Many environmental problems are hard to solve. A few are easy. Getting people to recycle more and throw away less is pretty easy, and it’s the subject of today’s CNNMoney.com column.
Although I never took Econ 101, I know that prices impact behavior. Charge people for trash service based on how much they throw away, and they will throw away less. Pay them to recycle, they’ll recycle more. This is the key insight behind Recycle Bank, a small but fast-growing company. Earlier this month, Coca-Cola bought a stake in Recycle Bank. It’s a company worth watching, and I was impressed with the maturity and thoughtfulness of the CEO, Ron Gonen, when we met earlier this week.
Here’s how the column begins:
Do you know how much you pay for trash collection?
Neither do I. And that’s a problem, because it means that most of us throw away more than we should, wasting stuff, wasting money and fouling the planet.
It’s a classic case of market failure, and one that can easily be fixed, as a startup called RecycleBank has learned. The company, which helps people turn their trash into cash, recently attracted a $2 million investment from Coca-Cola, as part of the beverage giant’s effort to promote recycling.
You can read the rest here.