According to the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources, every year Russia generates about 60 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW). However, only 7% of this volume gets recycled. The rest goes to landfills, including useful fractions, like plastic, metal, paper, glass.
The low recycling rates are caused by the underdeveloped infrastructure for separate waste collection: no more than 42% of Russians had access to it in 2021. Another reason is low public awareness of separate waste collection, as well as the low level of trust in the existing system. Often citizens do not believe that the waste they sorted will actually go for recycling, and not to a landfill. As a result, people don’t actively participate in waste sorting efforts. According to a survey by the Russian Ecological Operator, only 39% of Russians, who have access to containers for separate waste collection, actually use them.
We want to change the concept of separate waste collection and sorting: make the whole process more accessible, transparent and efficient. To do this, we are developing a solution for local waste sorting, i.e. sorting of waste directly at the point of waste generation, for example, in residential areas.
We are developing an automated sorting line for MSW within a limited space. The line is planned to occupy no more than 300 m2 - 10 times less than a traditional waste sorting facility. This considerably simplifies the search for a suitable location. Full automation eliminates human labor in processes that may be potentially hazardous to human health.
Local waste sorting implies complete accessibility and transparency: each resident of the selected residential area can bring their waste and track its movement from up until the final point where sorted waste is picked up by a recycler.
We eliminate the use of manual labor in waste management, replacing it with automated solutions.
We make the sorting process more accessible and transparent.
We raise the overall culture of separate waste collection and trust in recycling efforts.
A resident of the residential area can bring household waste in any kind of bag (single-use or reusable), hand it in for sorting and watch the entire sorting process through the window. The receiving hopper is equipped with a chip key: only residents of the selected residential complex and public utilities workers can enter the sorting point.
At the first stage, the bag opener releases the contents of the bag and sends it along the conveyor belt to the screening unit which sifts away organic waste. The air separator then collects all light fractions (plastic bags, paper) by "suction" and the magnetic separator separates all metal waste. Further, the optical separator separates the total waste stream into 5 fractions, after which the sorting robot selects different types of plastic, glass and aluminum. At the end of the line, all waste goes into a press to reduce the volume of each separated fraction. Useful fractions are formed into bales and sent to recyclers, while organic waste goes to recycling by Black Soldier Fly larvae.