Coca-Cola Recycling launches reverse vending project

Coca-Cola Recycling launches reverse vending project

Coca-Cola Recycling is hoping to get residents in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area that lack curbside pickup of their recyclables to "Reimagine" recycling. The company announced last week that it's piloting its Reimagine machines — a reverse vending machine with a small automated materials recovery facility attached — which aim to get consumers to recycle more by appealing to both their altruistic and materialistic tendencies.

Developed in partnership with Environmental Products Corporation (Envipco), the machines accept aluminum and PET plastic beverage containers, regardless of brand. Consumers simply dump their unsorted beverage containers into an intake tray and the containers are then optically sorted by type and crushed. The bins can hold up to 65,000 aluminum beverage containers and up to 18,000 plastic beverage containers. Non-PET or -aluminum items are rejected by the sortation systems.

The machines are designed for residents and organizations that lack easy access to recycling. Users can earn points for every bottle and can they recycle, and earn rewards points for sweepstakes, or, if they are feeling generous, can use the points to donate to local schools.

The first Reimagine machine is slated to be unveiled in a shopping center in Arlington, Texas on Nov. 30, and Coca-Cola Recycling hopes to bring the machines to more shopping centers by working in conjunction with grocery-chain Kroger. Sometime during the first half of 2011, the company will take a look at how the RVMs are performing, and evaluate where to go next.

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