Recycling in Focus- Green Champions

forest councilBracknell Forest Council

Each week, we look at a Green scheme or initiative that has been introduced in the UK to promote recycling and eco-friendly living. We all have a duty to make our corner of the world greener, so it’s great to see some organisations taking the lead.

Bracknell Forest Council in Berkshire runs a recycling initiative where residents can collect points when they recycle their household rubbish correctly and exchange them for rewards.

Why was the scheme introduced?

Before the scheme was introduced, around three quarters of residents were recycling. The aim of the incentive scheme is to encourage more people to get on board to reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfill. The council also want people to recycle the correct items, so they provide residents with a designated blue recycling bin and guidance on exactly what they can recycle. Residents simply apply online to join the scheme and receive a blue sticker for their bin, stating that they are taking part.

Recycling for rewards

Residents are encouraged to use their blue bins for plastic bottles including detergent and shampoo bottles, aluminium cans, food and pet food tins, empty aerosol containers and all kinds of paper and card. Every time residents recycle their items correctly, they receive 200 points towards reduced cost activities at leisure centres, libraries and local theatres. So, in return for helping the environment, you can keep yourself healthy and go for a swim, a gym session or a game of mini-golf. The points can even be exchanged for ‘green’ rewards, such as composters or rainwater collectors for the garden.

All for a good cause

And if the rewards weren’t enough to convince residents that the scheme was worthwhile, they can convert their recycling points into a cash donation for local good causes. Three causes can be nominated and donated points are collected over the course of 3 months. At the end of this period, the money raised is split between each good cause.

The current three good causes that the recycling initiative is raising money for are:

  • ‘ABC to Read’, a charity that helps primary school children learn how to read. Money is being raised for books and educational games for children who are struggling to learn how to read.   
  • The College Town Junior School recycling scheme, where the money raised will allow the school to buy recycling bins and promote recycling and environmental awareness to the children.
  • The 2nd Bracknell Girls' Brigade is a group for girls aged 5 to 18. The group’s activities are aimed at teaching the girls life skills and helping them to make friends. The money raised will help to buy new uniforms and fund group activities.

So, Bracknell Forest Council’s recycling incentive scheme helps residents to become healthier and greener, plus it’s benefitting the local community in the process. That’s why they are this week’s Green Champions. The scheme is an inspirational blueprint for environmental and social consciousness and hopefully more organisations will follow their lead.