averda's ReVa machines reward users for recycling

15 reverse vending machines launched across TECOM business parks

The ReVa machine flanked by Mark Mortimer-Davies, CEO of Air Miles Middle East, Saeed bin Ghubash, director of Enpark, TECOM, and John Irvine, managin
The ReVa machine flanked by Mark Mortimer-Davies, CEO of Air Miles Middle East, Saeed bin Ghubash, director of Enpark, TECOM, and John Irvine, managin

 TECOM business parks launched the ReVa reverse vending machine through a collaboration between Enpark, averda and Air Miles. The machine enables users to exchange plastic bottles and aluminium cans forrewards from Air Miles.

Recyclers are able to collect two Air Miles for every unit deposited in any one of the 15 ReVa reverse vending machines located across TECOM business parks.

Saeed Bin Ghubash, director of Enpark, TECOM, said: “At Enpark we are dedicated to helping businesses grow by raising awareness about the operational efficiencies that can be achieved through the adoption of initiatives that reduce waste and energy usage. By making recycling more accessible, the ReVa reverse vending machine is also working to change the habits of those working in and living near TECOM free zones.”

Click here to view the photographs from the launch event

The 15 ReVa machines can be found in communal areas of Enpark; Dubai Internet City; Studio City; Academic City; Dubai Outsourcing Zone; International Media Production Zone; Dubai Media City; DuBiotech and Dubai Knowledge Village.

Mark Mortimer-Davies, CEO of Air Miles Middle East, said he has been looking at the potential of such a project for 12 years, adding: "We really believe that the best way to change behaviour is to reward people for their behaviour. We are going to be able to talk to our members and talk to people who are not taking advantage of the initiative, and we're positive our members will play a strong role in this."

John Irvine, managing director of averda Dubai, gave a short demonstration at the launch of how the machine works, and said the machine takes bottles and cans. When an item is placed inside it, it "reads" what material it is made of, and as an in-built safety mechanism, does not accept anything that still has liquid in it.

The bottles and cans then get collected inside the machine, and are segregated manually once collected.

ReVa machines also come with a SIM card, which communicates with a central system on activity in the machine. It sends a message to averda when it is nearly full, so the bottles and cans can be collected before reaching capacity.

It also helps averda and its partners realise which machines are getting more activity, which can allow them to consider things like changing positions of the machine to get maximum exposure.

Irvine said: "I think the concept came around four years ago. And obviously with TECOM’s commitment to sustainability, there was a natural blend for the two of us. From a supplier point of view, we understood that we wanted [the machine] to be interactive to raise awareness. The industry promotes it is green, but are we? Commercial restraints sometimes drive us in a different avenue."

He also explained that once the website is fully developed, users can track the commodity to see what has been done with it - whether it's been used to make clothes, or any other item.

While the 15 machines are currently spread across TECOM business parks, there is the potential for further expansion. Bin Ghubash said: "I’m sure this will be a successful deployment and companies will be asking us to install machines in their premises. We’re using this deployment to showcase the machines. But I’m sure this will open up avenues for other collaborations."

Irvine agreed but said the idea is to first embed the idea of ReVa into people's minds before spreading out. "We don’t try to run before we can walk. The most important thing is to embed the project to try and bring it to the stakeholders at the business park. There will be small adjustments over the next 6-8 months. Enpark may come up with another idea. Airmiles has already spoken to us about other initiatives, so we are well aware that this is an evolving initiative."

Mortimer-Davies added: "We believe this will be a behaviour-changing program."

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