Presentation Title

Reverse Vending Machines: Sustainability Through Innovation on ERAU Campus

Campus

Daytona Beach

Status

Student

Faculty/Staff Department

Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology

Student Year and Major

Senior Human Factors

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Presentation Description/Abstract

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University currently does not recycle any trash thrown away on campus despite the many recycle bins located on the University campus. Recycle bins are commonly poorly placed and overlooked, and the cost of recycling was too high due to decontamination costs. Internationally, there have been technological innovations regarding waste management and recycling; one of which is the use of Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs). RVMs are machines that accept plastic bottles and aluminum cans in exchange for a small incentive to the user. Once a bottle or can is accepted by the RVM, the item is crushed within the machine. Norway, being the birthplace of RVMs, has seen a 97% recycling rate for plastic bottles where other countries that have other recycling regulations in the 60% range; implementing RVMs on campus can result in a positive change for sustainability (Deshayes, 2020). Results from a student survey showed that many students do not fully understand what items are recyclable on campus; however, 100% of students who have taken our sustainability survey agree that they would be interested in using Reverse Vending Machines and that 83.3% would be more likely to use them. Our plan would begin with ERAU’s application for two machines through Tomra™ and installing them in strategic locations in the Student Union. By having RVMs placed on campus, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University would become a more sustainable campus while also promoting recycling in a convenient, rewarding, and motivating way.

Keywords

Reverse Vending Machines, Recycling, Sustainability

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Reverse Vending Machines: Sustainability Through Innovation on ERAU Campus

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University currently does not recycle any trash thrown away on campus despite the many recycle bins located on the University campus. Recycle bins are commonly poorly placed and overlooked, and the cost of recycling was too high due to decontamination costs. Internationally, there have been technological innovations regarding waste management and recycling; one of which is the use of Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs). RVMs are machines that accept plastic bottles and aluminum cans in exchange for a small incentive to the user. Once a bottle or can is accepted by the RVM, the item is crushed within the machine. Norway, being the birthplace of RVMs, has seen a 97% recycling rate for plastic bottles where other countries that have other recycling regulations in the 60% range; implementing RVMs on campus can result in a positive change for sustainability (Deshayes, 2020). Results from a student survey showed that many students do not fully understand what items are recyclable on campus; however, 100% of students who have taken our sustainability survey agree that they would be interested in using Reverse Vending Machines and that 83.3% would be more likely to use them. Our plan would begin with ERAU’s application for two machines through Tomra™ and installing them in strategic locations in the Student Union. By having RVMs placed on campus, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University would become a more sustainable campus while also promoting recycling in a convenient, rewarding, and motivating way.