Gamifying Behaviour Change

“Realizing a better tomorrow starts with changing behaviors today. To help you improve your everyday life, we emphasize the power of taking small actions and we award you points when you take them.”

With Recyclebank, people are rewarded for recycling at home. Members earn points based on the total weight recycled by the community. So our program rewards individual and community action, which results in a much bigger impact.

Once members earn points, they can then redeem them for discounts and deals from community businesses and major national brands like SC Johnson, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Macy’s.

With the Recorded Participation model, subscribed members that set out their recycling container are awarded points based on the average weight recycled by participating households on their collection route. Recyclebank uses a proprietary system to track and reward the households that are actually recycling.

Together with municipalities, haulers and brands, Recyclebank communities have increased the amount of recycling collected by 45% in 2013. This means Recyclebank members, on average, recycled an additional 157 pounds of material in 2013 compared to the recycling rate prior to the launch of the Recyclebank program in their community. That’s equivalent to the weight of more than 5,000 empty soda cans per household!

This increase in recycling also avoided over 530,000 metric tons in carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) emissions related to the energy spent in the extraction, transport and decomposition of waste in landfills, the processing and manufacturing of virgin materials and the increase of forest carbon stocks from recycling paper.

In sum, our success is a case study on how gamification and incentives are an effective way to create behavior change.