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Recycling Machines in Turkey Provide Food for Stray Animals When a Bottle is Deposited

By Jonathan Wood, March 2021, Updated June 2021

In Istanbul, Turkey, there are vending machines that dispense pet food to help feed stray animals while encouraging the public to recycle plastic bottles. This ingenious idea comes from the Turkish company Pugedon, which, according to their website, was founded in 2014 as a social responsibility project. The dispensers are called “mamamatiks,” which translates roughly to “vending machines for pets.”

Here’s how these “mamamatiks” work: The vending machine allows people to release food for the city’s stray cats and dogs by recycling a plastic bottle. Every time someone drops a plastic bottle into the deposit slot, it releases food for animals. The vending machine also has space for people to empty out their water bottles for the animals to drink.

Mehmet Akay, the chairman of Pugedon, said the curfews and lockdowns imposed in Turkey to curb the coronavirus have made it more difficult for stray animals to find food. The vending machines help address a citywide issue (Istanbul has more than 150,000 stray dogs on its streets). The units also encourage recycling, which is not yet a fully embraced concept in Turkey.

City planners call these types of solutions a “win-win” proposition: it encourages the public to recycle, participation is rewarded by feeding the stray animal population, public awareness is heightened and engagement facilitated.


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More details on the machine itself: 
The MamaMatic is approximately the size of am ATM and utilizes natural energy with the aid of a solar panel installed on its top. The unit’s side panels carry advertising, educational materials and sponsorship opportunities. The machine also contains technology that can provide analytics on usage, as well as monitor levels of food, water and waste. 

The concept is being exported throughout the world as a novel approach to recycling and a more humane treatment of stray animal populations.


Photos via Pugedon