Hackney Council installs first estate reverse vending machine in England


Hackney Council is set to be the first local authority in England to install a reverse vending machine on an estate, where people can get vouchers in exchange for recycling cans and plastic bottles. 

The new machine, installed on an estate in Hoxton, will encourage estate residents to recycle a wide variety of cans and plastic bottles, billions of which are thrown away in the UK every year, needlessly being landfilled, incinerated, or littered in the broader environment.

The machine will be installed as part of a trial in partnership with the estate’s tenants and residents’ association, helping the Council to assess the potential for reverse vending as a way to increase recycling on estates, reducing the amount of black bag waste sent for incineration and the carbon footprint of the Hackney’s waste system. The pilot will also seek to establish how any future Government proposals to introduce similar schemes might work in the borough. 

Residents who deposit their plastic bottles and cans in the machine will be able to claim money off at two nearby shops, supporting local businesses. 

While recycling is by no means the complete solution to our hugely wasteful system of consumption, it is far preferable to the alternative methods of disposal. By ensuring that recyclable materials are given an economic value, reverse vending has the potential to divert significant amounts of waste away from landfill and incineration, reduce virgin resource depletion, stimulate the circular economy, and materially benefit the public.

While a small number of reverse vending trials have been undertaken by large supermarkets within their premises, we believe that estates and large apartment complexes have significant potential as reverse vending locations in an environment where people are increasingly conducting smaller food shopping trips and visiting supermarkets less frequently.

Cllr Jon Burke, Cabinet Member for Energy, Sustainability and Community Services
It's a great idea and we'll all benefit from it, now and in the long run. It's helping the environment, protecting it. 
Jeannette White, Treasurer of the Estate’s tenants and residents’ association

The reverse vending machine accepts all cans and plastic bottles, including shampoo bottles and food cans.