The best way for children to learn something new is when they are able to pick it up the fun way. So, let us teach them to recycle beverage cans by taking a leaf out of Art-o-mat's book, through vending machines that are no longer in use. Modify them so that the machines can accept recyclables.
So who is going to fund this project? Here are some ideas to work on:
1) Make it a corporate social responsibility for companies to place their advertisements on such machines. The advertisement fees can be used to acquire the vending machines.
2) The "reward" from the slot machine can be monetary or corporate gifts of companies who sponsor this green project. A sense of suspense can be created if the recyclers are not aware of the "reward" they are going to get when they drop their recyclables.
3) The vending machines can be placed in public areas, beside trash bins or schools' canteens. The schools can encourage students to create stuff made up of abandoned aka waste material for such machines. If this project is carried out globally, you can have creations of students from other countries placed in vending machines in the local schools in exchange.
4) The money raised from the recyclables dropped into the machine should also be able to generate funds to make it work.
To make it a success, work the following motivation points and strategies highlighted by by Aceti Associates
1) Sign strategy - A vending machine is large enough to be seen from a distance.
2) Outreach volunteer strategy - children who have enjoyed using the vending machine will become natural ambassador to this recycling project.
3) Recycling incentive - the gifts from the vending machine should attract participation.
4) Commitment strategy - create gifts in sets that will be dispensed singly so that children will recycle to collect complete sets.
5) Bins decal - the vending machine provides sufficient space for decals.
If you think that this is not likely to happen, then you ought to check out ENVIPCO. The founder of this company, Bruce DeWoolfson, invented what is called "reverse vending equipment" that can make automatic cash incentive pay out for returning used beverage containers.
Do a search for "recycling vending machine" and you will find many more of such manufacturers worldwide. This could well be a business opportunity to look into if you have the space for such machines in your outlets.