Reward recycling offers incentives for dead bulbs, batteries

We all know we shouldn't throw light bulbs or batteries in the trash, but how to recycle them often remains a mystery. One option is the boxes at big chain stores, but soon a safer and more enticing solution may be available: deposit them in a reverse vending machine and receiving an immediate reward for your trouble!

These are no simple drop boxes either; safety and the environment is top of mind. The machines accept your recyclable, which is then safely pulled inside to be sorted via video recognition by type and manufacturer. This ensures they are sent to the proper recycling entity.

Light bulbs for example, are gently lowered into the proper catchment for incandescent, CFL or LED bulbs, while a built in fume extractor collects any dangerous mercury. The machines ensure no exposed broken glass or polluting chemicals affects the consumer.

If the warm glow of doing something for the environment isn't enough, let's get to that important reward part.

Manufacturer reVend Recycling trialed the machines at an IKEA in the U.K. to wide acclaim. Users deposited their items and either received IKEA shopping discounts, or had the choice to make a donation to one of four charities — the World Wildlife Fund, Woodland Trust, UNICEF or Save the Children.

So get ready for the reward recycling revolution! IKEA has bought into the idea and will install the machines in further locations in the U.K., Germany and Dennmark.

While no concrete plans are in place for the U.S. to date, the reVend website notes there are over 100,000 reverse vending machines around the globe, so hopefully it will be just a matter of time!

earth911, via ecogeek

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