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Source: Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

24 Sep, 2020

The first Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) in the North Island is up and running at AUT in WG beside Carty McCartface. Rather than putting money into the machine and it giving you food or drink a RVM takes your used plastic bottles and cans and gives you a voucher in return that you can redeem at #newsfeed, The Counter or Refuel for a 20c discount on your next cold drink. AUT has collaborated with Frucor Suntory (our major cold drinks supplier) on the machine so vouchers are redeemable on drinks including V, Boss, H2Go, Fresh Up, Up & Go and Amplify.

The RVM is another sustainability initiative at AUT aimed at reducing the amount of recyclable material incorrectly put in landfill bins and to incentivise staff and students to correctly recycle their cans and plastic bottles. While the machine does not accept glass bottles it can hold up 1500 plastic bottles and/or cans by crushing them and compacting them. No matter how many items you recycle in one transaction you will be given the same voucher as you would if you’d just recycled one item. Once the machine is full the items will be added to AUT’s regular recycling collection.

Sustainability Team Leader at AUT, Lindsey du Preez, says encouraging and incentivising students and staff to correctly dispose of their recyclables is a step in the right direction. “Although we recycle approximately 140 tonnes of plastic, cans and bottles each year at AUT, we also estimate that about 12% of our waste to landfill could have been recycled. We’re happy with any initiative that will divert this kind of waste from landfills,” she says.

The head of Sustainability at Frucor, Ben Walkley, said that initiatives like these are a part of their “long-term plan” and added “there are plenty more initiatives to come”.