TRASH TREK Innovation Ambassadors


Nano Nerds Folsom, California - Polystyrenator

The Polystyrenator is a digester that used bacteria to consume Styrofoam and produce the biodegradable plastic PHA and energy.

iRobot Palo Alto, California - TrashCam

TrashCam is a Raspberry Pi-based device that takes a picture of a waste item and uses photo classification technology to announce which bin to use and improves accuracy by 37%.

Trash and Trekreation Aspen, Colorado - The Cable Chomper

Designed to entertain and educate adults, the Cable Chomper is a reverse vending machine for recycling electrical cables and cords.

*Robostallions Stuart, Florida - Chipsulation

Chipsulation is shredded insulation made from unrecyclable chip bags. Chipsulation was tested compared to the standard R 13 insulation and was found to be more effecient and less expensive.

Eli-minator-Gang Halle, Germany - SPILSOP (Stop package information leaflets - save our paper)

SPILSOP addresses the wasted paper used in prescribing medications.  A user interface for patients allows them to opt for non-paper alternatives to receive their drug information.

Fast Thinking Girls Mount Prospect, Illinois - FIRF (Food Into Renewable Fuel)

FIRF is a machine placed in your home that turns your food scraps and food waste into renewable fuel for your natural gas appliances by using anaerobic digestion to produce methane gas.

Team Storm Terre Haute, Indiana - Eco-Snappy Tips™

Eco-Snappy Tips™ are a simple, earth-friendly alternative to traditional markers, which are not easily recyclable.   Eco-Snappy Tips™ allows the barrels and caps to be reused.

Team A.I.R. Livingston, New Jersey - Artificial Intelligence Recycler (A.I.R.)

A.I.R. is a recycling machine that can receive people's trash and bottles. The machine’s artificial intelligence automatically takes plastic bottles out of a small trash pile and moves them into the bottle puncturer so that remaining liquids drain.

Gryffindor Chappaqua, New York - PLASTIC ZERO

PLASTIC ZERO is packaging made from a shape memory polymer, which allows plastic packaging to revert to a permanent flat shape—optimizing transportation space and allowing it to be reshaped in order to be re-used, helping to reduce the 29 million tons of plastic packaging discarded each year.  

Trurobotics Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada - Aerobically Decomposing Plastic (ADP) Doggy Bags

Typical bioplastics  have failed testing to ensure rapid biodegradation.  The invention of a modified recipe for Aerobically Decomposing Plastic (ADP) allows locals to dispose of natural waste such as pet feces in their compost bins as opposed to the trash.

*The Incredibots Gahanna, Ohio - Styro-Filter

Styro-Filter successfully converts Styrofoam waste into activated carbon.  Using chemical reagents, the Styro-Filter produces activated carbon with a surface area over 100 square meters per gram! The carbon is used in a water filter (the prototype works on a disposible water bottle) to reduction contaminants and is effective for filtration.

24/7 Oakville, Ontario, Canada - Bacteria Buster

Bacteria Buster is a plastic composter that uses two types of bacteria to biodegrade polyethylene plastic. All the byproducts that are released from the composter are recyclable—the CO2 released from the degradation process is captured and sold on the emerging CO2 market, the heat generated by the bacteria will provide the optimal growth temperature, and the resulting biomass can be sold as a fertilizer.

A.V.E.N.G.E.R.S. Russel, Ontario, Canada - Yay Bale Wrap

Farmers currently use 8-10 layers of non recyclable plastic to wrap hay bales.  Yay Bale Wrap is a bioplastic made from plant starch (such as corn stalks not used by farmers) and fiber that will replace existing plastic wrap.  After use, the Yay Bale Wrap bioplastic can be broken down into an edible product (used for cow feed for example) or turned back into the soil as a fertilizer.

Those Blue Girls, Chester Springs, Pennsylvania - Diaper Wizardz Environmentally Friendly Diaper Service

Twenty billion disposable diapers are disposed in the United States each year. The Diaper Wizardz service provides compostable diapers, collects them after use, and composts the diapers for use in growing crops used in manufacture of the compostable diapers.

Not the Droids You Are Looking For Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Invisi-Sort

90% of all batteries sold in the United States end up in landfills and all battery recycling companies sort by hand. The Invisi-Sort uses markings read by UV light to identify different battery chemistries and automate the process.

Termigators Greenville, South Carolina - The Wyrmhole - Styrofoam goes in but does not come out!

The Wyrmhole safely recycles Styrofoam into non-toxic, biodegradable feces by using mealworms to eat the styrofoam.

eColors Bilbao, Spain - Blue wipe-cycling: giving a second life to used wet wipes as stuffing material

When wet wipes flushed, they cause blockages which have an economic and environmental impact.  Because wipes are composed of PET, a thermal insulator polymer, they can be washed and used again as stuffing for duvets, pillows, jackets, and more.

*CyberTigers Austin, Texas - Water Soluble 6-Pack Rings

Current plastic rings on the market take months to degrade.  Water Soluable 6-Pack rings dissolve when either submerged in water or exposed to enough rain and are safe to both the animals, water, and the environment.

Green Mountain Gears South Burlington, Vermont - Sorta Scrappy

This educational video game uses tilt controls on mobile devices to make it more fun to learn to sort trash properly. The user testing results indicate 87% of people who play said they were more aware of sorting waste and 78% said they would sort better in real life.

LOL Elm Grove, Wisconsin - The L-Cup

With over 60 billion single serving coffee pods piling in landfills, the L-Cup is made of recylable aluminum.  It is convenient, reasonably priced, and recyclable.