Recycle: Fun, Green, and Bus Fare

My kitchen counter was piling up with plastic and glass bottles. I noticed that my local Ralphs had recycling machines. In the past, I would take my bottles to a recycling station where an attendant would weigh the items and give me some money back. Similar to self checkout stations, to recycle, you now can do it yourself!


There were several recycling machines clearly marked with Cans, Glass, or Plastic. I decided to try plastic first. About the size of a vending machine, it’s pretty self explanatory. Put your item in the hole. I saw a bin with bottle caps so I thought I had to remove them before tossing them in. I popped one in and you can watch it rotate like a washing machine. If it was kosher, the bottle flipped to the left and then you could hear it being grinded and smashed down to size. If the machine didn’t like your bottle, it would flip it to the right and slide toward you. A message read, can’t read barcode. I had a bottle or two that the machine didn’t like. I saw another message that read it didn’t take that type of bottle. Picky bugger, the bottle was from Rite Aid!


Next up were my glass bottles. It actually was easier than the plastics. Most of the bottles got tossed to left on one try. I had one or two that needed two tries. They were not crushed or smashed. They were simply tossed for collection.


After each round, you press the receipt button for your reward. A paper printout with a money value could be redeemed in the store in 30 days time. I wanted my loot so I saw the customer service manager who directed me to the cashier. She punched in my codes and out came my change. I had a grand haul of $0.85!

Final Thoughts

Some might think it was a waste of time, but I actually had fun. Self recycling, just like self checkout, can be a blast because you get to scan, bag, and checkout yourself. Perhaps I’m easily amused. But what other simple, fun activity can you do to save the planet, get some bus fare, that further helps the planet and your wallet at the same time?

Stay Inspired!

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13 Responses

  1. It cost the store a lot of money to maintain those machines and they don’t make any money from recycling. I have the same problem with my recycling, but that’s OK. I still recycle all my bottles and cans.

  2. krantcents says:

    Although I recycle, I have given up on the reimbursement. It is too much trouble for the little return.

  3. MoneyCone says:

    That is pretty cool! I’m sure I’ll do it if there were such ‘fun’ machines around!

    Let’s hope this trend catches on like reusable shopping bags!

  4. 101 Centavos says:

    If it was up to me, the only thing we’d recycle would be aluminum cans. But Mrs. 101 wants to support the school with paper recycling, so we do that.

  5. optionsdude says:

    I would love to have some of those fun machines around also. I recycle aluminum cans but have to drive downtown to the recycling center. It is worth it to drive their once or twice a year when I want to clean out the garage. Last time I got $110 for a year’s worth of cans. I also “recycle” my magazines by taking them to Half Price Books and sell. I can usually get about 10 cents per magazine on average and get $2-4 each time.

  1. May 18, 2011

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  2. May 21, 2011

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  3. May 22, 2011

    […] Buck Inspire presents Recycle: Fun, Green, and Bus Fare […]

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