Greenbean has rapidly made a name for itself pioneering the psychological dynamics of the recycling community, combining real-time analytical, social media-driven gaming concepts with an innovative reverse vending machine footprint to give people instant rewards for recycling containers.
Tufts University’s first floor campus center recently became the second site, after MIT, to host the one of the machines. Here’s how they work, as explained by Greenbean: “After setting up a profile on Greenbean’s website, users can feed empty containers into the machine and get bottle and can deposits refunded directly into their PayPal account or donated to a charity. The Greenbean profile also allows users to access an instant tally of how many containers they’ve diverted from landfills, Kwh (kilowatt-hours) of energy they’ve saved, and see new challenges and competitions rewarding top recyclers with additional prizes.”
According to the company, the machines have taken in 37,000 containers, saving 6,500 kWh in the process.
This brilliant incentivization concept is executed flawlessly, with rich social media and intuitive machine/website interfaces that allow users to easily create/manage their account, engage in or set up challenges and competitions, and get instant data on their recycling score. Both Tufts and MIT recently added Relay for Life, a cancer survivor support organization and American Cancer Society affiliate, to their list of charities.
The model could be destined to make a huge impact in a larger market, as the ingenious Somerville, Mass.-based software developer moves to bring the Greenbean reverse vending machine to broader venues like airports and stadiums with their huge volumes of recyclable containers. By bringing the gaming and instant PayPal rewards schema to such a crescendo in terms of design, Greenbean stands poised to reap the rewards of saving countless kilowatt hours of energy while riding the explosive potential of the social media gaming wave being fueled by smartphone proliferation and a rising tide of individuals entering the computer space.