Vending Machine Accepts Light Bulbs, Batteries

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reVend's crazy reverse vending machines allow recyclers to safely dispose of light bulbs and batteries while receiving reward incentives. Photo: reVend Recycling Ltd.

You’ve heard of reverse vending machines that reward recyclers for depositing bottles and cans. But what about light bulbs and batteries?

reVend Recycling Ltd., a U.K.-based reverse vending machine manufacturer, is launching a unique line of recycling machines for the collection of domestic batteries and light bulbs – including incandescents, CFLs and LEDs, the company announced on Monday.

Jointly designed by reVend and Repant ASA, the patented system looks just like a standard vending machine. But instead of dispensing snacks, it safely accepts light bulbs and batteries for disposal and offers reward incentives to recyclers.

Following a successful pilot installation at an IKEA store near London, the company reached a supply agreement with the furniture retailer to begin installing machines at stores across Europe, including the U.K., Germany and Denmark, reVend said.

Through the partnership with IKEA, customers who recycle used light bulbs will automatically be given in-store reward vouchers. If recyclers opt not to receive the free IKEA cash, they can also make a donation to one of four charities – the World Wildlife Fund, Woodland Trust, UNICEF and Save the Children.

In addition to rewarding recyclers, each machine also contains an automated system to track recycled light bulbs by type, manufacturer and volume, the company said.

reVend hasn’t locked up any supply agreements in the U.S. as of yet but said it plans to “sell and market [the vending machines] throughout Europe, the U.S and worldwide.” So, keep an eye out for these crazy contraptions. You may soon see one at a store near you!

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