Recycling Is the Winning Ticket at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center

The Dunkin’ Donuts Center, located in Providence, Rhode Island, is taking a different approach when it comes to recycling.   According to a recent company press release, two TOMRA UNO reverse vending machines (RVMs) have been installed in the food court at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.  The 31,000 square-foot facility serves as the premier events arena in the area, hosting sporting events, concerts and a variety of shows.

The machines, each about the size of a standard beverage vending machine, not only provide a clean and simple way to dispose of glass, plastic and aluminum beverage containers, they provide an extra incentive to recycle. Using high-tech, patented bottle recognition technology, each machine can sort, collect and store.  Each machine is capable of handling up to 20 containers per minute and can hold up to 500 beverage containers.  And both user-friendly machines, provided by Coca-Cola, display positive messages, like “give it back” and “live positively.”

In an effort to promote recycling, the Dunkin’ Donuts Center is giving prizes to participants who utilize the TOMRA UNO machines.   In fact, one out of every 100 recyclers will win.   Anyone who deposits bottles or cans in the machine is eligible to win prizes.  For every 100 transactions, a lucky recycler will receive a complimentary pair of tickets to an upcoming event or other prizes.

And the UNO machines are incredibly simple to install.  Just plug them in and you are good to go.  No special electrical requirements are needed. The automated container return machine accepts both refillable and non-refillable containers.  Those that are not accepted are returned.  The freestanding unit is easy to clean and easy to empty.   It is estimated the machines will save the Center $1400 in trash haulage costs per month.

TOMRA, founded in 1972, provides end-to-end recycling solutions to nearly 50 countries.

Dunkin’ Donuts Green Initiatives

Dunkin’ Donuts, founded in 1950, is touted as the world’s largest coffee and baked food chain.  Dunkin’ Donuts sells 1.5 billion cups of coffee each year.  Now that’s a lot of cups!  Besides the recycling effort at the Center, Dunkin’ Donuts has other green initiatives as well.

As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) effort, Dunkin’ Donuts opened its first LEED-certified store in Florida in 2008.   According to a company press release, the green facility, which serves as a model for future stores, utilizes energy-efficient lighting, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, and low-flush toilets.  Energy-efficient insulated concrete foam walls were used in the structure, reducing air conditioning costs by about 40 percent. Customers who bring their own mugs into the store, receive discounts on beverages.  Leftover food is donated to a local food bank, hot beverages are served in paper cups made from renewable resources and cleaning products are green.

Partnering with Mother Organics, the store is using an onsite solar-powered earthworm casting facility.   80 pounds of red earthworms eat coffee grounds, paper products and waste.  The waste from the worms is then converted into fertilizer for farms and gardens.

As a full-time freelance writer, Jace is the Internet Feature Writer for Suite101 and is the Holidays and Working Moms Examiner for She is a regular contributor for Energy Boom, EcoWorldly and PlanetSave. She particularly enjoys writing about unusual and downright wacky environmental stories and issues plaguing wildlife and animals.Besides writing, Jace is also passionate about online safety and issues concerning children. As an Internet Safety educator, she teaches online safety and technology to 600 elementary-aged children every week for her local school district.Jace has two children who are both in college and is also mom to a slew of pets. Feel free to contact her with story leads or just drop her a note at