Recycling leads to points, rewards

The Green Team has installed machines around campus in order to make recycling easier, more fun and rewarding for students and faculty alike this year.

Dream Machines were installed at the pavilion between Briggs and Lewis avenues, as well as in the lower level of the Herrmann Student Union.

Jill Barrile photo: People can earn coupons by recycling with the new machines, located at the pavilion between Briggs and Lewis avenues.Jill Barrile photo: People can earn coupons by recycling with the new machines, located at the pavilion between Briggs and Lewis avenues.

The program is a collaboration of Waste Management, Keeping America Beautiful and Pepsi Co. These organizations have been working together with businesses, universities and communities to bring the recycling machines to various places.

“We started the conversation with help from Parkhurst Dining Services back in December of 2010 and were able to finally install two Dream Machines on the Mercyhurst Campus at the end of July 2011,” Sustainability Coordinator Brittany Prischak said.

If the two machines are successful, additional machines will be considered for campus. The North East campus also has the potential of installing the machines if they are seen to be productive.

“I really like that Mercyhurst is continuing to get involved in being green. The machines were a great idea to keep everyone recycling,” junior Kylie McCormick said.

For now, the machines only accept aluminum cans and plastic, but in the future they may accept glass or steel cans.

Students can also benefit from recycling their goods with the points system that the machine provides. Each item’s UPC bar code recycled is worth one to five points, and these points can be redeemed for coupons.

In order to earn points, students have to register and pick up a member card, where the points will be automatically registered. In order to acquire points, each item must be scanned prior to depositing it.

Registering is not required for one to recycle, but members have the option of printing their receipts for the redeemable code to get their points.

Currently the machines are out of member cards, but they can be picked up either in the sustainability office in Egan 305 or in the lower level of the Student Union.

Green Team Leader Chris Magoc, Ph.D., said, “By offering incentives to students, faculty and staff for recycling their cans and bottles, the Dream Machine program represents a tremendous opportunity for Mercyhurst College to increase our recycling rate and reduce the waste stream of the campus.”

Recyclers can use their recycling points for local discounts and coupons on entertainment, food and travel at Each coupon is worth 100 points on the site.

“Most folks want to recycle, knowing that recycling holds environmental benefits and that it is the ethically responsible thing to do. The cash-value rewards of the Dream Machine will serve to augment those more familiar reasons and provide additional, individual motivation for recycling,” Magoc said.

The program also benefits veterans. For each container recycled, Pepsi Co. and Waste Management will donate money to Business Boot Camps for veterans to acquire the skills to open their own business.