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Interactive Waste Bin Promotes Recycling

Interactive Waste Bin

Image Credit: Masdar Institute of Science and Technology

Would you like to know the impact your recycling efforts are having every time you pop a drinks can or plastic bottle into a recycling waste bin? Well now you can! A collaboration between an Abu Dhabi company and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology has come up with an ingenious interactive waste bin. Every time you make a deposit you are told of the positive impact your waste item has had. The waste bin has separate compartments for paper, metal, plastic and general waste. So far it is only a prototype but we hope the idea will catch on and you might find them on your local high street in the very near future.

Some of the messages you can expect to hear include:

  • Recycling one plastic bottle saves enough energy to run a fridge for over 2 hours

  • By recycling a plastic bottle you are saving over 10 litres of water

  • Recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to power a laptop for almost an hour

  • A tonne of recycled paper saves 17 trees

  • Plastic can last up to 1,000 years in landfill

These are only a few examples of the messages that can be conveyed by the interactive waste bin. The messages can actually be customised to the particular needs of the location. For example a bin located on school premises could convey information relevant to young children. Whereas the messages for a bin located in a busy factory would need to be very different. Many more electronic features can be added including real time alerts on the amount of space left and quantity waiting to be collected. Either via Twitter or email to the collection company.

If the bins are placed in locations such as institutions, schools or company premises they can be linked via the internet enabling the type and quantity of waste collected to be tracked. Thereby allowing waste campaigns to be tailored to a particular locations needs. We think this is all pretty useful information as it promotes action on a personal level without actually telling people what to do.

In New York there is another twist on the traditional receptacle popping up to assist in encouraging recycling and making the process quicker and simpler. The recycling receptacle is able to compact the waste automatically and alert the collection company when it needs emptying and in addition it is solar powered.

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