Recycling is automatically rewarded under pilot program

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At the Centenario park, a pilot program to reward recycling begins. Photo: Diario de Yucatán

Mérida, Yucatán — A reverse vending machine accepts plastic bottles and dispenses money.

The city’s “AyuntaEco” pilot program, which involves a local company’s technology, will be installed in the Centennial and Animaya parks, among other public buildings.

The machine has a slot to deposit the plastic containers one by one, and the screen shows a description of each one.

Once deposited, the “finish” button is pressed and immediately the four options appear: cash delivery, tickets for the zoo, apply the money toward property taxes or donate to charity causes.

DW Media’s CEO, William Lopez Rodriguez, explained that the machine has been developed and is manufactured entirely in Mérida by the 100 percent Yucatecan company. The machine can hold up to 200 kilos of plastic items.

The appliance runs on electric power, but is equipped with a unit that keeps it running in the event of a power failure. It has an integrated Wi-Fi connection that allows administrators to monitor the machine remotely, as it emits a signal when it is near maximum capacity.

In addition, it generates a daily report that contains a breakdown listing machine capacity, brand and type of drink. A closed-circuit camera records the entire transaction.

“These machines are 100 percent user-friendly, which is a big advantage for the people of Mérida,” explained the executive.

The plastic container intended for recycling must be in good conditions with a visible barcode that the machine can read.

Lopez Rodriguez said the potential of this project may be much larger because these modules can be installed in places where higher incidence of plastic containers use is reported, such as concerts.

The machines can be geo-located with mobile devices, so citizens know where they are installed.

But for the time being, the city is rolling them out at El Centenario and Animaya, where visitors can exchange their plastic waste for tickets to the zoo.

Photo: Diario de Yucatán

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