Coke Unveils Massive Recycling Machine in Arlington

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Coca-Cola last week introduced a new type of freestanding recycling center, setting up its first "Reimagine" unit near a Kroger store at 2210 S Fielder Road in Arlington.

The "Reimagine," described as "the size of a delivery truck", accepts unsorted bottles and cans in bulk -- even those not manufactured by Coke. The unit sorts, crushes and stores up to 65,000 cans and 18,000 bottles, some percentage of which will be remade into new products.

Representatives from Reimagine and Coca-Cola didn't return calls, but press materials suggest recyclers who use the machine in states with bottle redemption laws will forfeit their cash rewards.

According to the Reimagine web site: "Reimagine can keep track of the containers you recycle, and you can use your Reimagine points to make donations to a local school through My Coke Rewards; enter sweepstakes to win great prizes; earn rewards like free or discounted products at local merchants."

Sound like fun? That's the aim, a Coca-Cola exec explained to a Forbes reporter:

"We believe that Reimagine will grow recycling by making it easy, accessible and fun," president of Coca-Cola Recycling John Burgess said.

While the machine's now accessible mainly to shoppers in Arlington, Coca-Cola plans to add more units soon.

"Reimagine is exploring opportunities to expand into other major shopping areas in the Dallas-Fort Worth area over the coming months," the website reports. "Results from these initial centers will be evaluated during the first half of 2011 and expansion plans will be developed based on these findings."

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