Redesigning Trash Receptacles With Interior Canister for Robotic Recycling Garbage Collectors

No, I am not obsessed with human garbage or trash, although I am amazed how much humans produce and then throwaway. I am happy to report that a tremendous amount of our waste is now recycled, and I believe that to be a good thing, but I would also warn that the amount that our societies recycle is not anywhere near what most people believe it to be. I think we can do better. Indeed, I'd like to talk to you about all this for a moment.

You see, the separation of various recyclable products makes it very tough to ensure that plastics, paper, aluminum, and other materials are separated out correctly. In many cities folks throw everything which is recyclable into the recycle bin for pickup. Then it gets all mixed in a garbage truck, and then it is dumped off, where humans, generally paid a very low wage go through all the trash to separate it out. That is completely inefficient, and I'm sure you would agree.

Yes, it does provide jobs, and some cities hire criminal labor, and it's nice to see that those folks are paying back society by helping us with this process, but that doesn't make it any more efficient. Now then, in the future I suppose we will have robotic garbage trucks, and the recycling truck which comes along will also be robotic.

I am also certain that robots will pick through the trash and separate out anything which is in the wrong pile. We already have devices which can immediately tell the type of polymer chain in a given plastic bottle, in fact, I had the pleasure of conversing with the inventor of that device by e-mail last year.

Still, the better way to do it would be to have a trashcan, which had divisions inside of it, perhaps it could be divisions shaped as pizza slices. A robotic garbage truck would then pick up a trashcan, aligning with a gate going into the trashcan where each of the pieces lined up. Then a vacuum motor would suck all the material from each into the trash truck, and into specific compartments.

Another way might be to have each trashcan with tubes inside made of lightweight, very strong carbon composite, using a similar process. The trash truck would be subdivided, with various types of materials, and there would be no need to separate anything, and a robot could merely make sure that everything was in the proper pile, and this would speed up the process tenfold.

By doing it this way, it would prevent us from forgoing the recycling process due to being backed up with too much material, which happens quite a bit, and at least one of three problems which prevents us from recycling all we can. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative eBook on the Future of Recycling. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

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