TrashBot: Making recycling affordable for buildings, and profitable for plants.

Our award-winning product is an automated, smart refuse bin that combines robotics and AI to sort recyclables from non-recyclables.

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Eligibility Criteria:

  • Yes, I fulfill all the eligibility criteria

First Name

Charles

Last Name

Yhap

Email

cayhap@cleanrobotics.com

Phone Number

786-553-4559

Gender

  • Man

What is the Name of Your Organization?

CleanRobotics

What is The Mission of Your Organization?

Human confusion over what can be recycled and inconsistent recycling rules means that the majority of recyclables end up in landfills. To combat this post-consumer waste crisis, CleanRobotics has developed TrashBot, a robotic refuse bin that automatically sorts waste into the correct waste stream at the point of disposal 3x more accurately than people, resulting in a higher a recyclable diversion rate and decreased contamination rates.

What is The Month and Year of The Founding of Your Venture?

October, 2015

What is Your Organization's Website URL (optional)

http://www.cleanrobotics.com

What is The First and Last Name of Your Organization's Representative for The Challenge?

Charles Yhap

What is Their Organizational Role/Title?

Chief Executive Officer

Project Stage: Select the Description Below That Best Applies to Your Organization

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)
  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)

Please Select Your Organization's Focus Track (Select all That Apply)

  • Food, Water, & Waste

Please Select Which of The Following Types of Innovations Best Characterize Your Work (Select all That Apply)

  • Product innovation (Introduction of a good or service or improvements made to existing products)

Please Upload Your Organizational Pitch Deck or Video

We can price at or below conventional waste receptacles. $2000 at installation, and then $10-$80 per month depending on a number of factors. In the future, because our fleet collects massive amounts of point-of-consumption data, we'll be able to monetize that by selling anonymized data to 3rd parties. For the "fun facts" we looked at historical TrashBot data of how much of each category of recyclables we accurately segregated. Our team then ran our actual numbers across online calculators.

Help Us Support Diversity! Which of the following categories do you identify with (Optional)?  

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French)
  • Hispanic, Latino/a, or Spanish origin (for example: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuba, Salvadoran, Dominican, Colombian)
  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani)

Help Us Support Diversity! Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities (optional)?

  • Communities of color
  • Religious minority (non-Christian)

Please email proof of incorporation to Challenge Manager- Marc Carr (mcarr@ashoka.org) (for example, a certificate of incorporation, copy of your business license, etc.).

  • Uploaded

We would like insight into the financial and operational health of your organization. Therefore, please send at least one of the financial documents below to Challenge Manager Marc Carr (mcarr@ashoka.org)

  • Uploaded

Why is the problem that your organization is solving important to you and your co-founders/team?

Waste is a global, growing problem with no signs of abatement. Society needs better ways of dealing with the persistent issue, and a straightforward way is through better and smarter resource recovery. We are serial entrepreneurs and absolutely passionate about the ability of robotics and AI to make a positive difference in this space.

Please provide 1-2 examples of your product/organization making an impact on a city.

Fast forward 15-20 years. What does your organization look like? What is the impact that it's had on society?

Our core technology has found numerous hardware manifestations with which to add value to the waste and recycling industry. The massive amounts of granular data we consume allow facilities and citizens to make informed data-driven decisions on the waste that they generate and their purchasing habits. This has had the effect of creating a more educated population and has reduced the environmental impact of waste and the carbon footprint associated with the creation of new products from raw materials. We would have diversified our revenue into multiple data, software, and hardware streams.

What differentiates your organization? What makes it so that you can drive a bigger and better benefit to society than other organizations in this space?

We are attacking contamination at the source by removing faulty human judgment. This allows for better resource recovery at all levels of the recycling value chain. Our expertise in data, robotics, and AI enables us to provide cutting edge, scalable, customizable, and automated solutions for cities, facilities, and homes.

What is the key barrier today to your organization unlocking the maximum amount of impact on society?

Capital.
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Attachments (4)

Response to Evaluators ASHOKA QBE Urban resiliency.pdf

To calculate the "fun facts" we looked at historical TrashBot data of how much of each category of recyclables we accurately segregated. Our team then referenced this across online calculators; there are several and we took an average. TrashBot generates impact by reducing contamination at the point of disposal; and this has beneficial consequences at all levels of the recycling value stack.

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Photo of Miranda Wang
Team

We work with waste management plants that take all the recycling bin and trash bin content and sort through them. In cities like San Jose, it doesn't matter if you've mixed up your recycling with trash, the MRF is so advanced in its large scale sorting that it will pull out everything that is valuable/marketable, even just to reduce landfilling, which is expensive near cities. I think a solution like this is not really solving the root of the problem which is how do you actually recycle dirty plastics and what do you turn it into that is profitable enough to justify the recycling process? The current way is mechanical recycling, but you can't make plastics with good properties (e.g. food grade, etc) that way and the products can't compete with virgin. Smart recycling bins can provide the benefit of reducing contamination of the plastic while inside the bin, but once the garbage/recycling truck picks up the content, everything will get commingled anyway. Most US cities intentionally keep the number of recycling bins at the curbside to 1 to keep collection costs down.

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