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Cycled Technologies’ SmartBins turn waste into wealth

Published 15 Dec 2022 (updated 29 Apr 2024) · 3 min read

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  • Soon available

At a glance

  • Smart trash bins for recycling
  • Increases quantity and sorting accuracy of recyclables
  • Reduces carbon emissions and promotes the circular economy of waste

Cycled SmartBin uses artificial intelligence and incentives to make recycling more effective and profitable. “The SmartBin achieves up to 88 per cent sorting efficiency using advanced technology and human psychology”, says Thor Sverre Minnesjord, CEO of Cycled Technologies.

Our planet can no longer tolerate the mountains of waste pollution. In Europe, waste is the fourth largest source of CO₂ emissions, causing 3 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Worldwide the figures are higher, up to 5 per cent. Waste causes soil and water contamination as well.

There are two main reasons for waste pollution, according to Ayoola Brimmo, COO of Cycled Technologies. One is contamination of recyclable material, and the other is a lack of motivation to sort the waste properly at the source.

“If all these materials go to the dumpsite, it’s not just environmentally unfriendly; it’s also financially unfriendly,” says Brimmo. In fact, billions of dollars in potential revenue are lost when recyclables end up in landfills.

Cycled SmartBins make recycling fun and profitable

“We aim to transform the perception of waste as a cost to waste as a value. Shifting people’s mentality is at the core of the circular economy,” says Minnesjord.

Cycled Technologies has developed Cycled SmartBin to increase the quantity and sorting accuracy of recyclables deposited by consumers. Artificial intelligence (AI) is used to identify the various materials placed in the bin and proprietary mechanics sort the items into their respective inner bags.

“Manual bins achieve less than 20 per cent sorting efficiency,” says Minnesjord. “In contrast, our testing shows that Cycled SmartBin achieves up to 88 per cent sorting efficiency and a 45 per cent increase in usage,” he adds.

To achieve a better recycle rate, the SmartBin comes with a fun incentives scheme. Every time users deposit recyclable waste, they earn reward points that can be redeemed for shopping vouchers.

In addition, SmartBin incentives can be adapted to the society where they are implemented. For example, incentives in the Middle East, where there is no return deposit scheme, will differ from Northern Europe, which already collects most of its plastic bottles.

Currently, Cycled SmartBin can identify plastic, paper and metal. In the future, it will be able to accommodate glass and organic material. These SmartBins can be placed in any public space.


Maximising the value of waste

Cycled SmartBin unlocks the waste-to-wealth business model for its customers. This allows them to abandon the traditional “take, make, waste” approach and embrace the circular economy of waste.

Environmentally, improved waste recycling has many benefits. In the EU alone, it can reduce CO₂ emissions by 4.5 million metric tons. It can also halve the amount of waste added to landfills and reduce the waste tossed into the environment as trash.

From a financial perspective, the circular economy of waste creates a new revenue stream, estimated at USD 3 billion in the EU. For example, waste can be sold to recyclers for a profit and repurposed into new products. Transport and landfill maintenance costs are reduced as well.

“We expect that SmartBin customers will break even on their investment in three to five years,” says Minnesjord.

Joining the smart cities revolution

Rapid urbanisation and industrialisation worldwide are fuelling the market for smart waste management systems, which is expected to reach USD 6.52 billion by 2026. Cycled SmartBin is one such high-tech solution in this market.

Cycled Technologies aims to become a key player in the development of smart cities. “The increasing adoption of smart city initiatives in the Middle East has informed our decision to target this region as our primary market,” says Minnesjord. Target customers include municipalities, facility managers and real estate developers.

Founded in 2016, Cycled Technologies has been running pilots in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for over a year. In addition, it has recently begun a pilot in Norway. Cycled SmartBin is expected to be commercially available in January 2022.

Thor Sverre Minnesjord


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