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In the early days of the Charopy smart bin we were installing our technology within 120L and 240L wheelie bin lids. Lately we have been doing an increased amount of work where clients have wanted a smart bin that achieves a more integrated look within their broader interior design scheme. An early example of doing custom work to retro-fit an existing bin housing was this work for AMP Capital at Macquarie Shopping Centre.

Given the demand from clients wanting a panel containing all the Charopy technology that can be easily integrated into offices and shopping centres at an early stage when concepts are being explored, especially with new A Grade office fitouts, we have a relatively new standard sized panel which is 459 x 199 x 3mm. Using a rebate cut into the door (or any custom cabinetry) of 460 x 200mm clients are able to get a very nice fit where the panel sits flush with the wooden door on the bin housing.

Actually this panel doesn't need to be fitted to a door, as it can work in any vertical space where a hole can be cut and where a bin can be placed behind or underneath. We already have some existing and potential clients exploring a few very creative ideas given this flexibility. The photo below shows the rebate cut and the panel (post fitting) where that panel needed to sit flush with the front of the bin.

A good example of a client using this standard panel is Vicinity Centres at Bankstown Central Shopping Centre. By taking this panel and attaching it within the rebate cut, they now have an attractive bin that fits in well within the existing design of their food court.

For clients who want further customisation including a different colour or varied dimensions of the panel containing the Charopy technology please get in touch. Obviously manufacturing a non standard product incurs some extra cost, but given the potential high visibility and high utility of Charopy technology within your next resign, or within the existing look and feel of your current space, the cost may well be justified. However we end up working with you, we look forward to helping solve your challenges around obtaining a clean stream of CDS eligible recycling material - in an elegant yet functional bin housing.

There are two videos in particular that we have shot in previous months that seem to have really resonated with people interested in our technology. Well, people who are interesting in learning about ways to solve CDS recycling bin contamination might be a more accurate description. Whatever the reason for the interest, we are happy to see people seeking out and benefitting from this content, so here they are.

There first one was shot in the Sydney office of an early Charopy client and it is the one I would typically show someone that has never even seen our product before - in around 40 seconds it very clearly explains the problem we are solving, and how we solve it. If I could only show a person one video about what Charopy does, this would be the one.

This second video is even shorter, but uses a very simple format to explain a situation all of us have seen before - coffee cups contaminating the recycling bin. Because everyone knows they don't belong there, but we have all seen it happen, this video got an amazing response when we put it up on social media recently.

I've posted videos in the past of some of the first people to experience our smart bin technology, and even students using an earlier prototype of the smart bin, but we now have our technology getting good interest from shopping centre owners, and have significantly expanded the online reporting capabilities of the product, plus we have added new functionality and general improvements to the smart bin, so with videos being such a powerful way to communicate the product benefits, you can expect to see more video content being posted here in the near future.

Even though today the primary business of Charopy is smart bins connected to the internet that solve the problem of contamination with container deposit scheme recycling collection, we originally started the business working with schools to improve the recycling behaviour of children. So I was interested to hear this week that one of our schools has actually dropped the recycling component of our original program (did not want children bringing in empty drink containers from home), and has repurposed our technology solely to eliminate cash from over the counter transactions in the school canteen (another side effect of current Covid concerns).

Some readers may be unaware, but prior to starting Charopy I was actually the founder of a program now used in around 1,000 schools across Australia. That product is a mobile payments app called Qkr (pronounced 'quicker') and it is sold by the Commonwealth Bank under agreement with Mastercard. What Charopy has managed to do for schools using Qkr is effectively turn what was originally conceived purely as a parent initiated payment app (eg. pre-paid lunch orders), into a program that can now support child initiated payments (eg over-the-counter walk up orders) when paired with technology from Charopy. With all schools looking to reduce potential risks associated with coronavirus transmission, and cash handling being one item on the list of concerns, we have decided to now make this product available to more schools.

To get a glimpse of how this works, take a look at the story Channel Nine News did on Charopy last year. Even though the focus of the story is recycling, and it doesn't show parents adding value to the wristbands using Qkr, it does show children redeeming the value on their wristbands for over the counter items without having to hand over any cash.

Today I no longer have any role with the Qkr app and I don't have any business relationship with Commonwealth Bank, but I am very happy that both organisations continue to support schools around Australia through the ongoing operation of Qkr. It is nice to see something you started continue to deliver benefit to so many customers, even when you personally are no longer involved. Now I'm even more proud that schools have been able to extend this technology to eliminate cash for walk up canteen orders to further reduce the usage of cash within a school environment.

Apart from the standard wristband implementation, we have also enabled cashless payments on a NSW Opal transit card tied Charopy, topped up via Qkr, and then redeemed for food at a school canteen. We can also do custom implementations on selected student cards or other non wristband methods, but it depends on what type of technology is embedded within those cards. We even had it working on an Apple watch at one point, although I can't see that being in too much demand within primary schools.

The canteen or tuck shop is a big part of the school experience for so many children. In an era when the concept of what actually constitutes 'money' will be very different for today's children becoming adults compared to the notes and coins we were so used to, maybe going cashless for walk up orders has even more benefits than just addressing current pandemic related concerns.


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