FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: City of Grand Rapids and Local First Launch mygrcitypoints.com
State's first 'rewards for recycling' program set to launch for all City residents today
GRAND RAPIDS, MI. – The state’s first public/private recycling incentive partnership debuts today with the announcement of mygrcitypoints.com being made at a City Hall press conference. This innovative, web-based program that allows City of Grand Rapids residents to earn points simply by using their City-issued single stream recycling carts is a venture between the City of Grand Rapids and Local First. Representatives from both parties formally launched the initiative today at a 9:00 a.m. press conference.
The purpose of this program, which City Manager Greg Sundstrom first introduced in August 2010, is to encourage City’s nearly 42,000 households that have single-stream recycling carts to recycle instead of throwing away recyclable products. Points that are earned can be spent to support Local First business members
“mygrcitypoints.com uses technology to encourage citizens to work together, shop locally and make Grand Rapids a better place,” says Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell. “This fits perfectly with the City’s efforts to transform City government by engaging citizens and supporting local businesses."
Although mygrcitypoints.com is a City program, and the City will maintain the recycling collection portion of the program, local business organization Local First will serve as the program administrator and maintain the point’s database and web site.
“Local First is excited to participate in a program that will enable businesses to prosper while helping to improve the City and community overall,” says Local First Executive Director Elissa Hillary. “mygrcitypoints.com promises to be a powerful economic engine that links local residents with local independent businesses.”
To participate, City residents simply need to log on to mygrcitypoints.com to create an account. There is no cost to participate. Residents just need to know their single stream recycling cart number and address. They will then be registered to begin receiving points every time they take their cart to the curb on their designated pick up day. From there residents simply need to check their account on the mygrcitypoints.com web site to see how many points they’ve accumulated and what rewards they can redeem their points for.
To date, 63 Local First member businesses have signed up to participate in this program, and nearly half of those have already posted rewards that can be redeemed. Each participating business has control of what the offer is and how many points need to be redeemed.
“Local First has worked with the City from day one – helping the City to find locally-owned businesses to design, build, and promote the software program,” Hillary adds, referring to the local vendors used to build this program (Atomic Object, The Image Shoppe and Clark Communications). “And, Local First has worked with the City to ensure that initial vendor participation is open to Local First members only, meaning that as much consumer spending will be directed toward locally owned businesses as possible.” A recent study showed that shifting $1 in $10 to locally-owned businesses would create $140 Million in new economic impact and 1,600 jobs in Kent County (“Local Works! 2008”).
“mygrcitypoints.com creates a win-win-win for citizens, local businesses and city government by linking community stewardship, local economic development and a citizen-centric government with an easy-to-use rewards program like concepts already used for credit cards,” said Greg Sundstrom, Grand Rapids City Manager. “The City of Grand Rapids is committed to strengthening support for local businesses and building a stronger community that benefits all of us, now and in the future.”
Additional phases of this initiative will focus on earning points for volunteering in the community and for the City of Grand Rapids.
More information about this program can be found at www.mygrcitypoints.com
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