Skip to main content
National Runner Up

CIRCULARIS. reuse. reduce. recycle. rethink.

CIRCULARIS is a holistic and sustainable product-service-system that makes recycling of kitchen waste most comfortable for the user, most economic for the waste management company.

What it does

The system of an automatic recycler, an app and service make efficient material sorting and waste reduction most comfortable to the user. Due to color coded bags, further processing of the waste-materials is very resource-friendly.

Your inspiration

The brief was to develop a future household appliance for the leading edge user. Through our broad research, we identified waste management to be a huge problem in all the world. Even in countries like Germany or Austria, user struggle with recycling mostly food packaging in a proper way. The most common problems for the users were: 1. it is often unclear which material a packaging is made of 2. many containers spread out - walking around is time-consuming 3. containers are filled up quickly 4. smelly containers, unpleasant appearance We also talked to waste management companies to get to know their difficulties.

How it works

CIRCULARIS is a product-service system. Its main parts are the recycler unit, an AI called Laris and service provided through an app and the local recycling company. 1. recycler unit - build-in kitchen product, smart recognition and automated recognition, separation and compression of packaging materials (to see, how the recycler unit works exactly, please view the slide) 2. AI Laris - brain of the system, database for packaging/materials 3. app - assistant for shopping and waste reduction, motivates and raises awareness 4. recycling company - specialized in color-coded recycling - highly efficient system, gives user discounts for well-recycled materials Due to color coded bags, further processing of the waste-materials is very resource-friendly. It reduces the need for many machines and workers that/who are involved in our days' system and increases the earnings of recyclable materials.

Design process

The goal was to create a smart recycling device, that recognizes, separates and compresses the most common packaging material. A technical solution for such a product was developed by elaborating a low fidelity prototype. This prototype also helped to determine possible features and dimensions of the product. Under discussion with an engineering expert, our ideas were approved to be feasible.

How it is different

CIRCULARIS is a sustainable and desirable waste management system, which fullfills the target groups key needs in recycling system. It provides assistance and intelligence, allows the integration into existing kitchen which is the central place for recycling many different materials, it erases the ways of taking out trash due to waste compression. Since it is clean, odorless, an exciting and innovative product, it shows the user, what he is really dealing with - valuable materials instead of trash. Think global. The system can easily be applied to many countries and revolutionize the way the resources of our world are treated. Think public. Great value can be achieved in public spaces - indoors and outdoors - where people are rushing by, dropping off their to-go packaging. CIRCULARIS raises awareness for sustainable behavior and leaves the user with a good feeling, knowing that his materials will be recycled.

Future plans

no plans yet.


The project was a nominee of the Siemens Home Appliances Design Award 2018.

End of main content. Return to top of main content.