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Hollywood Is Switching Rewards Programs For Recycling. And Yes, You Can Still Recycle Paper

Jesse Wagstaff via Flickr
Hollywood will still have a rewards program for residents who enroll and recycle. The new program will have more vendor options to redeem points earned.

Hollywood wants more people to recycle – and to make sure they do it the right way. 


Starting April 1, the city is switching up its incentives program to encourage residents to recycle. 


With a new contract, the city is moving away from a third party program called Recycling Perks and joining a program with its service provider, Waste Pro. It's called Waste Pro Rewards.




"Residents love their recycling incentive program," said Hollywood Communications Manager, Joann Hussey. With the new program, "I think a lot more people will be involved."


Residents can earn points by recycling and redeem them at restaurants and certain retailers, like Office Depot and LA Fitness.  The new rewards program has more options for retailers where residents can use their points locally. (If you still have points from the old program they will be honored by Waste Pro Rewards.)


With the new program, the city is renewing its push to educate civic associations and residents about what can and can't be recycled.


"Residents, you know, they have the best of intentions when it comes to recycling however, plastic bags is not one of those things that we do recycle," Stacy Morin said. She's Hollywood's Recycling Coordinator. "We are working to educate the residents to reduce the level of contamination." 


Pizza boxes are also a no-no to put in the recycling bin. 


Currently, Hollywood's level of contamination is around 25 percent, according to public works officials.

Any time you recycle a plastic bottle without rinsing it out first, that costs the city money to recycle properly and makes it more difficult to process and sell the material. 


"There is a cost to recycle, and that cost does fluctuate," said Assistant Director of Public Works for Hollywood, Charles Lassiter. "When the contamination occurs, it jeopardizes our market value of that material."


Read More: Price Of Recycling Skyrockets in Broward County, And One City Isn't Paying


There's also been some recent confusion about whether residents can still recycle paper in other parts of Broward County. The Sun Sentinel reported that the service provider, Waste Management, told some cities they would no longer accept paper because of high rates of contamination with waste that's not recyclable. Later, the provider said it still wants to work with cities on the issue. 


Hussey said the city is not in the same situation as other parts of the county:


"Hollywood is not affected by that, because we do not use Waste Management for recycling collections, we have Waste Pro," Hussey said. "So we will be accepting paper for the foreseeable future."


Correction: An earlier version of this story identified Waste Management as the service provider for Broward County. According to the county, only some individual municipalities have contracts with Waste Management. We regret the error.


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Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, leads the WLRN Newsroom as Director of Daily News & Original Live Programming. Previously she reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News.
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