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Recycling encouraged with prize connections

Lauren Collins, Features Editor
September 28, 2011
Filed under Features

Pitt-Johnstown managers are to enhance and encourage recycling with the addition of a machine that will give people credit for recycling plastic and glass bottles.

A new recycling system is to be implemented at Pitt-Johnstown in the next two weeks.

Evelyn Howley, student senate foods committee chair, said she had spoken to Sodexo manager Victor Costlow about the machine, called the “Dream Machine” by sponsors.

The Dream Machine’s representatives explain the project on the Website, www.vendingmarketwatch.com:

“(The) Dream Machine recycling initiative (is) a multi-year collaboration between PepsiCo, Waste Management and Keep America Beautiful . . . (that) aims to create strategic partnerships to help increase the U.S. beverage container recycling rate to 50 percent by 2018 by providing greater on-the-go access to recycling receptacles.”

Schools sign up to participate in the recycling rally online and are given a free laptop and other instruments to weigh and/or tally the recyclables collected at the machine.

Howley said that the machine is to be outside of the Tuck Shop and that nonalcoholic plastic and glass bottles will be accepted.

Senior Lizzy Bauer said the machine’s location is a crucial element regarding use.

“People have to know where it’s at and know what it is. Some people might get annoyed if they have a lot of empty bottles in their rooms and have to haul them down,” she said.

To get students to participate – even if lugging their recyclables to the Union is a hassle – the machine is to offer points based on the amount of recycling each student puts into the machine.

Howley said students can sign up online for a card – she said it will be similar to the Giant Eagle Advantage card.

“The company will mail the card and students will scan their cards on the machine before they recycle. Points will be added to the card and then points can be used to get prizes online,” Howley said.

Bauer said the points will make people think twice before throwing out recyclable bottles and she expects a lot of her friends to use it.

“Points are better than nothing. And it sounds similar to rewards that some other beverage companies offer. Instead of entering a code from a bottle lid, the points are automatically in the account.