Tomra Expands Reverse Vending Recycling on Campus

Allan Gerlat, News Editor

October 8, 2015

2 Min Read
Tomra Expands Reverse Vending Recycling on Campus

Tomra Systems ASA has expanded its Greenbean bottle and can recycling incentive program for U.S. colleges and universities.

The provider of reverse vending machines (RVMs), based in Asker, Norway, added Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh to its program, which previously included seven institutions in the Northeast and Midwest, according to a news release.

Tomra also launched a new upgraded website for Greenbean where students can track and manage their recycling points and rewards.

As part of the Greenbean expansion, each university also will receive a new UNO Promo model RVM, which features a 10-inch touch display screen, internet connectivity and an upgraded user interface and experience.

On campuses, the recycling machines are generally placed in student centers or other high-traffic areas, often with four-color wraps featuring the college logo or mascot. Consumer product companies, the school bookstore or other organizations can sponsor a machine, with contests and prizes to promote their products or services.

With the Tomra RVMs, when a student inserts a bottle or can into a Greenbean machine, he or she can enter an e-mail address to link to an internet rewards account. Students can earn points for rewards such as reusable grocery bags, gift cards and other prizes. Students also can donate their points to local charities.

Further, in bottle deposit states where used beverage containers are worth money, students can have deposit cash transferred to a PayPal account.

In addition to Carnegie Mellon University, participating colleges include Harvard University, Brandeis University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Merrimack College, Bentley University and University of Southern Indiana.

The Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) provided funding for the Carnegie Mellon Greenbean program. The PRC is working closely with Alcoa to provide grants to colleges in non-deposit states, helping them develop on-campus recycling programs for used beverage containers.

“Greenbean is an innovative loyalty program that rewards students for recycling. It offers personalized incentives to drive engagement, and can even facilitate on-campus contests to generate excitement about recycling and other sustainability topics,” said Ryan Drake-Lee, director of strategy and commercial software at Tomra.

Tomra bought Greenbean Recycle Inc. in September 2014. It said then that the technology of the Somerville, Mass.-based Greenbean would be integrated in Tomra’s ReAct technology platform. ReAct is a consumer engagement system designed to provide rewards and incentives for the consumers using RVMs to recycle their bottles and cans.

Meanwhile, New York-based Recyclebank, a major recycling incentives and rewards company in the United States, most recently has been educating people about recycling contamination, offering up an array of contamination content to its users–municipal residents located in 350 communities throughout the nation.

About the Author(s)

Allan Gerlat

News Editor, Waste360

Allan Gerlat joined the Waste360 staff in September 2011 as news editor. He was the editor of Waste & Recycling News for the first 16 years of its history, and under his guidance the publication won 27 national and regional awards.

Before Waste & Recycling News, Allan worked at another Crain Communications publication, Rubber & Plastics News, which covers rubber product manufacturing. He began with the publication as associate editor and eventually became managing editor, a position he held for nine years.

Allan is a graduate of Ohio University, where he earned a BS in journalism. He is based in Sagamore Hills, in northeast Ohio.

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