GreenBean Recycle Turns Recycling into an Online Competition
My typical response when I discover that little recycle symbol on my soon-to-be-empty almond butter container is, "Aww man, I have to wash this sticky stuff? Ugh, I suppose that's a good thing!" I think many people can agree with me that recycling isn't exactly the most exhilarating task. With GreenBean Recycle, people may soon discover a more fun way to recycle other than the moral obligation combined with the five-cent reimbursement.
Gaming has become the newest phase of social media and mobile applications by transforming real places into a digital playground. Apps like Foursquare and Scavenger are so popular because users can incorporate these games into their real-life and take advantage of incentives like discounts at local retailers. The founder of GreenBean Recycle, Shanker Sahai, has taken this gaming concept a step further by putting it toward an environmentally responsible cause. Their mission is to encourage recycling through a fun and morally satisfying competition.
GreenBean Recycle took their own spin on reverse vending machines by allowing members to sign into their account to earn points and track their progress. Users first register through the site by creating a profile and choosing a team. As of now, the machines are only located in two places: MIT and Tufts. This means the service and teams are exclusive to MIT and Tufts. Once registered, they're given the option to choose a fraternity or sorority as a sub team. The next step asks users to decide if they prefer to earn money, receive tech cash (i.e. funds added to their university cash card), or make a donation. Due to the Massachusetts Bottle Bill Law, refunds are only made from carbonated beverages. Water, juice, and sports drink containers do not include a five-cent deposit but can be put in GreenBean Recycle’s reverse vending machines.
After signing up, GreenBean Recyclers can use machines at their registered location. The first question that popped into my mind was, "What sets GreenBean Recycle’s reverse vending machines apart from other bottle return machines?" The answer is that people can sign into their account through the touch screen to keep track of points against their competitors. Not only can users earn money from carbonated beverage bottles, but they can potentially earn prizes through competitions.Continued on the next page