Curbside Rewards News

Reward Program Increases Metro Recycling

OMAHA (KPTM) – Going green is something we hear a lot about, but not always something that’s easy to do. Now a growing program is changing that for people in more and more neighborhoods, and their recycling efforts are paying off in more ways than one.
Every day, an average of 50 new homeowners sign up for Firstar Fiber’s RecycleBank program called Curbside Rewards. Leaders say since it launched a year and a half ago, local households have increased their recycling rates by four hundred percent.
These days, Ashli Brehm washes out lots of empty baby food containers. They may be bound for a trash can, but they’re not going to the landfill. “It was really never our thing to recycle. Not that we don’t believe in it being good, we just weren’t really people that thought it was that important, now we see how much we throw away that can be reused,” she said.
Ashli and her husband Adam now drop all their paper, plastic, tin and aluminum into a big cart and roll it out to the curb. They say it’s more convenient than a smaller bin. “It’s just so easy. There’s no separating and there’s no separate bins,” Adam said.
Brian Gubbels is part owner of Firstar Fiber, where all Omaha’s recyclables get sorted and packed together. He says the difference with the company’s program, Curbside Rewards, is the extra incentive that keeps much more out of the garbage. “It’s just a matter of choosing the recycling container over the trash container everyday when we have those options,” he said.
Based on the weight of the cart, participants earn points that can be cashed in online for rewards at hundreds of local and national retailers.
Whether it’s groceries or movies, the Brehms say the program pays for itself. “The program has so many reward partners, you can usually find something no matter what you’re looking for,” Ashli said.
The program costs ten bucks a month, but leaders say the average home gets twenty to thirty dollars a month in rewards and keeps an extra 45 pounds of stuff from ending up in the landfill.
It’s not available everywhere, but is in cities from Omaha to Fremont, Gretna to Papillion, with additional plans for expansion. To see if it’s in your area, call 763–CART or visit
Leaders say Omahans could recycle five times as much they do now. The cans, bottles and paper save energy and save trees, and are used to make new boxes, cans, or even car bumpers from Asia to Central America.
Find the original article and news story at

Back to News & Events