It’s Not A New Concept
Way back in 1920 the first patent was filed for a bottle return and handling machine; although it wasn’t until 1950 that the first working bottle return machine was produced. Initially the concept served only to return glass bottles, but these days reverse vending machines accept a variety of waste. In fact, advances in technology have seen the newest reverse vending machines not only collect but also sort, identify and process the used beverage containers.
Types Of Reverse Vending Machines
There are several reverse vending machine manufacturers and thus a whole range of different machines for different uses. Some machines are designed to collect low volumes or high volumes of recyclable waste, depending on where they will be situated. Smaller machines are generally located in smaller retail stores, while larger, high volume machines will be placed in municipal depots.
Most of the machines collect plastic bottles, aluminium cans and glass bottles. There are also machines which collect light bulbs; this is pretty handy seeing as they can be difficult to dispose of at the best of times.
One particular machine gives the user an instant deposit into their account, in addition to the option to collect your data to compete with your friends to recycle more! This is just one more innovative way to encourage people to recycle.
The most up to date stats estimate that the global population will dispose of up to 1.8 trillion beverage containers a year. The vast majority of which can be reused or recycled in order to conserve energy, water, crude oil and even reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
If convenience and ease of use weren’t enough, the biggest motivation for returning used containers is the reward. Be it in the form of a food voucher, bus ticket or simply a monetary reward, this small exchange makes any extra effort on behalf of the user all worthwhile.
More than the instant reward however, the best part of using reverse vending machines is the impact on the environment. They aid in reducing pollution, reducing the production of new materials and increase environmental awareness. This is all done without any cost or inconvenience to the user! Remember though, there may not be any reverse recycling machines in your neighbourhood just yet (or even in South Africa for that matter), but don’t let that stop you from recycling your own household waste – there are small recycling depots in almost every neighbourhood.