Reaping the rewards of recycling

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A scheme that rewards local residents for recycling, and boosts local charities has been operating in Epping Forest for over a year.

This week money raised through the scheme was shared out between Epping Forest Community Transport, Chigwell Riding trust, Epping Forest Food Bank, Safer Places.

Epping Forest Recycling Rewards focuses on blocks of flats in the district where contamination in recycling has been high. The scheme helps to incentivise residents to sort their recycling and cut down on contamination.

Around 100 blocks have been taking part with almost a third of residents earning ‘Green Points’. Each month the six residents who’ve collected the most points receive a £25 voucher to spend at M&S, iTunes, Love2shop, and Local leisure centres or to donate to one of the charities supported by the scheme.

Between July 2017 and July 2018 contamination rates across the blocks taking part dropped dramatically over the life of the project.

‘’We knew recycling rates in flats were below where they should be so this scheme is a wonderful opportunity for residents involved, to improve their recycling rates and get rewarded for doing so,’’ said Cllr Nigel Avey, portfolio holder for the environment.

“We monitor the quality of recycling being produced by flats in Epping Forest and reward residents for recycling more of the right things. The blocks earn ‘Green Points’ depending on how they are performing and can also earn extra points for things like reporting fly-tipping and using recycling centres for household waste.”

Local businesses have signed up to the scheme to offer discounts to participating residents.