If helping preserve the environment was not enough incentive for residents to recycle, they now have another reason to pitch in.
They will get rewards for their efforts.
Mayor James Fiorentini has announced a new recycling incentive program in which five Haverhill households will be honored each month for their recycling.
"We want (the city) to know that we most certainly do appreciate the people who recycle," Fiorentini said.
One home from each of Haverhill's five residential routes will be honored by the city each month. To qualify for an incentive, each household must leave its recycling at curbside during their assigned recycling route. Each household's recycling is picked up every other week.
The city will compile a list of homes that follow the regulations and randomly select a winner. Each winner will receive a $25 gift certificate from a local business and a citation from the city.
"There is a benefit to the environment from people who recycle," said David Van Dam, the mayor's chief of staff.
"We are trying to prevent the burning of trash as much as possible," he said of using recycling to cut down on the amount of trash that goes to a rubbish-burning plant, costing Haverhill money.
The city spends about $1.2 million a year to dispose of trash.
About 58 percent of the city's 14,000 households participate in Haverhill's mandatory single-stream curbside recycling program, which went into effect in July of 2010. Single-stream recycling allows residents to put all types of recyclables — glass bottles, cans, plastics, paper and cardboard — into one container and leave it at the curb.
The city is also cracking down on residents who are late bringing their recycling to the curb or do not recycle at all. Any resident who does not put recycling out at all or puts recycling at the curb after 6 a.m. on their scheduled collection day receives a warning, with the possibility of a $50 fine.
Haverhill brought in $125,417 through the recycling program during the last fiscal year. As of May 1, Haverhill received $101,103 for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. Those totals are money saved through trash disposal costs, as well as the revenue the city gets by selling recycled items.
"This program has been successful," Fiorentini said. "But we can do more."