Animal food for metal cans and bottles

There are a few machines dotted around my city. They accept plastic bottles and metal cans. In return they drop some food for dogs or cats. There is also an opening where you can pour water which goes in a separate bowl. How can these machines be tagged?


It is documented on wiki but is only used 4 times so far.

It seems like these tags apply for vending machines which give packaged pet food for money. The machine in my photo dispenses food in bowls for stray animals.

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Interesting. I don’t know how this could be described without inventing a new tag.


It seems like these tags apply for vending machines which give packaged pet food for money. The machine in my photo dispenses food in bowls for stray animals.

I agree that vending machines are different from dispensers and both could have different main tags

I would consider tagging “accept plastic bottles and metal cans” as amenity=recycling recycling_type=container recycling:plastic_bottles=yes recycling:cans=yes

No idea how to tag rewards.

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What is the local name for such a machine, maybe translated into English?

  • amenity=vending_machine
  • vending_machine=local name
  • vending=pet_food

There is no local name. People call them “Dog-o-mat”, “Vending machine” or “Automat”. Their primary purpose is to make people recycle more (the machines are maintained by private companies and their goal is to “prepare” people for the deposit system which may start working in mid 2024). Following this logic, the best tags imho would be either:

amenity=recycling +
recycling_type=container +
recycling:plastic_bottles=yes +
recycling:cans=yes +


amenity=vending +
vending=bottle_return +
recycling:plastic_bottles=yes +
recycling:cans=yes +

not really accurate, as you need to pay in barter

payment:cash=no ?

Yeah, with payment:*_card=no too, and fee=yes, and maybe something like
payment:recyclables=yes + recycling:cans=yes (and/or freeform payment:description=*)?

Also, for feeding animals, there is:

And for water part, there is:

For the food dispenser, amenity=feeding_place + feeding:for=dogs;cats could be a possibility. Include a ‘description’ tag if you consider it necessary to clarify the operation of the dispenser.

For the recycling container, amenity=recycling + recycling_type=container + recycling:plastic_bottles=yes + recycling:cans=yes is OK for me.

Note: For the dispenser, tagging it as a vending machine free of charge is also a good possibility.

In general description describing object and linking this thread would be nice - this kind of object is likely to confuse people unfamiliar with it and look like a tagging mistake

Is it really a barter? After all you are just throwing away plastic bottles and metal cans and the food that is dispensed is supposed to feed homeless animals.

I don’t think that it’s a good idea to have 3 nodes for a single feature if that’s what you are suggesting.

I haven’t said anything about how to map it, only how to tag it. I preferred to give an open-ended answer so as not to say how I would map or tag it myself. I preferred to give options and let the person who knows the object decide the formula that best fits the case.

Some objects are not susceptible to be unambiguously tagged according to the current OSM tagging system. This could be a good example. It is a really original object. What is it? Which is its primary purpose?

I assume that feeding the animals is its primary purpose and that recycling cans or plastic bottles is a secondary purpose, an ingenious way to encourage people to feed animals. A possible solution in that case would be to map it with a node tagged with amenity=feeding_place and add a “description” tag to explain how the dispenser works.

Isn’t it barter? Maybe I’ve misunderstood your initial post:

I’ve understood that “In return …” to mean that unless I “pay” for animal food with recycleables, no food will come out at all (and starvation of stray animals will be my fault, because I refused to recycle there, and by that selfish act denied them food).

If that understanding is wrong and the animals would be automatically fed anyway regardless if anyone recycles there, and those are just two completely unrelated amenity=feeding_place and amenity=recycling conveniently placed in the same spot, then I’d just map them as such: as two (very nearby) separate nodes (one as amenity=feeding_place and another as amenity=recycling).

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That is indeed the case.

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Then it is barter, you pay with recyclables for pet food.

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This kind of machines exists in other countries with different types of value return. In France, you find them on many supermarket parkings and you get a shopping voucher in return.

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