Smart Recycling Bin


Problem: Recycling bins are often confusing for users, and items are frequently discarded in the wrong receptacles.

Solution: A smart recycling bin that uses camera technology and AI algorithms to recognize objects and notify which receptacle to discard them in.

  • Cambridge Consultants is a British company that has developed a recycling bin with computer vision built in.
  • The bin’s camera identifies the material and the proper receptacle lights up to indicate where to discard the item.
  • The product can register users to encourage proper recycling and link the behavior to a rewards program developed by the bin’s sponsor or owner.
  • The bin can also collect data on the items being recycled to gain insight on consumer habits or to track a retailer’s sustainability goals.


  • retailers with sustainability goals
  • municipalities with public spaces
  • commercial property owners

Next 3 steps:

  • continue to improve the algorithm that identifies items to be recycled
  • market the product to retailers, building management firms, and city agencies
  • analyze data collected to provide metrics that can support case for improved recycling with the product




3 thoughts on “Smart Recycling Bin

  1. Neat idea, but I’m curious about actual adoption as trash receptacles are probably already produced really cost efficiently. I’m assuming cameras and lights triple the cost. Perhaps sanitation (or whichever dept. this falls under) could offer subsidies, or rewards to owners if the smart bin improves accurate recycling by an agreed upon percentage.


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