Smart Solutions for Quality Recyclables

The Cycled Concept

Building a circular economy with AI

Artificial Intelligence is one of the most popular words to insert in a press release, and if it can be paired with sustainability that’s a PR bulls-eye. Some might argue that it indicates the presences of another substance that also has the word bull in it, but in fact AI is just a tool like any other, and the level of success depends on how it is used. In order for Cycled Technology to create a sustainable circle of both resources and profits, the data-stream generated by recycled material has to be carefully managed. Due to the large variety of parameters involved, it is necessary to build the technology platform using AI to control it. Together with a security system utilizing block-chain based on the cryptocurrency Etherum, the AI is able to provide both an interface and analysis tools which will prove vital once the system expands.

Connecting the two value chains

Cycled Technologies consists of two interlocking value chains. Recognizing the importance of the upstream/downstream paradigm, it is one of the primary drivers of the solution. The first part consists of the SmartBin and the phone app. Getting as close to the source of the garbage as possible, by providing recycling options that are profitable to the consumer, represents the upstream reach. By managing the stream of recycled material through collection, sorting, processing, sales and redistribution to manufacturers, the downstream aspect is in hand. Both value chains are interdependent, providing equally large opportunities for profitable operation and a stable long term business model.

Building the data matrix – value from waste

The Cycled Technologies platform uses Artificial Intelligence to build a data matrix of great value. Several large manufacturers in the food industry have an increased focus on recycling and reusing raw materials, as exemplified by the involvement of Pepsi Cola Company. But it is also an increasingly important factor among other companies, such as IKEA, and several large car manufacturers. One of the key elements is certifiable provenience, which provides the purchasers of recycled raw materials with proof of origin, and environmentally friendly processing. By implementing data capture all the way from initial point of contact at the SmartBin, all the way to the manufacturer, Cycled Technologies will be building up a databank that holds great value, complementing the value of the actual recycled material.

Hidden treasures

Music on the mountains of garbage

In the middle of the city Lagos in Nigeria, we find one of the world’s biggest garbage dumps. The Olusosun landfill increases in size by approximately ten thousand tons of waste every day. Viewed from the air, it resembles a city block, the only one without a grid of roads cutting through it. It’s home to more than a thousand people, and some of them live almost their entire lives there. A township has been established, built from salvaged materials. There are barber shops, convenience stores, places of religious worship, and three cinemas. Bulldozers reshape this landscape every day, uncovering items that might hold some value. Most of the people traversing these hills do so with the hope of feeding themselves and their family. But a few of them are feeding their dreams. BBC visited Olusosun in 2010, documenting the site and the people living there. One of them was Eric Obuh, who worked the garbage dump in order to save money for studio time. Using the artist name Vocal Slender, he has now succeeded in recording songs that are available on Spotify, YouTube and social media. The term implementation often refers to a technical description, a procedure for making systems operate correctly. But the solutions developed by Cycled Technologies, holds the potential to let more of the dreamers in this world implement fundamental changes to their lives.

The mental splitting of resources

The population of Earth has passed seven and a half billion people, and so far it is the only available planet that can support life. The planet itself cannot be recycled, so we’ll have to work with what we’ve got. Currently there is a mental divide inside the majority of those 7.5 billion heads. When purchasing a product, it is immediately divided into the categories «valuable» and «worthless». The content of any product is considered valuable, and the packaging is rejected as worthless. This distinction is purely a mental exercise, and learned behavior. There are many stories of children on Christmas Eve, appreciating the cardboard box just as much as the fire truck it contained. Only later in life the distinction becomes imprinted in our brains. One of the core goals of Cycled Technologies is to reverse this mental splitting of resources. By facilitating possible ways to recycle effectively and provide incentives to those that do, Cycle Technologies will change the way resources are perceived.

Emptying the ocean trashcan

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there is a new continent forming. A few hundred kilometers North of Hawaii, the warm waters of the South Pacific meets up with cooler water from the Arctic. The Earth’s rotation creates a highway of garbage, transporting floating pieces of waste between the coast of California and Japan. The raft of garbage is currently three times the size of France, and growing daily. Diving into the thick layer, tragedy is easy to find. Sea turtles become entangled in old fishing nets, marine birds become trapped in their search for foods, and those that don’t end up feeding plastic to their chicks. The biggest impact is to be found deep down, in the darkness below. National Geographic recently completed a study, which concludes that 70% of all garbage in the ocean sinks to the bottom. The result is an ocean floor that becomes as alien to marine life, as the surface of Mars is to humans. The most effective way of emptying the ocean trashcan, is to prevent items from falling into it. By strategically deploying SmartBins in key locations, it will be possible to divert a massive amount of garbage away from the sea, and into the Cycled value chain.

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Cycled Showcases

Recycling the word “waste”, by adding value to it

Opening the doors to market economy for everyone – Impact

Market economy can be a great equalizer. As long as one has something to sell, it is possible to improve the standard of living. Large groups of people in the world are unable to reach the first step of that ladder. Often many factors combine, effectively closing the door to market economy. Cycled Technology aims to open it for everyone. The project pilot will roll out SmartBins, which are primarily aimed at getting regular consumers to recycle. Building on experience gained from the pilot, a second tier goal is to assist local entrepreneurs getting into the recycling business. The idea for the SmartBin originated with Ayoola Brimmo, whilst observing environmental challenges in Nigeria. Vast heaps of garbage is home to scavengers, who already have the mindset for recycling. They go hiking in the hills of trash, prospecting for valuable items. By providing large scale SmartBins, every single item in the pile will become valuable. Cycled Technology empowers them with the necessary tools, complementing the skills they already have.

Customer happiness

ADNEC is the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition centre. Buildings, hotels, roads and pretty much anything you care to mention, is built to a specific standard in Abu Dhabi. It can be summed up with the words, big and luxurious. The ADNEC is no different in that respect. On the official website, it is possible to explore the hallways and conference halls via a virtual tour. Their dimensions would suit the castle of a medieval king, and even while flying through it with clicks of the mouse, it is possible to get lost in the marble hallways. Perhaps that’s why a large sign proclaiming that you’ve reached the «Customer Happiness centre» is such a welcome sight. Cycled Technologies cooperates with ADNEC on a pilot project that aims to help keep the customers happy. Four SmartBins have been placed within the exhibition center, demonstrating collection, source separation and the disposal process. An essential part of the Cycled solution is the incentives that each user is able to reap by using the system. At ADNEC, Cycled Technologies is developing incentives that relate to service providers in the center, providing an extra level of interaction and fun to every visit.

Keeping the fairway green

The game of golf can trace its origins back to Scotland in the Middle Ages. The Old Course at St. Andrews was established in 1574, and is considered to be an essential notch in many serious golfers’ club. Through the centuries, golf has in equal parts fascinated and frustrated players across the world. Large tournaments attract huge crowds, and they consume vast amounts of beverages, food and snacks. At the 2018 World Tour Championship in Dubai, the crowd of 80.000 spectators was able to participate in a game that helped keeping the fairway green. In collaboration with Voss water, Cycled Technologies created a raffle that could be entered by recycling empty PET bottles. Each bottle was marked with a sticker, and the Cycled technology platform kept track of each participant. Representatives for the event reported that the newness of the concept and the technology involved, clearly contributed to people’s willingness to recycle. A total of 71 kilos of recyclable PET bottles were collected by the SmartBins, demonstrating that the correct mix of incentivizing users and providing them with easy access to recycling points yields solid results.

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