Recycling is often associated with places like Whole Foods Markets, people wearing Birkenstocks, and a green lifestyle. But if we really want to help move the needle on recycling, we need to get everybody recycling. That includes not just soccer moms, but NASCAR dads, too.
Waste Management want to triple the amount of recycling it handles each year. PepsiCo wants to increase U.S.beverage container recycling rates to 50%. And many see a 90%+ rate of recycling as an achievable goal.
So last weekend found me and another great bunch of Waste Management folks at the PepsiCo Dream Machine Recycling Kiosk on the infield at the Pocono International Raceway. This not your Birkenstock crowd, but they take to recycling like they do auto racing. Pocono Raceway is one of the “greenest” raceways there, with solar projects, tree planting , ethanol fuel projects and more.
We offered a chance at a VIP package for 4 for the August 7th Pocono Race and 100 Greenopolis Reward Points as an incentive to try the Dream Machine Kiosk and register on Greenopolis for great recycling rewards. We may as well as hung up a sign saying “Free Beer and Chicken”! People flocked to try out the machine and recycle their water, beer, and soft drink bottles.
The Dream Machine recycling initiative, created by PepsiCo in partnership with Waste Management and Keep America Beautiful, is introducing thousands of recycling kiosks and bins at popular public locations across North America. The kiosks are computerized recycling receptacles powered by Greenopolis systems that reward users with points for each bottle or can they recycle at the kiosk. The points can be redeemend on the Greenopolis website for rewards like products and local discounts on entertainment, dining, and travel.
In addition, the more bottles and cans people recycle in Dream Machines, the more support PepsiCo will provide to EBV, a national program offering free, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 U.S. veterans with disabilities. The armed forces even honored us with a flyover just before the race began. Ok, maybe it was for the drivers and the fans, but we felt honored, too.
Every item recycled gains Greenopolis Reward Points as well. Many of the folks at Pocono are well are their way today to their first free pizza, movie tickets, computer or other reward after all the recycling done at the race.
Whole families showed up to recycle. Lydia and her family signed up before the race and came back later with a bag full of water bottles to recycle at the Dream Machine. Their enthusiasm was inspiring, and Lydia may be BFF with the Dream Machine!
The traffic was heavy enough that the bins filled up and had to be emptied multiple times during the event.
This driver made a pit stop just to recycle his water bottle! Well, not really, but the commitment to recycling is moving as fast as a NASCAR champion.
If the response at Pocono Raceway was any indication, Dream Machine Recycling Kiosks and Recycling Bins will someday be as commonplace as the ice cooler at races, ballparks, universities and stores. Anywhere people gather, beverages are consumed. Everywhere beverages are consumed, the need to recycle is there. Dream Machines and Greenopolis Recycling Kiosks are spreading across the country to meet that need, even- or maybe especially- at NASCAR races. Let the green flag drop and the race begin!