Smart recycling bins

Smart recycling bins: Smart recycling bins to allow optimization of the recycling process and economy

Haifa, Israel
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Smart accessible recycle bins widely spread will allow customers to get back their deposit efficiently as a sum-up for reduction of municipality fares or store credit. This solution will enlarge the number of recycled bottles thanks to more accessible solution and optimization of the economic model.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if recycling bottles and getting their deposit back will be more efficient and accessible?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

EPA reveals that 12.7% of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generation is of plastic waste. However, although there is an awareness and finance specified model motivating recycling (deposit on bottles), only 30.8% of the bottles are recycled. The starting point in the chain of process of bottles is the number of returned bottles, dictating the total revenue, cost and profitability of the process. The pattern is not efficient enough and can be improved

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Smart recycling bins to be used in order to attract people to recycle more. The bins will be places all over the city and not only at supermarkets. Any customer will directly handle the waste recycle and will control the deposit back process. This will increase the number of recycled bottles, the bottleneck of recycling process. The innovative smart recycling bin has an electronic panel that will display the communication with the user. The electronic panel can be added on existing recycling bins. The recycle process will require the user to identify (typing identification ID or social number for collect deposit fees), allowing the municipality to identify the user's account with the amount of deposit to be paid back.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Daniel, a bachelor student in science, walking on the street and feeling thirsty. In the nearest convenient store, he buys a bottle of Coke and sips it. Later on, instead of throwing it to the general waste (in the worst scenario) or to separate recycle bin (since the deposit can be returned for now only in supermarkets), he will recycle it in a smart bin, typing his identification ID and the deposit on the bottle will return to him in the chosen method: reduced from the monthly municipality rate, reduced from the monthly electricity bill, reduce from the monthly water bill or reduce from the bill in a supermarket in his choice.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Customers: Sum up a big amount to be reduced from chosen utility bills, helping the customer feel he receives back more money than just few pennies, which enlarge the number of items each customer recycled. Nevertheless, the fact that the recycle bins are more accessible than today will also enlarge each customer recycling and enlarge the deposit he will get back. Local Corporation: They will return the money beside to the supermarkets, to the municipality or to the companies that allow reductions in bills. The indirect effect is that the growth in volume of the entire recycling process, therefore allowing a measurable growth in the income of the corporates. Municipalities: Shorten the time spent on taking care of waste; Use smaller spaces for waste burying (more bottles will be recycled so less waste should be taking care of); Efficient the time of the workers in charge on the waste

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The Coca-Cola Company, as an example, holds 42% of the soft drink industry. In practice, they sales 1.8 billion drinks per day, hence over 4.2 billion soft drinks bottles sales world-wide every day. This is over 1 trillion soft drinks per year. The growth rate of the bottles market is 4% a year. Since only 30.8% of all PET bottles are being recycled, there are approximately 700 billion bottles that can still be recycled. Each bottle recycle can save energy to power 60-watt bulb for 3 hours. Economically, the customers lose 35 billion dollars a year on non-returned deposits.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The need in recycling is increasing daily as well the awareness to the importance of recycling. It is logical to see that state funding for deposits on recycling will be budget continuously and even increase in the future. Nevertheless, the improvement of the existing recycling process insures other players (companies, municipalities) interest in the solution.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

At this point, the economic chain of recycling is not addressing the bottleneck. The system is indifferent to the number of bottles actually being sent to recycle. Therefore, any initiative trying to raise the number of bottles actually being recycled might be addressing this problem. These initiatives are based on publicity efforts and not on optimizing the economic chain already in place.

Founding Story

The idea for smart recycling bins rise when I realized that every day I throw to the general bin at least two soft drink bottles since recycling (and receiving my deposit back) is not available enough. The fact that in order to receive my deposit back I have to specially go to specific supermarkets in specific opening hours and receive small amount of cash draw me back from the process. This makes us, as a society, ignorant to the need in recycling and indirectly harm us, our family and the whole world.


At the moment, since I am in the seed stage, I am researching the facts about the recycling process and the several optional technologies to build the smart bins hardware and software. Once the project is more financed, I will invest all my time in the R&D and marketing of the product and process. Nevertheless, the full product implementation will employ qualified engineers and designers.
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

An advert on the Israeli finance newspaper

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:


Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Responsible Consumption and Production.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

• In my research for my master’s degree in information systems I had to investigate the phenomena of Wikipedia in order to understand lack in scholar knowledge in this community. After finding a gap in the knowledge of this community, I created a methodology framework in order to investigate and farther understand the community and contribute to the science.
• In my teaching in the Haifa university and in the Technion, beside purchasing knowledge to my students, I am leading them during their final projects by determine deadlines and outcomes they should stand in during the semester.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

In order to achieve the impact of recycling bottles not only on supermarkets, I will have to get electronic expert that will help design and train the electronic engineer that will invent the electronic panel.