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REMAG

Someday soon, instead of tossing your old newspapers and magazines into a dumpster or a curbside recycle bin, you may be able to take them all to your grocery store and exchange them for coupons. That’s the idea behind a company that wants to encourage people to recycle, by rewarding them with discounts on their groceries.

As you may have read here last year, REMAG’s recycling kiosks got their first test run at three supermarkets in Puerto Rico beginning in August. That test has now concluded, and REMAG is calling it a huge success – and now it has the entire United States in its sights.

REMAG kiosks are kind of like ATMs that accept periodicals instead of deposit slips, and dispense coupons instead of cash. Customers bring their newspapers, magazines and catalogs to their local grocery store, and slide them into a REMAG kiosk. Then they use the kiosk’s touch screen monitor to select four printable coupons for each item they recycle. That’s potentially a whole lot of coupons, for not a whole lot of effort.

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During the pilot program in Puerto Rico, customers recycled more than 90,000 pounds of paper, and earned 290,000 coupons. In addition, local nonprofits received nearly $19,000, as part of REMAG’s commitment to make a small donation for each coupon that’s printed.

“The feedback from the pilot was overwhelmingly positive, but as was intended it also provided us many things to build upon,” REMAG’s executive vice president Blake Patterson told Coupons in the News. REMAG developers plan to tinker with the kiosks’ technology, and are working to expand the coupon offerings beyond grocery items, to include offers for local stores and services.

And when the refining process is complete, REMAG is aiming to launch in new markets in the U.S. “As with any new program there is much to learn and data to gather,” Patterson said back in August. “We want to be ready for a full U.S. launch with solid analysis.”

Puerto Rican shoppers are already clamoring for REMAG’s return. And stories about the REMAG field test piqued the interest of many mainland American shoppers who are eager to see the coupon kiosks show up in their stores soon. “We are very excited about the work to be done to evolve all components of the program, and as anxious as our users to get REMAG back in the marketplace,” Patterson said.

So if you’re feeling confident about REMAG’s expansion plans, and you have some extra storage space, you just might want to hang onto your recyclables for a while. Saving the Earth is always a worthy goal – but saving a little on your grocery bill at the same time, makes it even better.

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