We are no strangers to vending machines: when you put COINS in, the vending machines will “spit out” what you want to buy. A machine called the “dream machine” in the United States recently works the opposite way a vending machine does: you throw a can or other type of empty bottle in return for points and bonuses.
Dream machines are designed to encourage people to get into the habit of recycling, even if they are far from homes. Due to the lack of public recycling facilities, many families, especially those with rich lives, seldom recycle used beverage bottles. An estimated 100 billion cans and empty bottles are thrown away (unrecycled) each year in the United States alone. Even if there are recycling facilities nearby, many people will throw them away nearby, too lazy to put them in the garbage ledger.
But the vending machines that spit out the money give the public an incentive not to throw away any cans or empty bottles at will. Created by GreenOps and funded by Pepsi, the American waste management corporation and the nonprofit environmental group make America beautiful forever, the dream machine offers credits that can be used as cash on Greenopolis.com or wherever the machine is available.
The machine is so simple that users can get points by scanning barcodes on cans or empty bottles and throwing them into the machine. Each dream machine can hold up to 300 beverage bottles. There is no widespread deployment of such machines in the United States, but this year and next several thousand will be installed across the United States. Eventually, the project is expected to recycle about 400 million beverage bottles a year with the help of dream machines.
To be sure, the vending machines that the fancy machines spit out money won’t interfere with the U.S. ‘s highly effective beverage bottle recycling program, which sells bottles for a few cents, because authorities have temporarily installed the machines only where there is no conventional recycling equipment.