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Beijing trials bottle-recycling vending machines

Reporter: Su Yuting 丨 CCTV.com

09-21-2014 13:18 BJT

Garbage disposal is a problem for any big city and plastic bottles are one of the biggest challenges. Plastic is fairly easy to process. But persuading people to recycle, instead of leaving their empty bottles lying around is key to keeping city streets clean.

Garbage disposal is a problem for any big city and plastic bottles are one of the biggest challenges.

Garbage disposal is a problem for any big city and plastic bottles are one of the biggest challenges.

Recycling becomes fun when there are rewards involved.This reverse vending machine allow commuters to insert empty plastic bottles. The machine has a sensor that is able to scan each bottle and determines how much it’s worth. Anywhere from 5 to 15 cents. The reward is commensurate with the quality and number of bottles being fed into the machine.

You shall wait around twenty seconds until the bottle is crushed to a third of its original size, Then the machine spits out a public transportation credit or extra mobile phone minutes.And there is also an option for people such as tourists, who don’t need the rewards, to insert bottles anyways, just to donate.

These machines are still being trialed. So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

"I think it’s a good way to protect the environment and everyone should have a try and partipate," said a Beijing commuter.

"Unlike traditional recycling bins, this machine can actually get us a free bus or subway fare. At the same time, it’s encourages people to recycle," said another Beijing commuter.

Trying out new inventions with the public is always a sensible idea. And there’s always room for some improvement.

Garbage disposal is a problem for any big city and plastic bottles are one of the biggest challenges.

Garbage disposal is a problem for any big city and plastic bottles are one of the biggest challenges.

"We should encourage environmental activities among children.If there was another opening in the lower half of the machine for children, it would be better," said a Beijing commuter.

The recycling machines are made by Incom. The company has ambitious plans, and says it wants to lead the way in making our cities greener.

"We have installed more than 400 such machines across Beijing, including subway lines, schools, residential areas, bus stops and shopping malls. We plan to expand that number to 5000 in 2016. Nowadays, most informal recycling workshops re-use the plastic for cloths and toys. It creates water and land pollution.We use the machines to bypass informal collectors, these returned bottles are being sorted, washed, processed and eventually reborn as bottles again," said deputy general manager of Incom recycling company Liu Xuesong.

Beijing officials hope to put the new machines in the busiest stations, particularly those close to popular tourist destinations. Statistics shows more than 15,000 tons of plastic bottles are recycled every year in Beijing. With the expansion of the reverse vending machines, that amount is expected to skyrocket.Though small in money incentives, hopes are still high that such recycling projects will make a difference and help promote greeen activities across the city.

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