Points mean prizes for the reverse vending machine at Monk’s Walk School

Monk’s Walk School in Hertfordshire have engaged students with an innovative project to highlight the issues surrounding PET Plastic Bottles and Excel Vending is delighted to be involved in this exciting new initiative.

This week, Excel Vending delivered a Reverse Vending Machine to the school in Welwyn Garden City where it instantly became a hit with students and staff alike.  The machine collects, sorts and crushes single use plastic bottles and makes them ready for collection and recycling. 

It is the deposit return scheme programmed into the machine that engages users and encourages them to dispose of their plastic bottles in an environmentally conscious manner.  The scheme is programmed to either issue a monetary voucher to be redeemed against a future purchase, or to make a donation to charity.  Monk’s Walk School have chosen not to increase the cost of bottles sold at the school to accommodate this; they have come up with an original concept to encourage the students to take a genuine interest and have decided to award house points for each bottle deposited. 

Four houses, Durrell, Kroto, Carson and Bell will compete for house points throughout the school year with the winning house being awarded a trophy in recognition of them being the most environmentally conscious house.  Already it is proving to be a big hit with the students; after only two days the collection bags were full and the playgrounds and the school’s landfill bins were clear of plastic bottles.  To keep the interest levels high, Excel Vending will be providing weekly updates of the points issued by the reverse vending machine and these will be distributed to the Heads of House for sharing with house members during House Assemblies.

Speaking about the initiative, Tony Page the site supervisor behind the idea said: “We were keen to raise awareness of environmental issues at the school and when exploring the options we came across Reverse Vending which led us to John MacDonald from Excel Vending. He was passionate about the system and more than willing to help us with everything we needed to know in order to make our choice.”

Headteacher Kate Smith said “We are delighted with the reverse vending machine and the deposit return scheme which has truly enabled us to engage students and staff right from the outset.   Appealing to their competitive nature is proving to be a success and we are confident the weekly updates will maintain their enthusiasm throughout the year.”

John MacDonald, Director at Excel Vending said “With over 1300 students actively involved in depositing their used bottles in the machine the school can expect to be busy emptying the machine on a frequent basis, but it is the fact that the reverse vending machine is raising the students awareness of the environmental issues that is truly pleasing to us.  We applaud Monk’s Walk for being an early adopter of reverse vending and for creating an innovative way to use the deposit return scheme to engage the whole school community in a very effective manner”.


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