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UK's first reverse vending machine installed in Peterborough school

Children in Peterborough can reap the benefits of recycling with the help of the UK’s first reverse vending machine (RVM).

The innovative machine rewards those who feed it empty cans, plastic bottles, and cups, with smart card points or vouchers. These can be exchanged for healthy food and drinks.

Orton Longueville School’s staff will be able to check the machine’s recycling statistics online – as it will be connected to Reverse Vending Corporation’s national recycling electronic data management network via a modem.

Over 60,000 similar machines are installed in continental Europe, but this is the first of its kind in the UK. The machine is able to separate the cans and bottles using barcodes and compact them to one tenth of their original size. Vending cups are shredded.

To work around the problem of tight school budgets, Siemens financial services came up with a financial package whereby the school spread the cost over five years by leasing the machine and offsetting monthly payments against landfill cost savings.

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