For third-generation grocery store owner James Haines, the grocery business has been a passion and a privilege. As an owner of Central ShopRite Michigan for the last 23 years, he has seen what works in his business and what needs improvements. When it comes to container recycling, Haines has done his share of hand-sorting and packing bottles.
Recycling gets cleaner
When the Bottle Bill container deposit system went into effect in Michigan, it became a greater challenge to ensure that the handling of dirty bottles and cans didn’t contaminate the store’s perishables. But according to Haines, TOMRA’s reverse vending machines (RVMs) have changed the way he handles recycling at the grocery store for the better.
“Since using TOMRA RVMs, especially the T-90s, there is no need for a separate room for recycling, since the system is so clean,” Haines said.
Haines’s store feature four T-90 InPac reverse vending machine.
“The machines are in the front entrance of the store now, so it’s the first thing people see when they walk in. The T-90s are truly impressive with their sleek look and interactive touchscreen, providing customers with a fun user experience,” he added.
As an added investment in his store’s bottle return area, Haines had a trench installed, which provides a constant flow of hot water along the front of the machines. The trench captures any excess liquid from the beverage containers as people insert them.
Engaging with customers
Haines also is a fan of TOMRA’s customer recycling loyalty program, TOMRA Makes Change, because it encourages people to recycle and has brought new customers to the store, he says.
“The recycling loyalty program has given our store a competitive edge. Customers started coming in to use our reverse vending machines and now do their shopping with us.” said Haines. “Our goal is to continue to grow the program by promoting it on the TVs we have connected to the T-90s and through our store signage. Moving forward, we plan to utilize statistics and demographics and create fun videos that drive and grow the program to both existing and new customers.”