London Recycling Bins go High Tech

If you live in a major city, you're sure to have witnesses the infuriating sight of someone tossing an empty bottle right onto the sidewalk even though there are numerous recycling bins and garbage cans available. In London, a company is encouraging proper waste disposal and recycling by making recycling containers more alluring for passers-by.

 A company called Renew Solutions placed 100 of what it calls "Techno Pods" across the city a little over a year ago. These recycling containers have places to collect both plastic and paper waste. To date, the Techno Pods have collected more than 110 tons of recyclables.

 The secret to the success of the program is an eye-catching LED screen on the front of each Techno Pod. The screens show important news items and provide up-to-the-minute information on stock prices, train delays, weather conditions and the like.

 The theory behind the Techno Pods is that when people stop to investigate the pods or to catch up on news, they're more likely to throw away their recyclables before they walk away, and this assumption seems to have validity in the case of Londoners.

 To make the Techno Pods as eco-friendly as possible, each LED screen has a built-in dimmer that adjust the brightness in response to conditions. This helps to conserve power on bright, sunny days.

 Renew Solutions has plans to test the Techno Pods in Lower Manhattan and Singapore over the next year.

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