Going green

By Megan Badger

Wire Managing Editor

Recycling is good for the environment.

And now, it’s a way to save money and boost business.

Whitemarsh Township launched a new recycling incentive program on Jan. 1 that can save residents money while simultaneously helping the local economy. The program, managed by J.P. Mascaro & Sons, grants residents with discounts and promotions at local and national businesses based on the weight of all the collected recyclables in the township. Residents can sign up for the incentive program online and claim their benefits from whichever business they choose.

J.P. Mascaro & Sons, which has been collecting trash in Whitemarsh for the past three years, is based in Audubon and has been family owned and operated for almost 50 years. The disposal company began its recycling incentive program one year ago, first serving the borough of Collegeville before expanding the program to more than 75 municipalities in Pennsylvania.

“It’s a good idea. I think it motivates people to recycle,” said Frank Sau, director of communications at J.P. Mascaro. “Just to have it is a good, positive thing.”

The township participated in a similar program in the past with RecycleBank before the company discontinued its individual-based incentive program. RecycleBank offered residents magazine subscriptions and deals from national companies, Sau said, whereas J.P. Mascaro started its incentive program with local businesses in mind.

Residents can redeem promotions on a points system. Each week, the collected recyclables for the entire municipality are weighed, recorded and the resulting points are divided amongst all taxpaying Whitemarsh residents, even those who are not registered for the program. All unclaimed points will be distributed amongst registered users at the end of each year.

“The majority of the residents who are in the incentive program say they recycle because they feel good about recycling, not necessarily for the points,” explained Assistant Township Manager E.J. Lee. “It’s unbelievable how many residents have thousands of points accumulated that they haven’t traded in for any of the programs. They should, but that’s not their priority. Their priority is to recycle as much as they can.”

Local and national businesses can partner with J.P. Mascaro for free and offer any deal of their choice as an incentive. Currently, the company has 50 vendors participating in the program, most of them restaurants. Sau said he is looking to grow that number and include a variety of businesses.

“We would like to throw a bone back to local businesses in Whitemarsh — a township with 6,000 households,” Sau explained. “This benefits residents and benefits businesses. Whether we service them is not a concern, we’re just trying to concentrate on local businesses.”

Businesses that are already on board with the program include Philly Soft Pretzel Co., Primo Hoagies, and Dave and Buster’s, as well as local spots like Top This frozen yogurt in Lafayette Hill, Tonelli’s Takeout in Lafayette Hill and King’s Corner Public House in Jenkintown.

Some businesses offer a discount on services or goods, while others offer free admission or other giveaways.

“We definitely encourage the promotion of all the businesses in Whitemarsh Township for better sustainability,” explained Lee. “We don’t have a lot of chains in Whitemarsh, we have a lot of small businesses that are grounded here and only here. So that’s what we encourage everyone to do more of, to reinvest in their own community.”

Businesses that would like to participate in the recycling incentive program, or residents who are eligible to claim rewards, visit www.cleanandgreenrewards.com, email recyclingrewards@jpmascaro.com or call 1–888-MASCARO.

Megan Badger can be reached at mbadger@bsmphilly.com.

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