Recycling vending machines given a trail run in Dubai

The city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates seems to be growing at an epic pace, and it has become a proving ground for many new consumer technologies. In an effort to curb the amount of used soda and water bottles that end up in trash bins, the government of the UAE has enlisted the help of Levant of RMS Outdoor to install 102 Reverse Vending Machines in shopping malls, schools, universities and sports facilities across the country. The machines dispense vouchers for every plastic, glass or aluminum bottle that can be redeemed at stores that partner with the service, according to The National.

"The main benefit is encouraging people to recycle in a dynamic way," Nasser Bakkar, the director of the RVM initiative, told the news source. "We are educating them on how to be responsible and how to recycle, but at the same time we are rewarding them at the end of the day."

In addition to installing these recycling machines in public places, another program was launched recently at gas stations across the country. While consumers will be able to use vouchers toward new purchases, some machines are tied to random monthly drawings. This month's giveaway is an iPad 2. Thus far, the program has received a warm welcome from the country's citizens.

"I don't recycle because I am not really involved with disposing the trash," Mohammed Ahmed, a 21-year-old UAE resident, told the news source. "But if there is a reward it would encourage me and others to make an effort. It's a great initiative."

These kinds of reward-based recycling programs are one of the many ways that a city or country can encourage its citizens to live a more sustainable lifestyle.