Encore pilot

Glasgow Caledonian University's catering operation embraces recycling through reverse vending.

Encore Hospitality Services have launched Reverse Vending at Glasgow Caledonian University in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland.

This scheme rewards students and staff who recycle their cans, bottles and cups. For every item recycled a discount voucher is dispensed for use in our outlets at GCU.

Encore is one of nine companies to pilot this scheme in Scotland and the only one in Glasgow. The ‘Recycle and Reward’ scheme is part of the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Scotland programme and is the latest initiative taken by Encore at GCU to reduce our carbon footprint.

Located in the Refectory and Café Roots, both sites have a set of three machines - a Flex Interactive to collect crushed cans; a Flex Interactive to collect and crush PET soft drinks bottles and an EcoVend to collect paper coffee cups.

The machines recognise the composition of the products which are flattened and sorted into a designated bin which saves up to 15 times the volume compared to a non-compacting unit. Every user will receive a voucher for 5p for each item recycled which can be redeemed in Encore’s catering outlets on campus.

Frank McCabe, Encore’s catering manager at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “We cater for 17,000 students and 1500 staff at GCU, who on a daily basis use 2000 paper cups, 1500 plastic bottles and 500 aluminium cans.

“In this pilot project, we aim to make all of our customers aware that reducing waste and recycling will mean less going to landfill. To help with that, the reverse vending machines will give rewards.

“Our research suggests that 80% of our population will take advantage of our reward, which is substantial. For every bottle, can and cup which is put through the machine you receive a voucher for 5p, which can redeemed in any of our outlets on campus. By promoting these benefits we hope customers will become increasingly committed to recycling.”