Just a few days ago, we told you about a vending machine that dispenses ice cream in return for smiles. Well, if you like cold, hard cash better than cold, soft ice cream, here’s another dispenser-with-a-twist you might be interested in - the Reverse Vending Machine (RVM), that takes in recyclable bottles and cans, and gives out cash in return. RVMs have recently been introduced at the Centro Hollywood shopping mall in Adelaide, as part of the state of South Australia’s effort to promote recycling and reduce littering.

The process starts with consumers placing their empties in the machine’s feed unit. Each container is identified by an imaging camera, and then (if accepted) compacted and sorted into a built-in bin. From there, the material can go straight to a recycling depot. As part of South Australia’s Container Deposit Legislation, the consumer is entitled to a 10-cent deposit for each container. The RVM gives them this cash in the form of a receipt, which they can exchange for currency by scanning it into an adjacent cash machine.

Wincor Nixdorf, manufacturer of the Revendo 7000 and 8000 RVMs, has partnered with Australia’s Statewide Recycling for the project.

“South Australia has a very progressive attitude towards recycling and this is a clear sign that technology will play a major part by encouraging people to recycle at or around shopping malls or other retail locations," said Statewide GM Edward Nixon. "It is a lot more convenient to recycle and receive a deposit refund when you are on the way to the shops.”