Very often people want to recycle but aren’t sure how. This area of untapped recycling potential is a business opportunity that many companies are jumping in to fill. For example, what are you supposed to do with fluorescent light bulbs? CFLs are widely encouraged as a replacement for incandescent light-bulbs but, they do contain small amounts of mercury.
Things like batteries and CFLs should not be thrown away with household hazardous waste (HHW) but many consumers don’t know what they should be doing instead. This is what UK company reVend hopes to change – they are the first company in the world that specialises in supplying “reverse vending machine systems, installation, material recovery and recycling through their experienced management team in RV technology, recycling and waste management.”
What all this means is very simple: when you put your CFL into a big slot in the vending machine, a video camera fitted inside identifies the bulb so it can be sorted, and then you receive a voucher for a free cup of coffee. Swapping an old CFL for a cup of coffee sounds like a good deal! In addition to recycling, reVend also provides regular maintenance services for their machines. The machine also comes with an extractor filter to capture any mercury vapour in case of accidental breakage of a light bulb.