Coinstar Calls Cashing In Change 'Recycling'

Douglas writes, “Coinstar wants you to ‘recycle’ your coins in their machines, and save the environment! Minus their 8.9% fee of course.” They even have a little wizard on their website that estimates how many parts of the environment—water, energy consumption, and geological waste—you save by putting those coins back into circulation, instead of hoarding them like the polar bear murderer you are. They don’t provide any source for these estimates, though, and we’re not convinced you’re doing anything “green” other than lining Coinstar’s pockets.

From Coinstar’s website:

Think of it as a new form of recycling—when you reuse your change instead of letting it sit idle in your coin jar, fewer coins are produced. And that translates into environmental savings by reducing hte need for limited natural resources used to create new coin.

We’re deeply skeptical of any one-to-one benefit statement like this, not least because it ignores the total cost of running the Coinstar company, which is a key component of any coin recycling “movement.”

If you’re going to cash in your spare change, look for a Commerce Bank branch nearby first. Their change machines are free and you don’t have to be a Commerce customer to use them.