Smart rewards for smart recycling

19 Sep 2014

A recent report from Keep Britain Tidy has highlighted the need for new ways to improve recycling rates in urban environments across England. One of the main stumbling blocks highlighted in the report is a lack of public motivation to put more effort into recycling, particularly when people are unable to see any local or wider benefits that it leads to. However, if the benefits of recycling can be translated into tangible local gains, through visible improvements to the local environment and community for example, then this is seen to be a large motivator.

Already ahead of the game, Bracknell Forest Council launched a 2 year pilot Recycling Rewards scheme last year with SmartCitizen’s help to provide the technical infrastructure and ongoing user support. Aimed at trying to raise awareness about the correct way to recycle and to encourage more people to participate, the initial targets for the 2 year pilot have already been met with over 10,000 households signed up to the popular scheme.

BFC residents are simply able to register for Recycling Rewards when they apply for their e+ local services smartcard (one of the pioneering smart card schemes built and managed by SmartCitizen) , or sign up online to have it added onto their existing e+ smartcard. An electronic tag is then attached to the back to their household’s recycling bin and points are awarded via this tag each time correct materials are recycled.

In order to facilitate the scheme, SmartCitizen supplied their Smart Rewards portal – a user portal where BFC residents can log on, view their points balance, claim rewards and transfer points to other users. Some of the rewards on offer include green items, such as composters, water butts or kitchen caddies, as well as leisure activities such as free swims, theatre tickets, DVD hire or rounds of golf.

Interestingly, since Keep Britain Tidy’s report highlights increased motivation for direct community improvement, BFC residents also have the option of donating their points for a cash donation to a local good cause. Any good cause can be nominated with 3 causes being drawn at random ready for donations at the beginning of each donation period. These can include local community projects, charities, youth groups etc. as long as they operate within Bracknell Forest borough and aren’t linked to a national body. When the donation period ends, the points are totalled and £1000 is split in proportion to the points donated to each good cause. The scheme is currently sponsored by BFC’s waste collection contractor, SITA UK.

SmartCitizen have been delighted to support Bracknell Forest Council through the 2 year pilot scheme and hope its popularity will ensure continued funding and success for such an important environmental solution and see similar incentive schemes spread throughout the country.

To read the full Keep Britain Tidy report, visit -

Related websites:

Bracknell Forest Rewards Portal

SmartCitizen Rewards Portal Product

Keep Britain Tidy

Smart Card Solutions

SmartCitizen offers local authorities and technology partners a complete service from initial feasibility studies and consultancy, through to card scheme creation and support, including management and hosting where required.

We also offer a suite of software packages designed to support the use of smartcards in libraries and leisure centres and can also provide real-time integration solutions for interested customers.

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