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Roanokers Can Now Recycle and Win Gift Cards

Roanoke dignitaries fill a promotional bin with oversized bottles.

by Valerie Garner

Not recycling yet? There is still time to ask Waste Management for a recycle bin. Last Monday the program to increase recycling rates in Roanoke City, Salem City and the town of Vinton kicked off with a ceremonial recycle of “overgrown” soda bottles.

Roanoke Mayor David Bowers, Vinton Mayor Brad Gross and Salem Mayor Randy Foley took turns at the microphone. Bowers slapped the first sticker on a monster Roanoke recycle bin.

Bowers compared selling unwanted items at yard sales to the recycling program. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” he said. “That’s the same thought with this recycling program … recycling could mean treasure for you perhaps,” referring to the $50 gift card prize.

Stickers for the citizens of all three localities were mailed Monday. The colorful prize patrol car will be cruising on regular weekly scheduled trash and recycling pickup days. If the participating bins contain accurate placement of recyclable material when the inspector takes a look, then a $50 gift card from Kroger’s is the prize.

Each city quadrant will be patrolled equally for the next six months. There are 260 Kroger gift cards to win during the program which begins the first week in November and runs through April 2012.

Bin contamination will result in disqualification. Roanoke is the first city in Virginia to enact the program, which has been successful in Raleigh and Charlotte, NC. Participation is not mandatory.

Kroger’s Division President Jay Cummins said, “taking care of our community extends beyond selling groceries to our customers. We recognize the need for being a great company and taking care of the environment – encouraging recycling is a big part of that.”

Brian Evans, Marketing Development Manager with Coca-Cola Refreshments, said that the program is the cornerstone of their 2020 corporate vision and it “challenges every single one of us to go forth and exhibit positive things like recycling and doing significant things in the community.”

Coca-Cola Bottling Consolidated Operations LLC, in conjunction with Kroger and the three localities, hope to increase the current 38 percent recycling rate and save on tipping fees.

The plan is to entice more people to recycle and recycle correctly. “One day the city will break even,” said Roanoke’s solid waste manager, Skip Decker.

All plastic, with numbers one through seven can now be placed in bins. That means no more eyestrain searching for a number on the container. Even Styrofoam cups are recyclable – be sure to check for the number six on the cup.

For those without curbside pickup – “There will be a series of eight special events in the next six months at drop off spots and people will be able to register and be eligible for the $50 gift card,” said Lauren Steele, Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Coca-Cola.

For dates and locations visit

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