PepsiCo today announced a partnership with 7-Eleven Handee Marts that will make its Dream Machine recycling kiosks available at more than 20 Pittsburgh-area 7-Eleven locations.
To commemorate the launch, 7-Eleven Handee Marts hosted an event at its 4501 Glen Eden Road location in Cranberry Township with representatives from PepsiCo, Waste Management, Greenopolis, Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities and the Cranberry Township Manager's Office.
"Handee Marts is extremely excited about the opportunity to be involved in this partnership. This gives us an opportunity to do the right thing in our communities while providing exciting rewards for our guests," Bruce Earhart, vice president of marketing for Handee Marts Inc., said in the release. "We are also very pleased to participate in a program that provides assistance to our veterans."
EcoATM, the San Diego startup developing automated kiosks for recycling cell phones and other devices, says it has raised a total of $14.4 million in preferred equity and venture debt financing, which the company plans to use to fund commercial manufacturing of its final kiosk design.
The Series A venture round was led by Bellevue, WA-based Coinstar (NASDAQ: CSTR) and Oakland, CA-based Claremont Creek Ventures, while Silicon Valley Bank provided an undisclosed “significant amount” of venture debt, the company said.
In a separate announcement today, EcoATM says it was awarded a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research grant of $180,000 from the National Science Foundation to fund additional development of advanced technologies used by the kiosk to identify and test the electronic devices that consumers are recycling. EcoATM says that includes advanced machine vision, artificial intelligence, and testing systems technologies.
EcoATM was founded in 2008 with the idea of building an electronics recycling business that encourages consumers to exchange their handheld mobile devices, video game cartridges, and tablet computers by providing them with a discount coupon, gift card, or receipt for a charitable donation to participating charitable groups. The company’s automated kiosks use technology that visually and electronically identifies an electronic device, determines its value, and offers a trade-in promotion or redemption.
The startup also says the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted EcoATM its first patent.
“EcoATM’s systems must quickly learn and then accurately identify thousands of different models of phones and other devices and then precisely assess any cosmetic or internal damage in order for the system to work,” chairman and CEO Tom Tullie says in a statement released by the company. “This requires us to continually push the boundaries on a unique combination of artificial intelligence and non-traditional machine vision technology.”
Here is the patent granted.
The PepsiCo Dream Machine recycling initiative has partnered with Sun Life Stadium, home of the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins, to make recycling bins and interactive kiosks available to stadium visitors.
Five Dream Machine interactive kiosks and more than 70 static bins are now available throughout the stadium and parking lot to capture plastic and aluminum beverage containers.
Fans are encouraged to begin recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans in a Dream Machine every time they are at the stadium.
The Dream Machine recycling initiative – a multi-year collaboration between PepsiCo, Waste Management, Greenopolis and Keep America Beautiful – is designed to give people a convenient and rewarding way to recycle on-the-go, and drive success against PepsiCo’s goal of increasing the United States beverage container recycling rate from 34 to 50 percent by 2018.
Dream Machine kiosks are computerized receptacles that operate on the Greenopolis platform and use an innovative point system to reward individuals for every bottle or can they recycle in a kiosk. Users can redeem their points for discounts on entertainment, dining and travel by visiting www.greenopolis.com.
Since the program launched in April 2010, static bins and interactive kiosks have been placed in 14 states at high-traffic locations such as gas stations, shopping malls, sports arenas and university campuses.