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Innovations to improve the recycling of waste

recycling in the city of Boston

Plastics, textiles, batteries, household appliances… How to optimize the recycling of everyday objects?

Here are some innovative solutions to better recycle your waste!

In Massachusetts, 61% of waste is recycled… which leaves a lot of room for improvement to give a second life to huge quantities of waste and improve sustainability!

If some of them are thrown in the wrong sorting bin, others are simply not recyclable. At least, not yet… Some companies and start-ups offer innovative solutions to properly sort waste, and especially to reuse those that, until then, could not be. Discover 5 innovations to improve waste recycling and preserve the planet.

The connected trash can

Does this plastic bottle go in the yellow trash can or the garbage bin?

You will soon no longer have to ask yourself the question! Indeed, a start-up has imagined the trash of tomorrow: the trash can that automatically sorts waste. This connected trash can works thanks to artificial intelligence.

The waste is identified and then compressed before being placed in the correct compartment. The interest? Put an end to sorting errors. But also store more waste thanks to compression, to reduce collection routes. Intended for public places, this new bin contributes to better waste management and, consequently, to a significant reduction in pollution.

Battery recycling

Electric vehicles, a miracle solution for ecological transport?

This is not the case because of the batteries used to operate them. Between resource depletion and limited lifespan, their design causes significant environmental damage.

But what if electric vehicle batteries could finally be recycled? This is the objective of a research project which is developing an innovative process for recycling lithium-ion batteries.

Unlike more conventional processes, this recycles metals while retaining their physical and chemical qualities. How?

Thanks to the sorting and refinement of the various components. The batteries are first shredded to recover the different elements that make them up: plastic, graphene and metals (cobalt, lithium, manganese, etc.). They are then treated to remove impurities before being reused for the design of new batteries!

A start-up that recycles plastic to infinity

If the plastic is already recyclable, the process is not optimal.

Indeed, not all types of plastics can be reused. And when this is the case, they lose quality with each recycling cycle. What if they could all be recycled endlessly while retaining their properties?

This is the promise made by a French start-up specializing in the recycling of plastics and textiles. The company is based on a process of biorecycling PET plastics (Polyethylene terephthalate).

It uses specific enzymes to completely depolymerize the material: under the combined action of the enzymes, the material is decomposed. The different groups of molecules thus obtained are then purified before being reused. This plastic becomes 100% recyclable… and 100% recycled!

As PET is one of the most consumed plastics in the world, this invention is particularly promising in addressing environmental issues.

Underground waste collection

Already in place for several years in many New England states, underground waste collection is gradually digging its way into Boston.

The principle? Buried pipes connect the collective dumpsters of the municipalities to the sorting centres. The waste is transported to the place of recycling, without the intervention of the collection trucks.

The benefits are multiple: reduction of CO2 emissions, less garbage cans in the streets, less road traffic, less dumpster rentals (click here for more info), etc. Still being tested in Boston and more particularly in Dorchester, this way of collecting waste is emerging as one of the ecological solutions of the future. However, it requires significant adjustments and costs: more than 10 million dollars to install the device in a municipality…

Textile recycling

Water, cotton, manufacture of synthetic fibres… The production of clothes requires a high consumption of resources. In addition, this sector generates many CO2 emissions and not all textile waste is recyclable.

Fortunately, start-ups offer innovative solutions to reuse textiles at the end of their life. Thus, a company markets various clothes, accessories and underwear made from used socks.

Another innovation: the transformation of recycled textiles into yarn! How it works? Used textiles are recovered and then sorted according to their color before simply being transformed into reels of yarn… Although this French innovation only allows the recycling of cotton fibers, it remains a major ecological solution since cotton represents a third of consumption. fiber world.