A raft of so-called ‘reverse vending machines’ that will encourage more people to recycle containers could soon be introduced across Fife.
Supermarket giant Aldi have revealed plans to install 10 of the units throughout the region which will be used for the collection of plastic and glass bottles and steel and aluminium cans.
The company has applied for planning permission for the devices in advance of the Scottish Government’s deposit return scheme in July 2022, which will mean retailers will have a legal requirement to accept returns of empty drink receptacles for recycling.
Aldi’s response to this is to use a reverse vending machine (RVM) that scans containers when they are returned and then refunds the customer.
Consumers are likely to have to pay a small deposit – understood to be around 20p – on top of the retail price, but consumers will get their deposit back when they return their empty plastic bottle, glass bottle or steel or aluminium can.
A spokesperson for Aldi said: “Due to the high volume of footfall in Aldi stores, there is expected to be a high use of these machines, collecting up to 24,500 units on a weekly basis.
“The RVM’s are available in a range of sizes and Aldi will seek to use the largest size where possible in order to meet the anticipated demand.
“Due to the size of the units and the typically highly efficient layout of an Aldi store, it is not physically possible to locate the machines within the building.
“Therefore it is necessary to accommodate these units within the existing car park, which will result in the loss of a small number of either car parking spaces or pavement areas.
“Any disabled or parent and child parking spaces impacted will be relocated elsewhere onsite so as not to result in the loss of any of these spaces.”
Nine separate applications have been registered with Fife Council’s planning department for the units.
These are at South Road in Cupar, Halbeath Road and Nightingale Place in Dunfermline, Flemington Road in Glenrothes, Hillend Industrial Park in Dalgety Bay, Turpie Road in Leven, Tom Stewart Lane in St Andrews, Stenhouse Street in Cowdenbeath, and Ferrard Road and McKenzie Street in Kirkcaldy.
Angus Council are also set to review plans to erect one of the machines at Basin View, Monrose.
Aldi expects its stores to take in around 3,500 containers each daily.