Optimising the sorting of household waste with digital technology

Household waste

© Piotr Malczyk

The sorting of household waste is an essential step in any process of recycling and recovery. While the proper way to sort household waste is not always well-known, the development of connected objects represents a real opportunity to facilitate and optimise these actions of everyday life. Close-up on three innovations in this area.

A connected box to better sort household waste

Eugène is named after Eugène Poubelle, the French prefect who was the first to make the dustbin compulsory in Paris in the 19th century, and after whom the dustbin (la poubelle) is now named in French. Eugène is a smart box developed by the French start-up Uzer that can be attached near the household bin. To sort waste at home in line with existing regulations, you just need to use the LCD display, equipped with a barcode reader. This makes it possible to scan any packaging for the appropriate sorting instructions.

Simultaneously, all scanned product information is sent to a mobile application that analyses the data, which allows to understand the consumption habits of the household, adjust the shopping list accordingly and order missing items in just a few clicks. Finally, the application rewards users by awarding points for each item of packaging scanned, enabling them to collect discount vouchers for their favourite products.

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Making better use of organic waste at home

Organic waste can be recovered in various ways, including through compost. To alleviate the restraints of domestic composting, Whirlpool, the American company specialising in household appliances, has just developed the Zera Food Recycler.

Presented at the CES 2017 (1) in Las Vegas, this bin converts the equivalent of a week’s worth of food scraps in 24 hours. The transformation takes place with the help of an additive composed of coir and baking soda, and a mechanism triggered by the action of air, moisture, heat and fermentation. Composting is automatic, ending up with a ready-to-use compost. With the Zera App application, it’s also possible to keep an eye on the composter at a distance.

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A smart bin that encourages the recycling of drinks packaging

With its sober design and ingenious way of working, R3D3 created a stir in 2016 when it was presented at the salon Pollutec. This connected bin, installed in companies or in public spaces and designed by the company Green Creative, recognises, sorts and compacts drinks packaging. Cans, bottles and plastic cups are placed one by one on a stand located at the top of the bin. In this manner, they are identified before being compacted and distributed by type into three dedicated compartments. R3D3 can also give real-time information on its level of fullness, as well as request maintenance actions. This smart bin reduces the number of required collections by 10.

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(1) Consumer Electric Show, the largest trade fair on technological innovation in electronics for the general public.


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