Primary and middle schools in Beijing will soon be equipped with ‘reverse’ vending machines, which will pay out coins and stationary. In exchange, users of these vending machines will have to put in empty bottles or used books. The new move has been made in an effort to encourage recycling in the country.

reverse vending machine

Over 2,000 schools in the city will be equipped with thousands of machines. The machines will make sure that the waste generated is recycled and will avoid unnecessary pollution when it ends up in underground workshops, which are illegal. Li Yongkai from Beijing Education Commission said, “More than 1.5 million students will benefit from the program and get into the habit of trash classification and recycling”.

The process is set to start with students who will use bottles or books into the machine, which is able to recognize the items with an imaging camera. The machines can then compact them and sort them into a bin. The machines were launches in August 2013 and were first installed at subway stations and airports in the country and have managed to collect more than 20,000 PET bottles so far, which can be recycled to make new bottles without the waste going into landfills.

Users of the machines will be rewarded with pencils or coins, or can have them donated to underprivileged children from the country’s rural areas.

Photo Credits: Sina


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