Would reverse vending machines work in Lakeland, FL?

Reverse recycling debuts at USF

Reverse vending machines at USF | Photo via the University of South Florida

Cliff McBride/Cliff McBride

Throw the way you recycle in reverse… Literally.

In case you missed it, Coca-Cola + the University of South Florida partnered up to bring reverse vending machines to USF campuses. Students deposit aluminum cans and plastic bottles, which are sorted, crushed, and prepared for reuse. Now, here’s the question: would you like to see this in Lakeland?

Before we get to that, let’s dive into what this means and where it’s been a success.

The vending machines at USF are part of Coca-Cola’s “World Without Waste” initiative that aims to recycle any piece of material they sell by 2030.

So far, cities around the world like Beijing + Sydney, have been implementing vending machines, with relative success. With the machines coming to local South Florida campuses, it could open up the door for the machines to come to other schools, or even supermarkets.

When we asked you if you’d like to see reverse vending in Lakeland, here’s what you said:

“Would like to see somewhere in north Lakeland, maybe at the mall, a Publix, near Target, at a bank…” — Reader Theresa B.

“I would love to see this recycling done in Lakeland. It would give people an incentive to bring their bottles and can to these specific locations. I hope is done in Lakeland. Think green!” — Reader Angel M.

“YES! Bring them to Lakeland.” — Reader Maureen B.

“Would like reverse vending machines to make recycling easier at Florida Southern College and every sporting venue in Polk County!!” — Reader Crystal N.

Have thoughts on this program? Share them with us.

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