The City of Bartlesville erases six-figure recycling cost

Challenge

After a fire destroyed a major recycling facility in Tulsa, the City of Bartlesville faced increasing pressure to provide its 36,000+ residents with options to recycle.

Even before the fire occurred, costs to operate the program continued to rise and it became a burden to city staff struggling to find room in the budget. On top of the high costs, there was no transparency into where the collected materials went once they reached Tulsa — creating a lack of trust in the system and low participation rates at the single city-run dropoff location.

The city was forced to cancel recycling and needed a solution, fast.

Solution

Replenysh coordinated with Bartlesville city manager, Mike Bailey, and his team to relaunch the original dropoff location — only this time it would be powered by Replenysh. Replenysh provided the city everything it needed to collect materials separated by type (i.e. Plastic PET #1 vs Aluminum Cans), then sell it directly back to brands for reuse. By removing the expensive process of sorting the materials at a recycling center, the materials retain their value and resulted in a net-profit for the city.

In addition to the city-run dropoff, 10+ other locations around town have become Replenysh hosts and now accept materials to be dropped off. Residents can use the Replenysh mobile app and website to find these convenient locations, check-in to earn rewards, and track their impact. The culmination of the experience has resulted in increased trust, confidence in the city, and transparency into where materials end up.

Replenysh continues to engage the community with city-wide challenges to grow participation and collaboration among residents. In February 2022, local hosts collected over 40,000 lbs of material which resulted in a $1,000 donation to the local United Way organization.

Results

$150,000
Yearly cost to city for recycling before Replenysh
$0
Cost for complete circularity with Replenysh
25
Number of local host locations accepting materials
65 tons
Amount of material collected in first 6 months