The UNO reverse vending machine (RVM) from Tomra of North America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tomra Systems ASA (TOMRA), enables facility managers in healthcare, education, and other building types to ensure recyclable containers end up in the correct place. These automated recycling systems provide a visible and effective way to encourage occupants to place their recyclable items (aluminum, plastic, and glass) in a proper receptacle.
With the appearance of a traditional vending machine, the UNO recognizes what type of container a person has deposited and then sorts it into the correct compartment inside. With the ability to handle up to 20 items per minute, this RVM can hold up to 500 containers. If a non-recyclable object is detected, the UNO will reject the item.
The UNO also presents a clean, self contained solution over standard trash receptacles, which is desirable in healthcare and other settings.
A number of these models were recently deployed at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, CT.
Said Alan Tuchmann, hazardous materials coordinator at the facility: “Each day, our hospital generates hundreds of used plastic and aluminum beverage containers—from patients, staff and visitors. As a facility that is committed to disposing of these materials responsibly, we are always looking for ways to improve our recycling efforts. We needed a clean, space saving technology that is easy to use—by our catering staff, medical personnel, and visitors. We are thrilled to have found a recycling approach that will promote a healthy and environmentally sustainable facility.”
When the machine is full, facility management staff empty the machines. Then they can have either TOMRA or another service provider pick up and transport the containers to the proper facility. (Whether or not the facility is located in a state where deposits are received for returned recyclables will influence who picks up and transports the items.)
The UNO units occupy about five square feet of space and run on a standard 110Volt/10Amp power supply and do not require special wiring. They can be placed indoors or outdoors.
Additionally, if desired, TOMRA’s UNO machine offers the opportunity for organizations to sell advertising space on the machine to sponsors. And, in facilities with extensive consumer foot traffic, the machines can be configured to reward recyclers with coupons or other promotions that can be tied to local retailers or community organizations.