Joliet Junior College students, faculty and staff have recycled more than 2,000 beverage containers since the implementation of the PepsiCo Dream Machine, making JJC the current second place school in PepsiCo’s college recycling challenge.
JJC is not far behind the first place school, Mountwest College in Huntington, W. Va., and has a strong lead against the third place school, Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J. To see the detailed listing, visit https://www.pepsicorecycling.com/UniversityRecycling/Leaderboard.
The Dream Machine is an electronic recycling kiosk located in the Campus Center cafeteria on the Main Campus that rewards students with points for recycling beverage containers of any brand or size. Once a student reaches 100 points, they can redeem them for coupons and discounts at area retailers and restaurants.
The Dream Machine only takes aluminum and plastic bottles. Students should use the designated recycle bins around campus for other materials, such as glass and paper.
As long as people continue to use the Dream Machine, PepsiCo Recycling has also promised to donate to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV). The EBV is a national program that gives free training to post-9/11 veterans who have goals of starting their own businesses.
According to PepsiCo, the average college student produces 640 pounds of solid waste each year. PepsiCo created the college recycling challenge to not only encourage students to recycle, but to help increase the national recycling rate from 34 percent to 50 percent by 2018.
“The Dream Machine is a convenient way to recycle at JJC and it seems to have inspired many people,” said Pat Van Duyne, director of facility services at JJC. “I have personally seen individuals bringing bags of recyclables to campus to capitalize upon the rewards system.”
One of the reasons JJC has been so successful in this contest is due to JJC’s Students for a Sustainable Future. In 2013, the club set up an informational table next to the Dream Machine, and made others aware of the benefits of the Dream Machine’s rewards system. The club plans to continue bringing awareness to the Dream Machine in 2014.
Although the Dream Machine is geared toward students, anyone in the community can use it to earn points as well.
For more information about PepsiCo Recycling’s Dream Machine, or to sign up for the program, visit www.pepsicorecycling.com. Individuals can also sign up at the Dream Machine kiosk. For more information about JJC’s sustainability plans, visit www.jjc.edu/about/committees/sustainable-campus.