UAlbany Goes GreenVend®
UAlbany and UAS have teamed up with Next Generation
Vending to install GreenVend® machines on campus. This development
comes amid changes aimed at helping to reduce UAlbany’s environmental
What is GreenVend®? A Next Generation Vending
representative described the initiative as “an exclusive Next Generation
program offering customers an extensive line of wholesome snack options
including organic, all-natural, locally sourced, vegan, gluten-free or
One way in which UAS has worked to save money and reduce waste is to retrofit existing vending machines with newer,
greener hardware. This is more cost-efficient than replacing the
machine, and more environmentally conscious – the older model would
simply end up in a landfill.
Changes made to the machines involve installing new graphics, new electronic components,
and LED lights rather than the standard fluorescent bulbs. According to
Next Generation Vending, LED light strips cost $140 per strip and last
from seven to ten years. Fluorescent bulbs cost $60-90 each considering
the replacement costs and have an average life span of 11-13 months when
continuously lit. The higher price of the LED strip is offset by the
fact that after two fluorescent replacements, the LED strip pays for
In a snack machine, a LED strip needs only eight
watts of energy while a fluorescent bulb requires 15 watts. By switching
to LED, the University saves $28.32 a year per machine.
The LED lights are equipped with energy-efficient
sensors that dim the lights when not in use, and reactivate them as
Another exciting new feature is The Mind™, a
touch-screen technology on GreenVend® machines that displays product
information such as category and nutritional values.
UAS plans to further reduce the University’s
environmental footprint and encourage recycling with the introduction of
the Reverse Vending Machine, similar to those found in grocery stores.
This will provide a way for students to recycle cans and plastic bottles
instead of throwing them away. Students will be given a receipt that
can be deposited into their Podium accounts or exchanged for cash. UAS
is currently looking into ways to add the deposit onto students’ Podium
University Auxiliary Services at Albany and all of our partners are
involved in sustainable efforts here on campus. Watch for more
information on what we are doing to contribute to the university’s
ongoing efforts to reduce waste and improve efficiency.