Amusing Reuse: Recycling At Copenhagen's Tivoli


Spring has finally reached the northern reaches of the Northern Hemisphere, and that means amusement parks, and in Denmark's case, lots of beer drinking (it's legal to imbibe on the streets). In addition to amusing and not-so-amusing public drunkenness, the drinking policy also leads to mountains of street trash after a warm spring night.

But at the famous Copenhagen amusement park Tivoli (one of the world's very first in-city large scale permanent parks) there's no trace of plastic cups on the grounds or even in the bins, and that's not because of overzealous maintenance staff - it's due to Tivoli's plastic cup deposit and return system that gets an approximately 80 percent return rate. When purchasing a beer or soft drink at any of the numerous concessions in the park, an extra 5 Danish kroner (US$1) is added to price, and the thick polystyrene cup can be dropped off at one of a dozen on-site recycling kiosks, which refunds the money. The system has been in place for nearly a decade, and studies are showing that with a 5-time reuse (cups are washed off-site and average five to nine uses) the cups score better in life-cycle analysis than disposables and at a break-even cost to the concessions. Seems like a proven technology whose time, with oil at near $120 a barrel, surely must be here. Via Tivoli
P.S. Hit the jump to see the return kiosks and reusable cups


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