An Istanbul metro station has revealed vending machines that accept plastics and aluminium items as payment
Istanbul has decided to take the environmental benefits of underground public transportation to another level. On Wednesday, the city rolled out vending machines that use alternative currency from commuters – plastic bottles and aluminium cans.
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The new machines are now installed in İTÜ-Ayazağa metro station. They allow commuters to top-up their Istanbul Card, the city’s transportation pass, by simply deposing of recyclable waste. The plan is to extend the new payment method around the whole city.
The initiative was undertaken by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in an attempt to encourage recycling.
“With these smart machines, our waste management department and the municipality’s Smart City Technologies Company [İsbak] will contribute to the protection of the environment,” the municipality said on Twitter early in September.
“We are continuing to pioneer in solid waste management,” it added.
Istanbul’s mayor, Mevlüt Uysal, said each passenger card will have the number of recycled objects tracked so that the city can hand out rewards to encourage recycling in general.
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Elif Cengiz, a manager for the waste management project called Zero Waste, told the New York Times: “Most households do not automatically recycle because they are unaware of the benefits to the environment, and others are just lazy.”
“These new machines give people a direct incentive to recycle while educating them about the benefits of recycling.”
Each item placed into the vending machine has a different value. For a 330 ml aluminium can a passenger will receive 0.07 Turkish lira ($0.013), a 1.5 l plastic bottle is worth 0.09 lira ($0.016 USD). For a single fare, that costs 2.6 lira, passengers will need at least 28 plastic 1.5 l bottles, or 330 ml aluminium cans.