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Fremantle's Reverse Vending Machine

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by Cate W (subscribe)
I’m a freelance writer who loves travelling. Check out my travel blog at www.localtraveltips.wordpress.com - and if you enjoy my articles please subscribe so you don't miss any!
Published October 1st 2015
Rewards you for recycling
When I was in Germany last year, I was very impressed with their recycling facilities. Outside most supermarkets were reverse vending machines where people put their empty plastic bottles and cans and in return got a credit voucher to use in the shop. At the time, this level of recycling seemed light years ahead of Australia.

But Fremantle City Council has recently installed a reverse vending machine on the Esplanade that swaps your empty plastic bottles and aluminium cans for reward coupons. The initiative aims to encourage visitors to recycle their waste, to promote local businesses and to keep the streets of Fremantle clean.

Recycling, reverse vending machines, Fremantle City Council, Fremantle
The reverse vending machine on the Esplanade at Fremantle


Facts about the damage rubbish does to the environment are displayed on the outside. For example, the reverse vending machine, which holds up to 2,000 recyclable items, will also:
Reduce the amount of plastic making its way into landfill and the ocean. Currently, plastics make up about 60% of marine debris and an estimated 100,000 marine mammals and turtles are killed by plastic litter every year around the world.
Save energy, as making PET bottles from recycled materials uses 84% less energy than producing them from raw materials.

Recycling, reverse vending machines, Fremantle City Council, Fremantle
Facts about the damage rubbish does to the environment are displayed on the reverse vending machine


The reverse vending machine is very easy to use. You simply put your empty plastic bottle or can into the slot, press the green button and choose your reward on the touch screen.

Recycling, reverse vending machines, Fremantle City Council, Fremantle
The reverse vending machine is very easy to use


A coupon is printed out and when you have enough coupons you can redeem them at local businesses. The participating businesses and their offers are:

The Raw Kitchen
Two yoga classes for the price of one (10 coupons)
A free smoothie when you spend $25 or more in the restaurant (10 coupons)

Missy Moos Gourmet Burger Bar
• 15% off your next bill (5 coupons)

Market Girl
• Free kids lucky dip (4 coupons)

Parlapa Café Lunch Bar
• Free homemade biscuit with any coffee purchased (4 coupons)

Tourist Wheel
• $2 discount on one full price ride (5 coupons)

Fremantle Opals
• 20% off opal jewellery when you spend over $80

The rewards change every six months and the current vouchers are valid until 10th March 2016.

The reverse vending machine will be trialled in Fremantle for three years with a possibility of extension if it is successful. So get down to Fremantle and start reaping the rewards of recycling.

Recycling, reverse vending machines, Fremantle City Council, Fremantle
The reverse vending machine will be trialled for three years

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Why? To keep Fremantle clean and earn rewards
When: Anytime you feel like recycling
Where: Cliff Street end of the Esplanade in Fremantle, next to the toilet block
Cost: Nil - you get rewards!
Your Comment
What a great idea. Let's hope it encourages a stronger recycling culture.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|6160) 1298 days ago
Great article. I grew up with these in wellington. They had a one arm bandit style and a single aluminium can was like a token for the machine. If you won you got either a fun sticker with a logo encouraging recycling, or a fresh can of soft drink. It definitely encouraged me to recycle as a youngster.
by Rota (score: 2|708) 1294 days ago
These have been around since the early 90's in the U.S...good to see they are making their way here.
by Maria M (score: 2|661) 1284 days ago
Yes, so surprised that it has taken so long for these to appear here. Since most states in the US have a bottle deposit, the recycling machines are posted near the entry at grocery stores for easy returns and to instantly redeem credits at the register. Kids will pick up any extra bottles/cans for pocket money, so there are hardly any littering the landscape.
by rubys (score: 0|3) 1271 days ago
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