Archive for November, 2014

Winners of 2014 Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice for Reverse Vending

November 13, 2014

Project Title: Reverse Vending of Bottles and Cans at Barts NHS Health Trust


Barts Health NHS Trust, working in partnership with Skanska, wanted to introduce an incentivised recycling program that will reward individuals for recycling their empty drink cans and PET plastic bottles. By encouraging individuals with incentives, which include local charity donation and discount off drinks in the hospital restaurant, it is hoped that we can encourage individuals to change their behaviours to  become more environmentally responsible.

The Reverse Vending Team with their Green Apple Award at the Houses of Parliament award ceremnony

The Reverse Vending Team with their Green Apple Award at the Houses of Parliament award ceremony

It is hoped that over time, this Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) will reduce the carbon footprint of the waste management operation. This will be achieved by reducing waste volumes, on site separation, and through reducing waste collections. This reduction will be measured with the auditable data trail created on an online portal.

The programme is part of a wider waste initiative by the Trust aimed at supporting the Trust in improving compliance, knowledge & skills, reducing environmental impact, reducing production and making residual waste a commodity.

By installing the RVM, The Trust became the ‘First Hospital Trust in the World to install a ReVend Reverse Vending Machine’. We hope to use this project as a case study for future projects and to set an example to other hospital trusts and businesses as to the possibilities waste can produce.

green apple

The Green Apple Award was presented at the Houses of Parliament, Palace of Westminster

In the first month of the project being installed, Barts Health NHS Trust has diverted over 3000 bottles and cans, creating a separate waste stream. This is already having noticeable benefits on bin emptying rates with reductions of two bags a day.

In the first few weeks, over 50 staff members have been educated about the machine. This, along with news articles published on the hospital intranet and through planned media campaigns, we hope to improve use of the machine by another 20%.

While managing the waste the Barts Health NHS Trust and Skanska partnership have built links with local business and our contractors, encouraging them to become future proof. Skanska and Barts Health NHS trust are helping to introduce Reverse Vending Machines into the UK Market.

The Barts Health and Skanska partnership are already using the case study to encourage further business growth. Sharing the study with other companies in the hope of sharing environmental best practice.

Operating transparently, the commitment shown is already encouraging future machines for crushing renal plastic bottles. Reducing the shipment of ‘air’ is essential in reducing the carbon footprint and costs of the waste operations.

Winners of a 2014 Green Apple Award

Winners of a 2014 Green Apple Award


 “First Hospital in the World ” to install a reVend Reverse Vending Machine

Barts Health NHS Trust working in partnership with Skanska have become the “First Hospital in the World to install a ReVend Reverse Vending Machine (RVM)”. The installation of the machine at Whipps Cross Hospital,  has led to the creation of a used beverage container recycling programme. This program is aimed at motivating and incentivising individuals to recycle, by offering incentives of a 10p voucher off drinks or a donation to the hospitals charity. The separation of these materials from other waste has created a separate commoditised waste stream, with the creation of local business ties to buy, collect and sell the resources, reinvesting any money made into patient care.

The Trust already diverts 100% of waste from landfill. Domestic waste is separated for recycling at a Materials Recycling Facility, with non-recyclables converted into Refuse Derived Fuel. By investing in the RVM, the Trust can progressively move up the waste hierarchy.

The Reverse Vending Machine technology automates the recognition / collection /compaction and storage of used beverage drink cans and PET Plastic Bottles, reducing the need for human intervention. Recovering the items at the creation source reduces emissions and makes items ready for recycling, helping to shorten the closed recycling loop.

First reVend Reverse Vending Machine installed ina Hospital

First reVend Reverse Vending Machine installed in a Hospital

The installation of the Reverse Vending Machine has helped to advertise the long standing commitment from the Trust to reduce waste, increase recycling and lead innovation. Fitting to sustainability agendas, it is hope that the practice will facilitate further discussion and thinking around sustainable resource usage.

It is hoped that the machine will be cost neutral, with savings from reduced waste pickups, increased staff efficiency and revenue generated from the machine balancing the costs of leasing and financing the incentives.

There are also large carbon savings to be made by using this machine. This was an important factor when installing the machine, as the Trust has a carbon savings commitment and wanted to reduce the number of waste vehicles collecting from site.



The ReVend Reverse Vending Machine automatically sends a text or email when the storage container needs to be emptied, reducing the need for staff to keep checking the machine.  With a capacity of well over  1,000 items, this drastically reduces staff collections.



First reVend Reverse Vending Machine installed in a Hospital

This very important installation, shows real recycling statistics in real time, which can be accessed through an online portal. This data gives us total transparency, and provides real auditable statistics of used beverage drink containers.  European Governments are using similar machines in their “Deposit Systems”.

The staff at the hospital have been highly committed to making the machine a success, spreading the message through media and word of mouth. Restaurant staff separate recyclables which have been left on tables and trays. Staff have also commented on the reduction of the number of times they need to empty the bins, and say that is allowing them to undertake other important jobs in the restaurant.

Talks and on the spot demos have been offered to staff during lunch hours, educating over 30 individuals on the benefits of using it to recycle items. There has been a keen interest with staff bringing in bottles from home to recycle goods.

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Fancy a free drink? IKEA Milton Keynes Light Bulb Recycling machines give a free drink for each light bulb recycled

November 8, 2014

Heading to IKEA this weekend? Don’t forget to check out this amazing new machine!

IKEA Reverse Vending

The Light Bulb Reverse Vending Recycling Machine at IKEA Milton Keynes sits in the store’s car park next to an electric car charging station.

The Light Bulb Reverse Vending Recycling Machine at IKEA Milton Keynes sits in the store’s car park next to an electric car charging station.

This machine was invented by Reverse Vending, to act as a “A First in the World” invention for IKEA. Low energy bulbs contain a small amount of mercury and IKEA want to stop that going into people’s dustbins and landfill.

This machine takes the bulb away and rewards the customer with a reward. The recycler is guided through the simple process by an exciting touch screen menu, the user then receives a reward incentive voucher, automatically dispensed by the machine.

IKEA Reverse Vending

The touch screen enables the user to choose
from a large selection of different rewards,
the user may even choose to donate to charity
(image) IKEA Light Bulb Recycling Machine-  donate to WWF Charity Option


The touch screen enables the user to choose from a large selection of different rewards – these being a voucher for Free Coffee, or they may choose to donate 10 pence to one of the four Corporate Charities UNICEF ,WWF , Save The Children, The Woodland Trust.

Reverse Vending Corporation, who invented this incredible machine, has now installed Light Bulb Recycling machines in most UK IKEA stores and have already installed the same machines in other European IKEA stores such as Denmark.

IKEA Green Apple Award


The Light Bulb Recycling machine has won a Green Apple Award for IKEA.



Charlie Browne Sustainability Manager for IKEA UK & IE said:

“For over ten years, IKEA has recognised the need to collect used light bulbs and batteries and provided a manual collection service for customers to return light bulbs (ESbs) and batteries. “IKEA wants to inspire and enable our customers to live a more sustainable life at home and helping customers take simple measures can contribute to a better environment. “We have seen that the Light Bulb Reverse Vending Recycling machine has been a great success and we have had very positive and supportive feedback from both our customers and our employees.”

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