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Recycling Machine Proves a Hit

The nation's first drinking bottle recycling machine has processed more than 3,000 empty bottles after just one week on the pedestrian street of Nanjing Road E in east China's Shanghai.

At this stage, the machine, designed by a Beijing-based company for about 30,000 yuan (US$4,292), accepts only plastic or aluminum containers by reading their bar codes.

As a reward, the machine gives 0.10 yuan to anyone who throws a container into it.

"We hope the machine can help reduce the number of waste collectors in the pedestrian street," said Cao, an office director with the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street Management Office. "The scheme will raise the public's awareness of environmental protection issues."

The new machine drew a lot of attention. About as tall as an adult, it stands beside the Shanghai No. 1 Department Store.

The guide printed on the machine teaches people to put a container with a complete barcode through a feeding hole. If the container is identified, it will issue a coin through the redeeming slot.

"It received more than 1,700 bottles during the three-day holiday. We are quite satisfied with the result," Cao said. He said most visitors threw their bottles into the machine not for the coin but because they were keen to play a role in environmental protection.

The management official said waste collectors rummaging for bottles in pedestrian street dust bins every day had a negative impact on the city's image.

(Shanghai Daily May 8, 2008)

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