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National Winner

Bing Bin

Bing Bin is an smart trash bin that recognises, sorts and compacts your trash automatically.

What it does

Waste sorting at the consumer level is difficult. Bing Bin brings innovation in waste separation by using image recognition technology to identify, compress, and sort waste automatically thus making waste sorting efficient for the users.


Your inspiration

Once I saw a piece of news that a whale, a protected species, washed ashore in Thailand and had 29 kg of plastic in its stomach. A picture of the waste in its anatomical abdomen has been lingering in my head all the time. So I have done some research and learned that only 9% of the plastic is recycled, and 83% of the world’s drinking water contains plastic pellets. The lives of marine creature are seriously threatened by our waste. With both engineering and design backgrounds, our team think we can use artificial intelligence to improve waste sorting at the consumer level so that more trash could be recycled before polluting the environment.


How it works

Bing bin is easy to use. Just place a piece of garbage in the center hole. Bing Bin will take care of the rest. The first version is designed for the beverage room of modern companies. The trash produced in such area is mainly plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper cups. It uses image recognition technology to determine the type of waste. If the beverage bottle contains liquid, Bing Bin can detect that and will flash a red light. The user should pour out the liquid before dropping it. After recognition, the baffle will open and the rubbish will fall down, be compressed, then be dropped into a loading tray. The tray will turn to the corresponding position and drop the garbage. Through the transparent strips we can observe how full the trash level is. Bing Bin does not use plastic bags but uses changeable and reusable cartridges. Once it is full, maintenance staff can open the door behind and change the cartridge.


Design process

We chose the tea room of our school's Innovation Center as our first target area. We studied the amount and the type of waste generated daily here. There were plastic bottles, cans, paper cups, food packaging bags, and organic waste like tea bags and used coffee grounds. About 90% of the waste generated here can be recycled. We initially selected 4 categories: plastic, paper, metal, and organic waste. We gave up the last one due to demanding requirements for composting organic waste. Meanwhile, we contacted Elise, a company specialising in recycling plastic bottles, cans and paper cups. Therefore, we have decided four categories: plastic bottles, cans, paper cups, and others. Three recyclable categories relate to beverage packaging. Inevitably, there will be liquids. Users can pour the liquids into the side seam. The lid is inclined, smooth, so that it guides the liquid to fall into the side seam. This usage is not recommended due to hygiene standards so that design is not obvious. We made a mechanical prototype on scale ⅕, a functional prototype in scale 1 with the integrated recognition and sorting system. Several models have also been made to validate the dimension and the usage. The compression system is still being developed.


How it is different

Compared to ordinary sorting bins, Bing Bin can store 8 times more garbage because of its compression system, which reduces changing time and improves logistic efficiency. Instead of using plastic bags, Bing Bin uses changeable and reusable cartridges. The most important is that it avoids incorrect sorting. Compared with other smart bins: In terms of usage, Bing bin is more ergonomic, does not refuse garbage, and provides a solution for non acceptable trash (liquids). Other smart bins are more like bottle collectors: they only accept “clean” trash. In terms of design, Bing Bin is neither a bulky big box, nor a three-headed six-armed robot. We do not attract people's attention by highlighting the technology, but through a natural element: the Waves. We want to let people associate with natural beauty when using Bing Bin so as to arise awareness of waste sorting. Bing bin wants to inspire more people to innovate current sorting and recycling system.


Future plans

We will first contact potential clients like Polygone Riveira, a modern mall transforming towards sustainability, who might be highly interested in Bing Bin. Then we will complete the functional prototype, test it at those companies, and improve the product according to user feedbacks. In addition, we plan to work with recycling companies to improve the smart recycling system to ensure that every garbage collected by Bing Bin can be recycled and all reproduction information is completely transparent.


Awards

Labeled project of the Innovative Projects Competition of the Compiègne University of Technology.


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