Redefining recycling for a new generation

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Imagine a world in which the twin environmental scourges of litter and landfills ceased to scar our landscape. That world is closer than you think! We have invented the word to describe it. Recycling. But we have not yet invented the process by which we can achieve it.
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Around the world, ordinary people have demonstrated their commitment to the concept by diligently separating their used-materials into defined recyclable elements of paper, glass and metal. Incredibly, they have done this with no greater incentive than that to preserve the environment and sustain the planet. Around the world, local councils have supported and promoted the concept by providing householders and communities with the systematic collection of materials for recycling.

But there the reality ends. The vast majority of collected recyclable material ends up not in reprocessing plants, but in landfill, alongside the very materials from which it was so diligently separated by householders and communities.

Why? Because the collection process is so inefficient, the waste separation so imperfect, and the delivery systems so flawed, that no stakeholders can hope to profit from the practice of recycling. And so the charade of waste separation, collection, and ultimately disposal, continues, unchecked by the grim reality. The planet is slowly being converted by humans to a dump for their own waste, which is destined to long survive them.

Unless, that is, we can change our habits. Change our expectations. Change our thinking, from one of producing household waste, to one of generating household profits.

How can this be achieved? Imagine, now, a household appliance, no bigger than a dishwasher, into which householders load their recyclables as they are produced. Imagine that this machine can magically keep them separate, clean, granulate and compact what we once called waste into pure, valuable and recyclable plastic, glass or metal products.

Imagine that the machine then stored those compacted products separately in a product storage container, which when full will be simply detached from the machine and delivered to the front gate once every month or three, for collection. Imagine that the storage container, when detached from the machine, automatically sent a message to a collection service, notifying them that it was ready for collection. And that a dedicated vehicle will arrive to mechanically transfer the separated products into separate hoppers in the vehicle for delivery to a local recycling transfer station. The high-grade, clean and separated materials would then be individually aggregated, and subsequently dispatched directly to manufacturers as a valuable raw material.

Imagine next, that this process was carbon neutral, or even carbon negative, that it was much more cost effective than manufacturing new products from virgin raw materials, that it produced profits for householders, transporters, and recycling transfer stations. And cleaned up the environment. And reduced landfill. And returned a profit on investment for the householder whilst saving time, energy and inconvenience.

Science fiction?

Not so. There’s a company that has invented and patented a device which will change the landscape of the world, reshape the domestic practices of families around the world, and redefine the world’s understanding of waste management and recycling.

That company is Lasso. Remember when you first heard the word, so you can tell your grandchildren.

Dr. Ian Davison

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