Bentley Enhances Recycling on Campus with a New Greenbean Machine
Bentley University is proud to now have a reverse vending machine on campus. Located in Collins Hall, the Greenbean Machine’s unique technology has caught the interest of students who have been actively using it since it was installed on campus in October 2013. In its initial months, Bentley students have already used the Greenbean more than any other college with a similar machine.
What is Greenbean?
Launched at MIT in August 2011, the Greenbean is a combination of a reverse vending machine and web application. According to their website, the goal of the machine is “…to increase recycling by incorporating real time analytics, social media, and gaming.” Users of the Greenbean create an account, and then deposit their bottles and cans into the machine. Users receive a five-cent refund for MA-eligible cans and bottles which includes beverages with carbonation. However, the machine counts all bottle and cans deposited towards unique challenges and competitions developed by Greenbean Company.
There are currently Greenbean Machines being used on eight college campuses around Massachusetts and growing. In addition, their goal is to place the machines in airports, arenas, and condominium complexes.
The refund received for recycling eligible bottles and cans can be redeemed by transferring the money to the user’s PayPal account or a charity of their choice. Bentley is currently working to set up a third option where students may transfer their money to Falcon Funds, money that is on their student ID to buy food and items on campus.
As containers are placed into the Greenbean, the user receives information on the amount of energy and tons of landfill space saved by recycling that can or bottle.
Competitions offered by Greenbean among individuals and between campuses have increased excitement and use among students. Past challenges and promotions have included the “Double Your Deposit Challenge”, “Earth Day Challenge”, and “Green Gift Grab Challenge” where students have the opportunity to win prizes such as retail gift cards, Zipcar credits, or a tablet.
Since the Greenbean was activated, Bentley has seen:
- 29,180 containers recycled
- 5,054 kWh of energy savings
- 5,267 lbs. diverted from landfill
- 285 recyclers