A PROGRAM that rewards households for recycling is looking to start up in the Hunter.
The GreenMoney project, which launched in Sydney's Randwick City Council area last month, allows residents who recycle to earn rewards and discounts from local businesses.
Former Hunter resident Suzanna Kukulovski is GreenMoney's communication director and co-founder.
Newcastle-based web development company Izilla was involved in creating the GreenMoney website.
Ms Kukulovski said the pilot project in Randwick was off to a great start with about 1000 households already signing up.
Talks were under way with Hunter councils about bringing the program to the region.
The Newcastle Herald reported this month on Hunter councils' concerns that a state landfill tax was taking $13.5 million a year from ratepayers in three local government areas to fill Macquarie Street's coffers.
Ms Kukulovski said councils were keen to use GreenMoney to help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and associated costs.
"The savings for councils are very impressive," she said.
"And obviously for residents. We'd love to be able to reward Hunter residents for doing their bit as well."
It was hoped the councils' savings would be passed on to ratepayers, Ms Kukulovski said.
Getting businesses on board was also key.
"I think they won't say no because they're the ones that are doing it tough at the moment," Ms Kukulovski said.
The offers and discounts aimed to encourage people to shop at small businesses outside of major centres.