As part of a recently introduced trial, Hackney Council have installed a reverse vending machine within a local housing estate, aiming to encourage people to recycle a variety of goods in order to receive vouchers in return.
Residents of the Hoxton estate will be able to deposit cans and plastic bottles into the machine, receiving vouchers as a direct result of their efforts to improve sustainability and cleanliness of their area; the trial functioning in tandem with the residents association and Hackney Council itself.
The idea is to investigate the potential of reverse vending machines as a viable scheme to reduce pollution and waste in such shared spaces as housing estates, while also rewarding those for helping to look after their own residency.
Councillor Jon Burke, cabinet member for energy, sustainability and community services at Hackney Council said: "While recycling is by no means the complete solution to our hugely wasteful system of consumption, it is far preferable to the alternative methods of disposal.
"By ensuring that recyclable materials are given an economic value, reverse vending has the potential to divert significant amounts of waste away from landfill and incineration, reduce virgin resource depletion, stimulate the circular economy, and materially benefit the public.
"While a small number of reverse vending trials have been undertaken by large supermarkets within their premises, we believe that estates and large apartment complexes have significant potential as reverse vending locations in an environment where people are increasingly conducting smaller food shopping trips and visiting supermarkets less frequently."