an example, Wolfe said residents could redeem 100 points for a free McDonald’s McCafe Latte or get $10 off a $30 purchase from a retailer like Bed Bath & Beyond, Wolfe said.

Weekly pick-ups now include single-stream recycling, in which paper, plastic and metal can be placed in one container and do not need to be sorted. Each bin will have a label that shows what can and cannot be recycled.

“The bins are really convenient,” Wolfe said.

The containers have wheels and a hinged lid to make it easier to roll materials to the curb for pick-up each week. The new bins are for recyclables only; trash, yard waste and other materials may not be placed in them, Wolfe said.

Residents may keep their current blue or green containers, although they cannot be used for the Recyclebank program. They can be placed at the curb and the city will take them to be recycled.

Under the new trash program, city residents will pay an estimated $127.70 a year, a decrease of about $8 due to a cheaper contract with Waste Management of Pennsylvania, City Engineer Rodney Tissue has said previously.

If people have questions about the new program or problems with their containers, they may call the Hagerstown Recycles Hotline at 301-739-8577, ext. 106. For more on the Recyclebank program, go to www.recyclebank.com.

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