David Weinfeld

Exploring the Convergence of Media and Technology

Greenopolis Recycling Kiosks Reward Social Behavior


Greenopolis, a subsidiary of trash services behemoth Waste Management, is pioneering the next wave of interactive out-of-home media. The company is behind, what I consider to be, one of the most forward-thinking digital out-of-home media projects to date.

You may have come in contact with one of Greenopolis’ interactive recycling kiosks, which have been installed in Whole Foods stores and other high traffic locations. The kiosks track users’ recycling history, rewarding them with store coupons and discounts at participating retailers. Users accrue points through each interaction. The system has been designed to turn recycling into a reward-driven game.

Given the success of location-based applications like Foursquare and Gowalla, which reward users with exclusive game badges based upon their check-ins, Greenopolis is hitching its ride to a proven driver of consumer behavior. Integrating game mechanics into the act of recycling is a great move. Gamifying social good initiatives is a win for all parties involved.

If the interactive, point-tracking kiosks were all Greenopolis did, I would stll celebrate the company for its innovative use of technology. Greenopolis took its interactive recycling system a step further. The recycling company launched Oceanopolis, a Facebook game which challenges players to build a sustainable community of islands. Players earn points through eco-conscious behavior. 

The ground-breaking aspect of it all is that Greenopolis has connected the social game to its interactive kiosks. Oceanopolis players can combine points earned in the game with real-life recycling points to redeem additional discounts. The game is intended to be a gateway for players to learn how to interact with the kiosks and other Greenopolis technology. Brilliant!

“We’re excited to open Oceanopolis and introduce a new way for social gamers to become active in the recycling process,” said Jeffrey Smith, senior creative manager of Greenopolis. “Through the Greenopolis Recycling System, we are creating a new approach that makes sustainable living fun, interactive and rewarding for everyone who participates.”

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