Recycling scheme aims to boost bus travel

Keen recyclers are being rewarded with cheaper bus travel in an initiative that aims to cut landfill and encourage more people to use public transport.

Stephen Hall, CEO of the Reverse Vending Corporation, Aberdeenshire Councillor Peter Argyle, and Brian Souter, Stagecoach Group chief executive, try out the new machine

Stephen Hall, CEO of the Reverse Vending Corporation, Aberdeenshire Councillor Peter Argyle, and Brian Souter, Stagecoach Group chief executive, try out the new machine

Stagecoach has teamed up with Aberdeenshire Council and the Reverse Vending Corporation to launch Scotland's first reverse vending recycling initiative.

Commuters who deposit used drinks cans and plastic bottles in a hi-tech reverse vending recycling machine at a major park and ride near Aberdeen will get Stagecoach "green points" for every item they recycle.

Once they clock up 50 green points, they will be entitled to a 20p bus travel voucher, while 100 points will earn them a 50p discount.

More than 120,000 people use the park and ride every year, which council chiefs say already saves thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions.

Councillor John Loveday, who represents the area where the park and ride is, said: "This initiative is a great incentive for Ellon Park and Ride users.

"Not only are they helping reduce carbon emissions by using public transport, they will now also be able to boost their green efforts by recycling on site."

Reverse Vending Corporation, which launched its first scheme in the UK at Sparsholt College, in Hampshire, said the new hi-tech machine can hold more than 2,000 items before being emptied.

It will use barcode technology to identify, sort, collect and recycle the cans and drinks bottles.

Senior vice president and chief technology officer Steve Stothard said the company was "delighted with the pioneering and foresighted decision" taken by Stagecoach and the council.

The recycled material will be collected and sorted by local group Ellon Can-do, which is part of Aberdeenshire Council's social work service and runs projects and a day centre for adults with learning difficulties.

Kate Martin

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