There’s a new way to recycle at the state government building in Chicago. In the concourse of the James R. Thompson Center, where fast food joints are eager to serve you some grub, you’ll find the “Dream Machine,” a recycling kiosk that collects aluminum cans and plastic bottles to fund a program aimed at helping veterans. There’s something in it for those who recycle: a rewards card that builds up points with every item recycled.
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“Increasing recycling is part of fulfilling our duty to future generations of Illinois residents,” Gov. Pat Quinn said at the introduction of the kiosk. “By giving people in the State of Illinois Building (sic.) …the chance to conveniently recycle at work or on the go, PepsiCo is showing how innovation can help everyday people keep their community green.” The Dream Machine is a collaborative effort between Pepsi, refuse company Waste Management and the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV). PepsiCo donates $1 million annually to EBV, and for every 10 million pounds recycled across the nation in the Dream Machine, PepsiCo donates another $250,000 to the program. There are over 4,000 Dream Machines nationwide. The kiosk holds roughly 250 cans and 250 bottles and sends a message via e-mail to facilities crew at the JRTC alerting them when it’s almost full. Asked if the kiosks would be popping up at other locations across the state such as state universities, Tim Carey, PepsiCo’s director for sustainability and technology, says it’s likely and that PepsiCo is actively looking for partnerships.