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Heriot-Watt University has run a successful Deposit Return Scheme at the Edinburgh Campus since 2013. The scheme, one of the longest-standing reverse vending projects in the UK, places a 10p refundable deposit on the sale price of cans and bottles sold at the campus, redeemed via reverse vending machines that guarantee high quality and source-segregated materials for recycling. With over 700,000 PET bottles and 200,000 aluminium cans collected since 2013 (the equivalent of the weight of 20 original Mini’s!) the scheme has made a very tangible contribution to on-campus sustainability, while acting as a demonstrator for an approach that will soon be adopted nationally.
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