Beijing is giving its commuters the ability to keep their transit system clean and pay for the ride all in one swift motion.
The city has installed 34 “reverse vending machines” at high-traffic subway stations. Insert an empty bottle and the machine will analyze its value and give you a credit on your transportation pass or alternatively via cellphone minutes.
The idea is catching on. In Sydney, where TakePart reports that “beverage containers now outstrip cigarette butts as the most littered item,” the city officials placed Envirobank reverse vending machines throughout the city. Unlike traditional recycling bins, where people would throw regular garbage and contaminate the recycling, making it hard or impossible to process, this machine only fits plastic bottles and soda cans.