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APSU and PepsiCo recycling raises funds for disabled veterans

APSU has continued its efforts to go green, thanks to the installation of a PepsiCo Dream Machine in the Morgan University Center.

According to PepsiCo’s website, the machines are “interactive kiosks that provide students and college and university communities with an easy, convenient and rewarding way to make a difference by recycling their bottles and cans on the go.” The Dream Machine will stand alongside the other recycling bins across campus, but this particular kiosk contains added incentives.

Placed on campus at zero cost to APSU, the machine rewards students who place their plastic bottles or aluminum cans in the machine with a point reward system. These points can be utilized for local discounts on food, entertainment, dining and travel on the PepsiCo recycling website.

The Dream Machine is a fundraising project as well. For every bottle or can recycled using the machine, PepsiCo will donate funds to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), an organization aimed at training post-9/11 disabled veterans in entrepreneurship and managing small businesses.

On PepsiCo’s website, the company states its goal is to “increase the US beverage container recycling rate to 50 percent by 2018,” and the creating of the Dream Machine was intended to help achieve said goal.

Charlie Partain, marketing director with APSU Dining Services, said in an article on APSU’s website, “[Dining Services] alone sold 200,000 beverage bottles last school year, and we noted that many of those bottles were thrown into the trash, so we wanted to give students a fun way to recycle, but more than just giving students options, this program is a great way to help veterans that are [an important part] of APSU.”

Specifically, the machine accepts PET #1 bottles and cans. According to the PET Resin Association, PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate, which is a form of polyester. Their main webpage states that PET “is most commonly used to package carbonated soft drinks and water. Consumers can identify PET containers by the triangular #1 resin identification code found on the bottom of PET bottles and jars.”

PETRA also states PET is highly sustainable. “It is the most recycled plastic in the United States and worldwide. PET can be recycled again and again, back into containers for foods, beverages and personal care products, or into carpet, clothing, automotive parts, construction materials, industrial strapping and scores of other products.”

Tim Carey, Senior Director of Sustainability at PepsiCo, said in the APSU article, “We are thrilled to partner with APSU to make recycling beverage containers a more fun, rewarding and convenient process for college students. By recycling in the on-campus Dream Machine, students can earn personal rewards, show their school spirit and help to make a real difference for our planet and in the lives of disabled U.S. veterans.”

About Andrew Wadovick

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