This week’s Watershed Moments highlights myGRcitypoints, a program that encourages recycling, volunteering and community building in Grand Rapids. The Executive Director of Local First, Elissa Hillary, discusses the program.
Local First is a non-profit community and economic development organization, that partnered with the City of Grand Rapids to create myGRcitypoints. The program offers incentives for people who live and recycle in the City, which they can then redeem at local businesses. “It’s encouraging sustainable behavior both by encouraging people to reduce their waste, but also encouraging them to support local businesses, so more of their money stays here in the community,” says Hillary.
Within the first year the program was underway, recycling increased by 80 percent within Grand Rapids, and refuse declined by 13 percent. Many businesses are doing well because of the spread of knowledge and awareness about them in the community, especially from programs like myGRcitypoints. Not all neighborhoods have increased recycling, and the program is working on reaching out to these areas in order to educate on how recycling is free, easy, and cost effective. Hillary also noted that the City is working on a volunteer component of the program that goes beyond recycling, offering incentives to those who spend time volunteering within the community.
For more information of myGRcitypoints, click here.
To listen to this week’s episode, click here.
“A Watershed Moment” is a weekly radio program focused on environmental news and happenings in West Michigan, plus solutions for living a greener life. Broadcast on WYCE-FM 88.1 on Tuesdays at 8:30am and 5:30pm, this program is produced by Grand Rapids Community Media Center and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.