Rome tests recycling bottles for transit cash

International

Tourist information hostess Elisa Bulzomi, right, explains to a passenger how to insert a plastic bottle into an automatic recycling bin outside a subway station in Rome, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Rome unveiled Tuesday three test machines around metro stations where passengers can drop plastic water bottles, receiving five cents apiece, which goes to the passenger’s account in partner apps to be redeemed for public transportation tickets. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

ROME (AP) — Travelers in Rome have a new way to earn cash towards public transportation tickets: recycling plastic bottles.

The city of Rome unveiled three test machines Tuesday around metro stations where passengers can drop plastic water bottles, receiving five cents apiece through a scan 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.

ATAC President Paolo Simioni said Wednesday 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 has slated the initiative’s test run for a year.

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