If Hans Fedderke has his way, people will be able one day to trade empty plastic bottles and aluminum cans for credit toward Chicago Transit Authority fares. The Recycle and Ride program he’s proposing would enable CTA riders to gain credit on CTA cards for up to 5 cents per can or bottle, just by chucking the items into a machine and inserting a fare card.
Fedderke, a 25-year-old green development consultant and licensed Realtor, envisions two test facilities in high-traffic locations, one on Chicago’s North Side and one on the South Side, but if not there, then perhaps two at high-traffic L stops in the Loop. “This would go along with making Chicago, as Mayor (Richard) Daley says, ‘the greenest city in the nation,’” Fedderke said. “It promotes the use of mass transit and recycling in a much more dynamic way than when you just recycle or turn your can in for a nickel at your grocery store.”
The greatest stumbling block, however, seems to be access to CTA property for placement of machines and retrieval of cash and recyclables. Even so, Fedderke remains undaunted. He said he has received encouragement from representatives of the CTA and City of Chicago, along with nibbles from an array of waste companies. Also, a recycled vending-machine operator in Wisconsin is willing to supply two machines. “I think it will happen,” Fedderke said. “I’m optimistic.”
From Conscious Choice