In the summer of 2010, a new program was to come into effect in Paterson: the RecycleBank program, a recycle and get paid scheme; for reasons that very few people know — we are not of them — the program did not come into force. This year Mayor Jeffrey Jones is giving it another shot by recruiting an army of volunteers to kick-start the program in April.
The volunteers mainly youths from public schools will go door to door next month to educate Patersonians about the scheme. The way the program works is like this: a resident signs up for the program, receives a large recycling container which they must fill with recyclables, mainly cans and bottles. During recyclable collection day, public employees will scan the bar code of every container, and give the person participating a certain number of points which can later be used in the form of cash to buy items from local businesses.
RecycleBank is a straight forward program that rewards households that recycle by giving them points which are redeemable in local business that in turn stimulate small businesses in the city.
The city’s recycling rate is abysmal, less than 10 percent of cans and bottles are recycled in the city — the county average is about 35 percent. Most residents simply dump everything in one garbage container and leave it at that. This new measure if successful will certainly change the habits of most Patersonians.