PepsiCo and our nation's capitol are teaming up in a public-private partnership that will bring 363 of Pepsi's "Dream Machine" recycling bins to downtown Washington, D.C.
The kiosks aren't like the regular recycling receptacles you usually see on the street—they offer discounts and coupons at places like Dominos, Johnny Rockets, and Marriott hotels.
Here's how the kiosks work: patrons insert bottles and cans into a chute, wait for the machine to calculate how many points the trash is worth, and grab a receipt that can be redeemed at Greenopolis.com for rewards. In addition to discounts and coupons, the receipts also can score users Pepsi products and free admission to concerts, among other things. Registered Greenopolis members get access to a rewards catalog.
And D.C. isn't just getting Pepsi's kiosks; it will also receive a number of other, normal-looking recycling bins (emblazoned with the Pepsi logo, natch). With those bins, instead of offering rewards to recyclers, Pepsi will donate cash to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, a program offering business training to disabled veterans. The amount of cash donated will depend on how many bottles and cans are collected.
Will Pepsi's Dream Machines increase recycling in downtown DC? They undoubtedly will, if for no other reason than having 363 new recycling receptacles makes it easier to refrain from dumping cans in the trash. And offering prizes sure should help. We'll see if the incentive works.
Update: Pepsi isn't installing any electronic kiosks in downtown DC; only the bins will be available. Kiosks are available at other locations around the country, however.