While stationed overseas in the late 1970s, Envipco founder Bruce DeWoolfson observed a group of children on a dock using a hammer to flatten aluminum cans gathered for their scrap value. As DeWoolfson would retell the story later, he knew there had to be a better way to handle recyclable materials.
What started with an idea scrawled on a napkin by DeWoolfson in 1979 evolved into the first reverse vending machine (RVM), which has helped to automate recycling processes around the world. Installed in convenience markets and grocery stores, the early machines, called Cash for Cans, collected and crushed aluminum cans in exchange for a penny apiece.
As deposit bills proliferated in the U.S., DeWoolfson was instrumental in negotiating agreements with beverage container distributors in the mid-1980s. Instead of sorting out specific bottles and cans by brand - a process that was both space-consuming and labor-intensive for retailers - Envipco designed an electronic bar code reader and provided an electronic tally of distributor-specific containers.
The deposit accounting system, a secure method to save and record returned beverage containers, and an electronic bar code reader allowed retailers to accept for redemption only brands that they carried in their stores. Envipco's precise system quickly earned the confidence of our clients, who trust in our accounting systems to accurately record beverage container transactions.
With several patents for our RVM technology, Envipco has been a leader in recycling for more than 30 years. Since those early days, Envipco has continued its commitment to finding a better way, a mission that has driven the company to become involved in all aspects of beverage container recycling, including collection, transportation and logistics, accounting, recycling and processing.