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Rome recycles 20,000 bottles a day since July thanks to the initiative to offer free subway trips

October 3, 2019

Success will extend the initiative to the entire metro network

ROME, Oct. 1 (Reuters / EP) –

The initiative of Rome to offer free metro tickets to travelers who recycle plastic bottles has achieved the recycling of 350,000 bottles, an average of 20,000 a day, since the campaign was launched in July this year.

In addition, the Italian public transport company, ATAC, has reported the extension of the campaign until July 2020 and the entire metro network of the Italian capital, since only machines intended for recycling plastic bottles were placed in three stations from the Rome Metro.

Users recycle, on average, between 15 and 20 bottles at a time, according to ATAC data, which has added that some people have collected up to 3,500 bottles in less than 20 days, which translates into 175 free subway tickets.

The campaign has been well received by residents in Rome, a city that has a chronic problem in terms of garbage collection and where recycling is inefficient.

“If you use money to involve people (in recycling) even those who do not have a civic sense will recycle,” Italian resident Claudio Perelli told Reuters while introducing bottles into one of the machines.

People who want to carry out the initiative have to download an 'app' that records the number of tickets they have won based on the number of bottles they have entered into the recycling machines.

A ticket valid for 100 minutes of travel costs 30 bottles, which must be inserted into the machine with the barcode label so that the machines can read them and register them in the application.

In addition, the Metro lathes can directly read the data of the 'app', which allows participants in the initiative do not have to buy a paper ticket.

Although Rome is the first capital of the European Union to launch this recycling scheme at subway stations, cities like Beijing or Istanbul have adopted similar initiatives.