West Oak Lane block captain wins cash prize in citywide recycling contest

Many of us recycle cartons, aluminum cans and glass out of habit, but recently, some Philadelphians were awarded in cash for doing so.

Seven winners were selected last month in a sweepstakes sponsored by Philadelphia Recycling Rewards, the city-wide program powered by Recyclebank which rewards people for “taking everyday green actions.”

Alveda Jones of West Oak Lane was among them. She said she learned about the recycling sweepstakes at a block-captain meeting.

“I learned that if you register you can win rewards, so I registered and put a sticker with a bar code on my recycling container,” said Jones, who is a block captain for the 6800 block of N. 16th St.

How she won

Here’s how it works: Once you register you will receive a “Philadelphia Recycling Rewards” sticker with an identification chip inside.

The sticker is recorded each time a participant puts out their container on recycling day. Reward points can also be earned in other ways, including getting someone to sign up for the program.

The winners’ swag included a grand prize of up to $5,000 in free groceries for a year at the Fresh Grocer, which was awarded to Eva Basiura of North Philadelphia.

Jones was among three first-prize winners who could choose between $500 or a year’s worth of SEPTA passes. (Jones chose the former since she has a car.) A trio of second-place winners received $100 gift cards to target.

Streets Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson lauded the winners at an Aug. 9 event.

“She explained that out of 185,000 people in Philadelphia, we were selected,” said Jones. “We’re not only helping the environment, we’re helping keep libraries open and playgrounds funded. The city is rewarded for recycling and really, it’s good for everyone.”

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