Rome Transit Goes Green
The city of Rome unveiled new recycling machines around its metro stations where passengers can drop plastic bottles, receiving five cents apiece through an app on their phones.
According to Rome’s transportation authority ATAC, the money goes to passengers’ accounts in partner apps “MyCicero” or “Tabnet,” which can be redeemed for public transportation credits.
ATAC President Paolo Simioni said that “in a period in which cryptocurrency is talked about, we have plastic currency. Substantially, it’s a system in which one recycles, we build customer loyalty and citizens’ virtuous behavior is rewarded.”
The city will be testing the initiative for a year before making a final decision. Since the program launched in August 2019, more than 60 thousand recycled bottles have already been recycled in the Rome metro, a really promising start. The city’s goal is to recycle over 1 million bottles a year.
This project by the Italian capital is certainly well intentioned, but will other cities follow this lead? More importantly can recycling initiatives like these make a meaningful impact? As urgent as good recycling practices are needed in major cities around the world. Economics and crumbling infrastructures could overshadow quality of life improvements gained from such policies.
As well intentioned and feel good as these projects maybe, without more substantial economic motivation it maybe hard for these projects to see their full potential.
Think for a second would a five cent metro credit be worth it for you to carry around your empty bottles? If not then how much, what is your number?