Istanbul’s new vending machines trade recyclables for metro fare
Istanbul's "Smart Mobile Waste Transfer Centers" scan and assign a value to recyclables before crushing, shredding, and sorting the material. Will they help to prevent littering?
What incentive do you have to make sure a plastic bottle you use ends up in a recycling bin?
The answer is probably very little, unless you’re determined to get 5 to 10 cents per bottle at the recycling center or unless you happen to live in one of the few cities or states that have mandatory recycling laws or plastic bottle bans.
Recently, Istanbul devised a more direct incentive to boost recycling rates by installing "reverse vending machines" that allow people to trade recyclables for credit on Istanbulkart cards, which are used to pay for public transportation.
“With those smart machines, our waste management department and the municipality’s Smart City Technologies Company [İsbak] will contribute to the protection of the environment,” the municipality said on Twitter.
The machines, dubbed "Smart Mobile Waste Transfer Centers," are able to scan and assign a value to recyclables before crushing, shredding, and sorting the material. The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality plans to install at least 100 of the machines in 25 locations by the end of 2018.
Boosting recycling through reverse vending machines isn’t a new idea. The technology has already been installed or proposed in the U.S., China, the U.K., and Norway, where the recycling rate is 90%, largely thanks to reverse vending machines that have been in place since the 1970s. (Norway also adds an extra cost to its recyclable products that can be recouped later by recycling.)
In March, a leaked report estimated that the U.K. could increase its recycling rate from 60% to 85% by instituting a recyclable deposit scheme that includes reverse vending machines.
The success rates of other countries that have adopted similar schemes seem to support that claim, such as Lithuania, which increased its recycling return rate from 34% to 91% in the two years after implementing the plan.
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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