Philly recycling grand prize: A year of free groceries

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RecycleBank's Denise Diorio McVeigh (left), ShopRite's Dave Deets and city Streets Commissioner Clarena Tolson at Monday's announcement.

Philadelphia is upping the recycling ante.

After instituting a RecycleBank program that gives household recyclers points that they can redeem for  groceries, gift cards, merchandise and other things -- or donate to charitable projects -- the city and RecycleBank have now launched a sweepstakes.

Between now and June 30, every time someone registered with RecycleBank actually recycles -- the stickers on bins get scanned to record participating -- they'll get entered in the sweepstakes.

Every time they go online to redeem points, they'll get entered again.

Every time a friend signs up and says who recommended them, that person gets entered again.

Every time a participant goes online to complete a "learn-and-earn" green activity, you guessed it: Another entry.

So, when the drawing comes up, the more times you've been entered, the better your chances are of winning.

Twenty people will win the second-place prize, which is a $100 Target gift card.

Another 10 will win the first-place prize, which is 12 monthly SEPTA transit passes.

And the grand prize winner will get free groceries for a year.

Residents who want to participate can sign up online at 

Philadelphia has 670,000 households, and so far 185,000 have signed up for RecycleBank, which was launched at the end of 2009. I wonder about that. Households are required to recycle anyway, so why not sign up for the program and get points for doing it?

“This is a win-win opportunity for all Philadelphia residents. By participating in the Recycle Rewards Program not only can you be rewarded for reducing your trash and increasing your recycling but now those same actions allow you an opportunity to win incredible prizes,” said Streets Commissioner Clarena Tolson in a press release about the new program. It was unveiled Monday at Parkside ShopRite supermarket on North 52nd Street.