Earlier this week we were given the opportunity to take our new and improved version of the Charopy smart bin technology out to Macquarie University as they were hosting a number of important guests at the same time. A previous supporter of Charopy, the NSW Minister for Customer Service, Victor Dominello was there, the Mayor of Ryde Jerome Laxale was there, and the NSW Minister for Finance and Small Business, Damien Tudehope was even kind enough to let us film him experiencing our source separation technology for the first time. Minister Tudehope appears first in the video below.
Even prior to the invention of our smart bin we were seeing impressive results from our technological efforts, but this past week were were able to show people how far we have come since the first prototype bin we tested in schools, and then the more recent model that was released in a corporate office environment. With our new firmware upgrade this week we have significantly increased the speed of operation, through both improved database design and a much more efficient search algorithm. The end result (as you can see in the video above) is we have virtually eliminated any lag between the item being recognised and the locked flap being released to allowed the permitted recycling item to be entered into the bin. In a school the time lag is less of an issue; in an office, a factory or a shopping centre food court every one tenth of a second we can shave off the time taken to use the bin is expected to have a significant increase in overall satisfaction with the experience of using a Charopy smart bin. It is now possible to ensure an almost seamless experience when ensuring a contamination free CDS recycling bin within an office environment.
There was an article in the Sydney Morning Herald recenlty with the headline Sydney recycling plant to shut as market prices collapse, costs soar. On first impression that might have left a lot of people in despair, but the really important part of this article was buried deep within the copy.
...the cost of processing plastics and other materials had soared because buyers wanted much lower rates of contamination in the products.
So the real problem is really the contaminated bales, typically from co-mingled recycling, where different types of plastics such at PET and HDPE are not efficiently separated and all sorts of other contamination gets into the 'recycling' collection stream. This is one of the big advantages of a well run container deposit scheme, and Charopy are pleased to be feeding into that channel to ensure significantly improved recycling outcomes. As the article states, buyers of recycled material are looking for low rates of contamination, as and was discussed in an earlier blog post, the further upstream you can separate the good from the bad when it comes to recycling material and waste, the greater the chance your so-called recycling will end up actually being used for recycling.
This exactly the problem Charopy are working to solve. And we are working some great early customers who share this vision.