LONDON -- A reverse vending machine (RVM) that collects and recycles domestic lightbulbs and batteries is said to be the first of its kind in the world.
Dubbed Revend, the RVM was jointly designed and developed by London-based Revend Recycling Ltd. and Norway's Repant ASA. Revend will sell and market the machines worldwide; Repant will manufacture and assemble them.
Revend accepts most domestic lightbulbs, including incandescent, LED and even CFL bulbs, which contain mercury, a hazardous waste. Its automated "soft-drop" system safely collects and lowers lightbulbs into a collection container, minimizing breakage. An internal mercury fume extractor and filter absorbs any escaped fumes.
Users receive a voucher that can be used for product discounts and sales incentives. They also have the opportunity to donate their rewards to a charitable organization.
A user-friendly LED touchscreen menu offers several language options. The Revend machine also features a television screen that displays advertising and environmental messages. Its cabinet includes display space for advertising.
The reverse vender tracks bulb types by manufacturer and volumes recycled, and sends a text or email when the bulb-storage container is nearly full and needs emptying.
An optional add-on unit is available for the collection and recycling of domestic batteries.
The shift to low-energy CFL and LED bulbs, an international trend according to RVM maker, has been accompanied by an emphasis on recycling them. Revend's aim is to help increase recycling rates and assist organizations and municipalities comply with their recycling targets and environmental obligations.
Ikea, the international furniture retailer, piloted the Revend recycling machine in a London store. It recently signed on to deploy the machines in several stores throughout Europe, including the UK, Germany and Denmark.
Revend has launched an international marketing campaign to promote its automated recycling solution.