In Santiago de Compostela, the municipality created a unique way to encourage its citizens to have sustainable and environmentally friendly behavior: by giving them rewards! The program is called Tropa Verde (“green troops” in English) and fights the biggest barrier against recycling, which is habits.
The principle of Tropa Verde is simple: as a citizen, you deliver your recyclable waste to your local social and civic center or green points and receive stars (points). Then you connect to a game-based digital platform to exchange your stars for discounts or offers of products or services such as hotel accommodations or beauty treatments. Today, more than 115 local sponsors are part of the project, and thousands of “recycling actions” have been made.
The initiative also includes School campaigns, workshops, street actions, and other promotional activities. Overall it encourages recycling habits, supports the local economy, and brings up significant savings for the city. In the end, the concept was so successful that it is now being implemented in 8 Spanish cities and five other European cities in the framework of the URBACT Transfer Network.