Cool technology is humming under the streets of Beijing. There, in the subway system, some unique machines are showing up that have lots of people talking. New "Reverse Vending Machines" take your recyclable plastic bottles that would normally be waste, and trades them in for value. Travelers deposit soda, water, and other drink bottles into the contraption, and it then dispenses credits for subway rides, adding the value onto refillable tickets. The mass transit system has started the rollout of the recycling technology, eventually targeting a laudable goal of 3,000 recycle-for-a-reward stations.
People pay with plastic, keeping it out of already overflowing refuse sites and landfills, and getting it into the recycling stream. The main company providing the machines, Incom, hopes to keep thousands of bottles off the streets where they are often discarded. Best-case scenario will have the recycling for rebate stations at bus stops and other public transportation hubs as well as parking areas, where the rebates could offset parking fees. Trash for tickets--it's a good way to get compliance with programs to limit litter.