Traditional vending machines require cash before providing folks with a tasty beverage. The Dream Machine, a new type of vending kiosk, embraces a much cooler concept: It gives you points and prizes in exchange for an empty bottle or can. Organizers hope the reverse vending machine will encourage recycling when people are away from home and without access to a convenient recycling bin.
The computerized recycling centers were created through a partnership between Pepsi, Waste Management and Keep America Beautiful and are manufactured by GreenOps. To use the machine, people can just scan the barcode of their empty PET plastic bottle or aluminum can, and then insert it into the slot. The Dream Machine calculates how many points to dole out for that particular container. Points can then be redeemed for prizes at the host venue or on Greenopolis.com.
Currently, the Dream Machine can only be found in 150 North Carolina Rite Aid stores, but Southern California will install about 3,000 of the devices by the end of the summer. Organizers say they plan to roll out several thousand of the machines across the country throughout this year. Waste Management will work with the non-profit Keep America Beautiful to find ideal locations for the Dream Machines.
Once the machines are more widely dispersed, organizers say the goal is to recycle 400 million containers a year.