ERbin makes it easier for consumers to recycle and compost, right. We harness the power of data to make localized recycling and composting education accurate, convenient and accessible to all consumers. Check out our pitch that aired on Project Pitch It!
THE PROBLEM WE ARE SOLVING
It’s hard to recycle and compost right. Why? Guidelines vary from one community to the next; packaging is complex; and brands put the three-arrow recycling symbol on everything. Consumers throwing the wrong materials in recycling bins costs the material recovery industry $300M annually. Food waste in landfills generates 20% of the United States’ methane emissions. Only time will tell what the costs will be on the earth and your own pocket book.
HOW DO WE SOLVE THE PROBLEM?
The material recovery ecosystem in the U.S. is complex. In addition, recycling and composting education has yet to make its way into the digital age. ERbin’s proprietary database of brand-level, product-specific, and location-dependent recycling and composting instructions powers a consumer-facing app for communities and a commercial-facing API database subscription for grocery retailers that gets users the real-time information they need to recycle and compost, right. We make sure the right materials go into recycling and composting bins. The better we are at putting the right materials in our bins, the higher is the value in those products, and the more financially viable are recycling and composting programs.
HOW WILL WE USE THE FUNDING?
ERbin launched in its current beta form in Weston, WI (recycling app), City of Madison (composting app); and on two college campuses, Edgewood College (Madison, WI) and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (Stevens Point, WI) (both recycling apps). We are now crowdfunding on the ifundwomen platform to build a more polished version of the app and more scalable version of our database so that we can go to market in a bigger way.
THE MARKET SIZE
Our initial target market for the app is municipal curbside recycling and composting programs. There are 9,800 curbside recycling and 771 food scrap/organic waste programs in the U.S. Other target markets for the app include college campuses, apartment complexes, large corporate campuses and commercial food waste generators (restaurants). Our initial target market for access to our database is grocery retailers. There are about 40,000 retail grocery stores and 155,000 convenience stores in the U.S.
ERbin’s core team of three brings the relevant technical expertise, knowledge of the material recovery industry and passion for using data to disrupt traditional recycling and composting education. Team members include:
Co-founder and CEO Michelle Goetsch holds an M.S. in Life Science Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and BA from the University of Michigan. Michelle brings to ERbin expertise in technical communication and creative marketing, a wide network of corporate sustainability professionals and an inherent passion for environmental responsibility.
CTO Ben Hansen holds a BS in Computer Science, Mathematics and Communications Arts from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ben is an entrepreneur, passionate about using digital games that can educate people and have a positive impact on the world. Ben manages the ERbin technical infrastructure.
Data Scientist Ian Miller holds a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Ian is a data scientist, computational biologist, and [bio]tech entrepreneur with a background in drug discovery and bioanalytical chemistry. Ian is the mastermind behind ERbin’s database development, which includes machine learning and image-based classification methodologies.
ERbin also has an awesome crew of about 10 UW-Stevens Point college students who work part-time on various projects.
THANK YOU FOR MAKING OUR WORK POSSIBLE!
Your support means the world to us! We’ve been working so hard for the past year-and-a-half to bring this idea to life. We see an opportunity to completely change the way future generations learn about recycling and composting, but we can only make it happen with supporters like you. Thank you for believing in us as we push on through this arduous and exciting start-up journey!