At 150 Rite Aids across North
Carolina, ATM-like recycling kiosks emblazoned with Pepsi’s logo
(natch), exchange empty cans and bottles for all sorts of goodies. It’s like a gumball machine with a social conscience, and a whopping 3,000 of these will be installed in southern California by summer’s end.
it actually encourage people to recycle?
The Dream Machine, as
it’s called, works like this: Scan your bottle, then toss it into a
chute. The machine registers how many points it’s worth and prints out
a receipt. Then you go to Greenopolis.com to
redeem points for Blockbuster certificates, discounts at Johnny
Rockets, and yeah, probably a bunch of Pepsi junk. Still confused?
Greenopolis trots out a hot blonde “reporter” to share the deets:
hard to imagine anyone other than an allowance-starved 12-year-olds
getting excited about this sort of thing. (And Blockbuster? What’s your
target audience, Boca Raton?)
Then again, bottle recycling machines are
a good idea, especially in a country where public bins are few and far
So if you really want to appeal to the Boca set, why not turn the Dream
Machine into a slot machine? Or, make it print coupons? Hell, it could
spit out kittens for all we care. Anything but Blockbuster.
by the way, has had bottle-recycling machines for years. Countries like
Norway and Germany don’t need silly gimmicks to convince people to
recycle. They rely on cold hard cash.
They might be onto something: Afterall, if you were considering going out of your way to recycle a can, isn’t a bit of instant gratification the best motivator?
If so, we’ve got an even better idea: What if, when you recycled a can, you got a random cash reward, up to five bucks or so?