Today we celebrate Global Recycling Day with this groundbreaking project from the Catalan startup and winner of the 2018 iChallenges initiative, which has created sensors to be installed on the openings of yellow recycling receptacles to identify the type of container inserted into the bin and thus facilitate the recycling process.
The technology, known as RecySmart, streamlines waste management and is the recycling cycle’s first digitized public system that involves citizens through incentives.
Its Smart Waste Characterization System recognizes containers in real time, be they plastic, metal, cardboard, etc. The system also features a scanner that reads all types of codes, Lid access control to prevent the insertion of inappropriate containers, and a fill-level sensor.
Via the app, users receive information about the environmental impact of their efforts, turning recycling into a game, and connecting them to an EcoMarket; through an e-Wallet they receive tokens for each recycled container that can be redeemed at local stores.
“When a recycled item is suitable for the receptacle, you earn one point. The points you accumulate can be redeemed at a marketplace or local stores for discounts on products,” explains Ana Benavent, director of R+D at Valoriza Medioambiente. Users must insert one container at a time to ensure points are counted correctly.
“This project has two goals: to encourage recycling and stimulate the local economy. At the moment, we are testing 30 receptacles that have begun operating this month,” Benavent concludes.