By Melissa Bower, Fort Leavenworth LampApril 15, 2011
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (April 14, 2011) - PepsiCo's Dream Machines have been on Fort Leavenworth for about a week, but already they're filling up with recycled materials every other day.
Dale Cleland, chief of the Environmental Division of the Directorate of Logistics, said two machines are available on post for community members to recycle plastic bottles and aluminum cans. One is near the west entrance to the Post Exchange, the other is at the Lewis and Clark Center.
The program works like a reverse vending machine and gives points that can be used on a website to redeem prizes. Cleland said anyone could use the computers at the machines to sign up for a free account. The user gets a card that fits on a key ring. Then, the machine scans barcodes from the bottles and cans and points go on the card. The points can be redeemed on greenopolis.com for movie tickets, coupon booklets or donations to local nonprofit organizations.
"It really is that simple," said John Alexander, environmental protection specialist. "This was underwritten by PepsiCo and in partnership with Waste Management."
Cleland and Alexander said the Dream Machines are the first on any Army installation. The machines will help Fort Leavenworth meet an executive order requirement to recycle 50 percent of its trash. Last year, Fort Leavenworth recycled about 12 percent.
Items that can be recycled include PET plastic bottles and aluminum cans from all manufacturers. No washing is required.
"People will see on the Greenopolis site exactly how much of the carbon footprint they are reducing for the area," Alexander said. "It will let them track how much of a difference they are making."
Chelsey Green, who works for Ruder Finn on behalf of PepsiCo for communications for the Dream Machine recycling initiative, said that if every household in the U.S. recycled three more plastic bottles a month, it could divert more than 23 million pounds of plastic from landfills.
Green also said PepsiCo's Dream Machines support a program that helps disabled U.S. veterans.
"PepsiCo has committed to donating $500,000 a year to Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, and an additional $250,000 for every 10 million pounds of materials collected. Through the EBV program, post-9/11 disabled veterans can receive free training in entrepreneurship and small business management so they can start their own businesses - the most American of all dreams," Green said.
Cleland said he's already signed up for an account himself through greenolpolis.com. He said there are several Kansas City area businesses that offer discounts through the Dream Machine initiative for fine dining, entertainment, and many others. For example, Cleland discovered he can receive two for one tickets to Union Station's Science City museum, a $15 value, for about 20 bottles.