PHILADELPHIA – The Philacycle program offered in partnership with the Philadelphia Streets Department and Recyclebank will be discontinued effective June 30th, 2019, announced Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams. The Streets Department must make significant changes to its recycling program due to increased recycling costs prompted by changes in the global recycling market.
Effective June 30, 2019, Philadelphia residents that participated in the rewards program will no longer be able to earn reward points and access the Philacycle website. In addition, all points accrued through the Philacycle program must be redeemed by this date. Points are redeemable at Philacycle.com. Residents are strongly encouraged to redeem those points as soon as possible as there is a limit on availability of some items.
When this recycling rewards program first launched, the City of Philadelphia was being paid to process recyclable materials. The revenue this generated allowed the City to reward residents with discounts from local businesses redeemable as points. Unfortunately, the recycling market has drastically changed in recent years. With new regulatory standards on contaminated materials, recycling costs have risen to nearly ten million dollars a year. As a result, the Streets Department is no longer able to afford this rewards program in the current market.
The Streets Department strongly encourages residents to continue recycling. Recycling is still very important in the City of Philadelphia, but we must recycle the right way to reduce recycling contamination. Recycling is the law and it’s good for the environment, reduces litter and pollution, and keeps our communities clean and healthy. We ask that residents help reduce contamination by not placing non-recyclable material in the bin and making sure the materials are dry and clean when set out. The City has launched a new educational campaign with simple messaging to educate residents on how to recycle. The new campaigns titled: “Take A Minute Before You Bin It and When In Doubt, Throw It Out” can be located on the Streets Department website at philadelphiastreets.com/recycling.
For questions, residents can contact Recyclebank at 1-888-727-2978 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On July 1st the Philacycle phone number, website and app will close indefinitely. Residents may contact 311 beginning July 1st.