Arie Halpern: innovations help companies in the recycling of waste

Technology has become an important ally of enterprises in promoting sustainable attitudes. With an eye on this market opportunity, the startups, through applications or Web sites, are investing in sustainable solutions to attract the interest of big businesses retailers. According to economist and specialist in disruptive technologies, Arie Halpern, innovations assist companies in the recycling of residues, transforming sustainable attitudes into an income-producing business model.

Companies are more and more realizing that the use of waste and the recycling of materials bring benefits to the environment and, at the same time, revenue. The correct disposal of waste can reduce expenses, or even generate profit if well managed.

In order to reduce the impacts caused by the use of fossil fuels, the National Renewable Energy Lab, from the Department of Energy in the United States has developed an application that allows you to look for alternative energy stations for industrial production. The app Alternative Fueling Station Locator lists the 20 nearest clean energy distribution stations and separates the options according to the type of input: natural gas, biodiesel, ethanol, etc.

Despite the low recycling rate recorded in the United States – only 35% of solid waste are recycled – some companies invest heavily in the use of all materials. A good example is Texas Instruments, which recycles 81% of its non-toxic solid waste. With this percentage, the company manages to save $64 million a year. To achieve this result, Texas uses homegrown systems to administer all the leftovers from production.

In Brazil

The country is not considered a major center of recycling yet but stands out for the creation and development of technologies that help companies and cooperatives to make the most of the raw materials.

Created by a Brazilian environmental engineer, Carbon Z is an application that calculates the number of seedlings to be planted to reduce the environmental impact. The calculation is based on the type and volume of each company’s production, and the app can also provide the planting of the seedlings if there is interest, and by payment of a fee. In this case, within a week, the user receives the geographic coordinates on the place where the trees will be planted, their species and a photo of the area. The seedlings get a QR Code which acts as an ID, containing information of the company responsible for planting.

Another Brazilian innovation,  B2Blu  is a waste recovery platform that connects buyers and sellers interested in trading recyclable materials for income generation. With 20 thousand companies registered and over 500 thousand users, the platform intermediates transactions between companies that have some residue left in their stock – and wish to give the material a different destination than the trash – and companies interested in buying the material for use in some other process.  Currently, the platform deals with around 8 thousand different kinds of waste, ranging from leather straps, and pieces of foam (polyethylene) to used x-ray plates. In all, 756 thousand tons of waste are negotiable, valued at 770 thousand reais (about 245 thousand dollars).

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