Likbez: Feed the Fandomat

MTFandomats are easy to find and use.
The strange blue reverse vending machines first appeared on the streets of Moscow in 2004. Today, their number has increased from 300 to 2,600. The boxy "fandomats," as they are called, boast the slogan "The city lives!" and accept plastic bottles and aluminum cans. After scanning the barcode on the package, the machines spit out a small amount of change: 10 kopecks per bottle and 40 per can.

The idea is to encourage people who buy water and soft drinks on the go to throw the bottles into a fandomat instead of a trash can: not as hard as it seems, since the scarcity of trash cans in Moscow forces some people to walk around with an empty bottle for a while before giving up and throwing it on the sidewalk.

In 2007, about 68,000 cubic meters in PET plastic bottles were collected through the fandomats. Those most likely to use the machines are street cleaners, pensioners, homeless people and children: Muscovites whose priority is extra cash. A growing tendency, however, is to use fandomats for environmental, rather than economic reasons. "It is possible to make up to 300 rubles per day by collecting and depositing cans and bottles, but many people don't even take the change out of the machines. They use them because they want to live in a clean city," said Maria Vernomudrova of ProfBusinessTelecom, a company servicing the fandomats.

With the number of fandomats rapidly growing -- it is expected to reach 3,500 by May -- the only problem appears to be emptying them in time. The company hires teenagers as monitors, who call the office when the machines get full.

After the cans and bottles are collected from the fandomats, they are taken to a facility, sorted by material and color, and then compressed into aluminum bricks and PET flakes. These end products are then shipped to companies that use recycled material to manufacture new goods.

The strange blue reverse vending machines first appeared on the streets of Moscow in 2004. Today, their number has increased from 300 to 2,600. The boxy "fandomats," as they are called, boast the slogan "The city lives!" and accept plastic bottles and aluminum cans. After scanning the barcode on the package, the machines spit out a small amount of change: 10 kopecks per bottle and 40 per can.

The idea is to encourage people who buy water and soft drinks on the go to throw the bottles into a fandomat instead of a trash can: not as hard as it seems, since the scarcity of trash cans in Moscow forces some people to walk around with an empty bottle for a while before giving up and throwing it on the sidewalk.

In 2007, about 68,000 cubic meters in PET plastic bottles were collected through the fandomats. Those most likely to use the machines are street cleaners, pensioners, homeless people and children: Muscovites whose priority is extra cash. A growing tendency, however, is to use fandomats for environmental, rather than economic reasons. "It is possible to make up to 300 rubles per day by collecting and depositing cans and bottles, but many people don't even take the change out of the machines. They use them because they want to live in a clean city," said Maria Vernomudrova of ProfBusinessTelecom, a company servicing the fandomats.

With the number of fandomats rapidly growing -- it is expected to reach 3,500 by May -- the only problem appears to be emptying them in time. The company hires teenagers as monitors, who call the office when the machines get full.

After the cans and bottles are collected from the fandomats, they are taken to a facility, sorted by material and color, and then compressed into aluminum bricks and PET flakes. These end products are then shipped to companies that use recycled material to manufacture new goods.

Contacts

www.fandomat.ru
448-1111