Rewarding recycling with vouchers

Plastic waste for recycling
Type of organisation or company
Language for original content
Tropa Verde

Tropa Verde was set up in Santiago de Compostela, Spain in 2015, and seeks to encourage environmentally responsible behaviour. It is an URBACT network covering at least six locations: Guimarães (PT), Zuglo (HU), Opole (PL), Nice (FR) and Pavlos Melas (EL). In Spain, it has spread beyond the city in which it began.

Its goal is to promote recycling by rewarding environmentally-friendly practices. People earn 'recycling vouchers' by delivering recyclable waste to specific collection points in the city. The voucher is good for a certain number of 'points', which build up in each person's online account on a platform. They can then be exchanged for discounts and gifts on that platform. Local sponsors provide the rewards.

The initiative follows a logic of offering rewards in exchange for good behaviour in order to encourage participation. Rewards include free hotel accommodation and beauty treatments. Above all, it raises awareness about recycling and familiarises people with the act of recycling itself.

Main activity field
Identified challenge (s)
Main results
  • In the initiative's first two years of activity, more than 800 rewards were given out with the assistance of over 115 local sponsors 
  • Tropa Verde has also begun organising promotional activities such as workshops and street actions
  • For instance, its school campaigns have collected used cooking oil for recycling