Grand Rapids, Michigan, recycling program offers rebates and mobile app

Grand Rapids, Michigan, recently instituted an unorthodox recycling program that has become a huge hit with local residents. According to the The Grand Rapids Press, the city has created a mobile application that will allow residents to accrue recycling awards that they can then use at local businesses for rebates on their favorite products. Since its inception, the results have been stellar - the city has reported a 14 percent reduction in waste.

Grand Rapids and the community organization Local First worked together to make the new recycling program a reality. The initiative will allow residents to use their accrued recycling rewards at 65 West Michigan businesses, which will help to stimulate the economy while removing waste from landfills at the same time.

"We hope this application makes it easier to receive rewards for recycling and to connect to the local businesses that are supportive of the program," Elissa Hillary, executive director of Local First, told the news source. "Recycling has already increased dramatically with the program and we hope that the mobile phone product furthers the increase."

The mobile app offers rewards based on the weight of the recycled material gathered by waste collectors. Users can then use the map and its geolocation feature to look at a map of their area and find where they can spend their recycling rewards. City manager Greg Sundstrom contends that the program can pay for itself with just an 11 percent reduction in waste, and it has already exceeded that goal and looks to be growing even further.

Grand Rapids' recycling program is a progressive campaign that has really caught on with local residents. It's an ingenious way of stimulating local businesses, while encouraging consumers to think twice about what they throw away.