Polish engineers design self–segregating recycling binTechnologies & Industry
Originally Published in June 2017
Bin-e is an automatic waste-sorting device with material recognition and compression capabilities. Since the bin identifies an object and segregates according to its components, recycling is effortless. Contents are flattened so bins have to be emptied less frequently—saving the company money on waste removal.
Co-founder Marcin Łotysz conceived the idea for a smart bin after constantly having to instruct coworkers at the office how to manually segregate their recyclables. “It seems so simple, because you put plastic in the plastic bin, paper into paper and glass into glass,” said Łotysz. “But every day, someone was running around with a plastic yogurt cup or some other package asking where to put it.”
After realizing people truly have a problem deciphering where to toss recyclables, Łotysz worked with Jakub Luboński toward designing a solution. For a year and a half, the company’s team has been perfecting the product’s technology and preparing for its official launch. Bin-e is only available for pre-order and will be on the market in 2017.
When an object is placed into Bin-e, sensors determine if it is composed of paper, plastic, glass or organic material, and the object is tossed into the corresponding compartment and compressed. To aid with product recognition, Bin-e is connected to a database on the internet. Once a compartment is full, Bin-e sends a notification to a waste-removal company. Bin-e does not provide removal services—the office’s management determines which existing waste removal company it would like to use. The segregation and compression make the process simple and clean.
According to the company, the bins need to be emptied eight times less frequently because of the waste compression system. This can save a company as much as €3 per square meter of office space per year.
Łotysz’s team found that offices typically have weak segregation systems, causing them to pay more for trash removal. Bin-e could help them save money. According to the company, the bins need to be emptied eight times less frequently because of the waste compression system. This can save a company as much as €3 per square meter of office space per year.
Łotysz said the company’s name derives from the English word for garbage can “bin” and “e” for electronic, ecological, environment and efficient. Its name is also a reference to Pixar’s cartoon character WALL-E—a robot that cleans up the Earth’s garbage. The bin’s sleek, white, rounded exterior and simple design gives recycling a new, modern look.
To raise funds and awareness, Bin-e has competed in competitions for startup companies. The company won the Sizzle Award at Hardware.co in Berlin—the prize included funding and support from Schleicher Electronic Engineering Company. Bin-e was also awarded in the “Internet of Things Bootcamp for a Creative & Innovative Startups,” at Infoshare 2016.
Although it plans to market Bin-e mainly toward offices, the company would eventually like to see the device used in homes and public spaces.