By 2050, worldwide municipal solid waste generation is expected to have increased by roughly 70 percent to 3.4 billion metric tons. Plastic waste products clog up our oceans and choke our fish. Cardboard mountains pile-up in landfills. Our recycling system is broken. We were inspired by the government's effort to promote circular economy practices and the growing trend of businesses seeking to upcycle waste rather than discarding it. Trashy will change the future of upcycling and business waste management. Some of our sources include: United Nations SDG goals, National Plastic Plan 2021, CSIRO on Circular economy.
What it does
Trashy is a platform that connects those who have waste products/material with those who want to utilize it. The new E-bay and Amazon for trash.
How we built it
We knew that we wanted to develop a community-first accessible tool to enable the re-using of discarded materials. Together, we researched the circular economy concept and drew upon our past learnings about the UN Sustainable Development Goal: 12, responsible consumption and production. We took inspiration from one of family's farms that has an informal agreement with the local café to collect their waste coffee grounds and re-purpose the otherwise land-fill bound material as fertilizer. We knew we had to help facilitate this kind of agreement on a wider community scale. Our scope increased to all types of re-usable material and thus we developed the concept of a web-application for businesses to share and upcycle their waste.
Challenges we ran into
The feedback we received from mentors was insightful. Whilst our design and concept were well received, our application lacked technical depth of a WOW factor. This meant that halfway through the event we needed to have extensive meetings and discussions about how we could iterate on our concept to broaden the scope and introduce new functionality that increased the technical challenge and impressiveness of Trashy. Those discussions resulted in the Trashy Tips and Trashy Badges additions to our product which became key selling points to get community involved.
And vue was... let's just say it was tricky.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Working as a group of 6 people who have never met before and completing a project in a short period of time.
What we learned
We delved deep into circular economy practices and found that businesses are more than ever embracing upcycling their waste as a method of protecting the environment. in 2020, The Victorian government pledged $300M over 10-years to Recycling Victoria to re-invent the state's waste and recycling system. Trashy is leading that charge, by bringing communities together to respond to the challenges of our waste crisis by sharing and re-using.
What's next for New Leaf
Bringing Trashy to the world!
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