Reverse Recycling Machines Give Back to Consumers

A new recycling kiosk manufactured by Asker, Norway-based TOMRA was designed to build loyalty while helping the planet.

Here’s how it works: Customers put in their can and bottle “empties,” and the machine prints a receipt that serves as a voucher to redeem the value of deposits. However, the recycling machines are also capable of printing out store coupons, discounts or prize receipts to urge customers to go inside the store and spend. According to the vendor, consumers who return empties during their shopping visit purchase up to 52 percent more than other shoppers.

The machines also have the capacity to function as point-of-sale advertising. So, for example, a consumer product company can get four-color, billboard quality ads on the machine, capturing a captive audience on its way to shop.

Some benefits of the units are:

--Bottle selection efficiency: For retailers in bottle bill states, technology can help streamline and tidy up the collection and sorting process
--Turn “speeders” into “feeders”: Similar to the concept of turning casual Web browsers into buyers, TOMRA says the concept encourages hasty individuals to linger a little longer and buy more, through couponing that’s provided before a customer shops, instead of at the register when they’re leaving
--Sustainability: Green initiatives that are designed to stimulate customer spending

Last month Supervalu began a pilot of Tomra’s Kiosks at Albertsons’ Corona and Huntington Beach, Calif., stores.
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