- A "clean tech" startup ZeroCycle — based in areas of D.C., New York, and San Diego — has created a cloud-based software system for local governments to analyze neigborhood-specific waste and recycling information. The technology takes in, organizes, and disseminates information from municipalities to produce a comprehensive picture showing the area's recycling efforts.
- The reports generated with ZeroCycle’s proprietary software are for homeowners and sent on behalf of the city through a third-party mailing distributor. The reports contain a color-coded map, showing how city neighborhoods are performing in comparison to each other.
- ZeroCycle’s program is spreading, and will be fully online in Salt Lake City, UT by early December, according to CEO Hunter Hayes. Hayes is also in “advanced talks" with D.C.'s Office of the Chief Technology Officer toward a potential deal.
Founded in 2014, ZeroCycle is taking advantage of existing resources to come up with an original product, as most US cities collect waste and recycling data to track billable trash that haulers take to landfills.
And since recycling is more economical than waste disposal, the program can address what used to be considered garbage, while saving the city money.
The software takes in information such as recycling truck route data and data on loads’ weight to generate a citywide report. Scores are provided for each neighborhood, which Hayes hopes will spur friendly competition, ultimately increasing recycling rates, region wide.
He thinks this unique approach could be a positive motivational tool over government mandates to reduce landfill burden that sometimes meet opposition.
"Quite frankly, it’s a space [waste management] that hasn’t seen a lot of innovation ... we're trying to change that," Hayes said to DCInno.