Recycling With A Reward: This Is How This New Model

Recycling with a reward: this is how this new model works in Catalonia

The citizens of 20 Catalan municipalities can now obtain rewards every time they recycle their cans and plastic bottles.

Rewarded recycling reaches one million Catalans.

More than a million Catalan citizens can receive rewards every time they recycle their plastic beverage cans and bottles in the yellow bins. This is possible thanks to RECICLOS, a Return and Reward System (SDR) that is already implemented in 20 municipalities in Catalonia (Spain).

Developed by Ecoembes in close collaboration with the Department of Territory and Sustainability, this SDR incorporates the Mobile technology this habit, and, in turn, rewards recycling citizens with incentives that help improve their immediate environment, through contributions to local social projects of NGOs -such as the Food Bank or the Red Cross- or promoting sustainable mobility.

The Catalan municipalities where this recycling system is currently located are Sant Boi, Igualada, Granollers, Pla de l’Estany region, Ripoll, Figueres, Balaguer, Moià, Vielha and Miera, Valls, Vilafranca del Penedès, Mora d’Ebre, Castelldefels, Amposta, Gavà, Tremp, Tàrrega, Esplugues de Llobregat, Badalona and Les Borgues Blanques.

In addition, RECICLOS has also installed machines at 15 stations of Ferrocarrils del Área Metropolitana de Barcelona so that users can deposit cans and bottles consumed outside their homes and also obtain rewards.

“With RECICLOS we take another step to evolve the current recycling system, contributing to progress towards a circular economy model capable of responding to the new challenges and legislative objectives set by Europe and recognizing the work of recycling citizens through social and environmental rewards, that generate a positive impact on their closest environment”, declares Xavier Balaqué, manager of Ecoembes in Catalonia.

He adds that “this SDR started in Catalonia as a pilot thanks to the collaboration of the Generalitat and now, just one year later, there are already 20 municipalities that have opted for it”.

One of these new municipalities is Esplugues de Llobregat, whose mayor, Pilar Díaz, acknowledges that “it is a project that encourages recycling, with what is positive for the environment, and makes this invest in city projects, and all this, with a small gesture”.

For his part, Raúl Oliván, Councilor for Education, Health and the Environment of Mora D’Ebre, declared that “within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals developed by the United Nations, the responsibility of each neighbor in the management of the waste generated is one of the key points”.

“As a city council we know that climate change is one of the challenges of the coming years and that is why we are taking steps in this direction. The RECICLOS project allows each neighbor and neighbor contribute their grain of sand, and within the capacities of each one, to have an increasingly better planet”, he adds.

a simple system

For Ígor Agea, a user of RECICLOS, this recycling system “doesn’t take more than a minute. It is quite integrated into the routine, and once you get the habit of it, it is very direct. Today we are always with the mobile on top and now we also integrate it into the practice of recycling that becomes simpler, more direct”.

To make use of RECICLOS, Catalans only have to connect the webapp, scan the barcode on the packaging they want to recycle and deposit it in one of the yellow containers. By doing so, you will earn points, called RECYCLES, which you can exchange for the various rewards available to you.

This Return and Reward System (SDR) was born in TheCircularLab, the open innovation center of Ecoembes. After its implementation in four municipalities of Catalonia last year as a pilot project, in collaboration with the Generalitat de Catalunya, it has already been implemented in 7 Autonomous Communities and soon it will do it in the Valencian Community.

In 2021, it is expected that reach all regions, counting both with yellow containers that incorporate its technology and with machines located in transport stations and shopping and leisure centers -which are currently in 15 railway stations- facilitating the recycling of cans and plastic bottles of beverages generated inside and outside of homes.