College kids are too lazy to recycle. That's the premise behind the recycling jukebox, a project dreamed up by six University of Colorado at Boulder engineering students.
Because there isn't always a recycling bin right around the corner when they finish their ROCKSTAR Energy Drinks -- or whatever it is the kids are drinking these days -- CU freshman Ben Schlitzer and five of his counterparts invented a incentive for students to go find one. That incentive? Jason Mraz.
"A lot of girls like that," Schlitzer explains.
The recycling jukebox works like this: Recycle two cans or bottles, and you'll be rewarded with a song clip. The choices are the CU fight song as performed by the CU marching band; "Ghosts n Stuff" by Deadmau5; "DJ Got Us Falling in Love" by Usher; "Airplanes" by B.o.B.; and -- for the ladies -- "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz.
"We found that people don't feel bad about not recycling," Schlitzer says. But in a survey of his roommates and other random people he ran into, he discovered something important: "People said they'd be interested in using something that rewarded them for recycling instead of just the boring task of recycling." A-ha!
The recycling jukebox debuted at last weekend's CU Engineering Design Expo. But its inventors -- Schlitzer, Eric Bodine, Carl Gallaher, Bartosz Koczera, Zachary Pierce and Matthew Williams -- have since had to dissemble their creation in order to give back the expensive electronic stuff inside it that belonged to CU. RIP, recycling jukebox.
Still, Schlitzer says that the idea could always resurface. When we politely suggested he add do-gooder-themed songs, such as Michael Jackson's "Heal the World," he laughed. Then he said no. "That's a little sappy, I guess, for college kids."
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For more on the recycling jukebox, check out this video: