Recyclotron is an idea we've been banging around for quite a while.
The original idea came about when we noticed that as kids we often got bored with what we have quickly and either destroy or discard most toys, but find our friends old toys fascinating. As makers we also know how valuable some old obscure piece of junk can be, when it's just the right one, even though it might be garbage to someone else.
There are existing ways to exchange items like this, but most of them require a level of coordination or effort that gets in the way. By making the hand-off of goods asynchronous, Recyclotron makes it very easy to discard something when convenient while creating a consistent physical location to visit when looking for things.
The commerce system makes things interesting by creating a sense of urgency around using the Recyclotron and helps prevent it becoming a dumping ground for non-participants. The specific details about how credits are tracked, the rate of decay, etc. are still on the drawing board and may take some field research to determine the right weights and balances.
I'll be posting some initial drawings and other notes leading up to this point soon as well as some more detailed ideas about how the machine's physical and electrical systems might function as we spec. those systems out.