One of the coolest new vending machines to come out recently is one that vends out rewards to you for putting in recyclable materials, like light bulbs and batteries. A new pilot program for these vending machines was launched on London Ikea stores, where customers could bring in light bulbs to recycle and get rewarded with a voucher for the store. If they don’t want Ikea cash, they can donate to a charity of their choosing. Now they are looking to push these to be sold in the United States at a variety of different locations, giving shoppers incentive to do the right thing and not just toss out light bulbs and batteries.
It’d be nice to think that these kind of machines could get people to recycle, even if they have to use an incentive to do it. We already have that sort of idea implemented with can and bottle reverse vending machines that pay out the deposit. But for now, I’m thinking there should be drink vending machines and snack vending machines that also have incentives to buy. Maybe a random chance of getting a free soda voucher, or a pack of gum with those BBQ chips to get the smell off your breath. One can only dream!