Reverse vending machines keep NCHS Green
Amanda Milunovich, a senior at New Canaan High School and member of the Green Roof Club, is on a mission to raise awareness about a reverse vending machine being installed in New Canaan High School very soon.
Reverse vending machines are the exact opposite, as the name implies, of vending machines. In a normal vending machine, one would insert cash and receive a bottle. In a reverse vending machine, inserting a bottle gives cash in return.
It is a familiar machine found in many grocery stores around the country. However, it is a first for schools in Connecticut.
"We will be the first public high school in the state to have a reverse vending machine," she said. "We hope to raise recycling awareness at the school and in the community."
Milunovich and the Green Roof Club held many different fund-raising events to offset the machine's cost.
They first sold hot chocolate, donuts, and coffee at last year's FCIAC championship football game. Club members also solicited donations at a green table set up at the St. Marks Fair in May.
All together, the Green Roof Club has raised more than $1,000. Tomra, the vendor, will schedule a pick-up of the recyclables accordingly.
The monthly maintenance costs of the machine will depend on a few factors. "The offset to the monthly cost is the company will pay New Canaan High School a fee per bottle collected." Milunovich said. "The success of the project will rest on students using the machine. We are launching an ad campaign at school and have an install date of Sept. 30."
Unfortunately the install date has been stalled slightly due to some technical issues.
"I just spoke to IT and the machine needs an IP address," said Principal Tony Pavia. "So they are saying it may take two-and-half weeks."
Pavia said the machine will probably arrive around mid-October.
Still, the machine is set to arrive soon enough to possibly "breathe life into the recycling movement" as Pavia said. Before Milunovich's involvement, he said there were difficulties getting the school to go green.
"It's been a challenge recycling in the building," he said. "The kids do recycle at home but the cafeteria has been a problem. Hopefully with the help of students like Amanda, we can really energize the movement."
Pavia praised Milunovich's crusade to help the school go green.
"Without Amanda, we never would have come this far. She is a tireless, enthusiastic and determined student. If this recycling movement takes off, we owe her our gratitude."