Here is an incentive to recycle: Money


Picture by Sabina Louise Pierce for The New York Times
We are reading Freakonomics right now and are at an early chapter about incentives- what makes people do things? Guilt? Fear? Image among our peers? Patrck Fitzgerald and Ron Gonen think the best incentive is money, and has set up a company to pay you to to recycle your garbage. In their Philadelphia pilot project, a computer chip in recyclable garbage bin weighs the material which is then sold to the recyclers. Almost everybody wins: the municipality dumps less at landfill; the recycling plants get more material; the homeowner gets paid. Losers: paying people for their garbage certainly does not encourage anyone to reduce or re-use, which are as important as recycling. As Bill McDonough says, most recycling is actually downcycling to a lower grade, lower value product. ::Recyclebank via ::New York Times