Rome's Innovative Recycling Program
|Source: Rome Metro|
Expanding Environmental Initiative to Reduce Plastic Dumping in the Eternal City
Rome is setting a new, global environmental standard that's very practical and doable. It's offering free Metro tickets to travelers who recycle plastic bottles by using machines set-up in three Rome Metro train stations. The system is scalable, expandable and is working.
350,000 Recycled Bottles and Counting
The program is so popular that 350,000 bottles have been recycled since July 2019. Rome's public transit company ATAC is now extending the program across the entire Metro network and letting it run through July 2020.
Works by Simplicity
To participate commuters need to download an app into their mobile phone. The app counts the number of bottles the person has put into the recycling machines and then registers the number of Metro tickets they've earned. As an example, 30 bottles equate to a ticket worth 100 minutes of travel. Metro turnstiles can directly read the app on the mobile phone, letting the commuter get on board. This is being called a first in the EU. Elsewhere, Beijing and Istanbul are starting to adopt similar systems. This is an example of every plastic bottle counts!