A PET bottle-collecting machine that pays off users through their wise cell phones? An app that you can use to order pickup of recyclable items out of your home?
One Beijing company is trying to bring recycling into the "clever" period - and make money at it.
In China, municipal governments do not generally engage in recycling efforts because they do in lots of other countries. A casual network of cargo-tricycle-riding scrap collectors who buy bottles from metropolitan residents and after that sell these to small recycling services has long dominated the recycling industry here.
But unregulated recycling practices can make water and earth pollution. Incom Resources Recovery Recycling Co. Ltd. was started by three business school classmates back in 2008. The trio is trying to modernize and set up a more regulated recycling system in Beijing.
Their company produces and monitors smart PET bottle collecting machines, referred to as reverse vending machines also. They manage where those collected bottles are sent for recycling after that, partnering with government-approved facilities that move environmental standards.
The company is really a subsidiary of Incom Resources Recovery Co. Ltd., one of the only Chinese companies that can produce top quality recyclable bottle-grade polyester lists and chips Coca-Cola Co. among its customers.
While official statistics present that consumers in Beijing use 150,000 to 200,000 tons of plastic bottles a complete year, Incom was struggling to source more than enough PET bottles to recycle due to competition from informal recyclers. Deputy double screw extruder General Manager Liu Xuesong said that their company was made to solve this problem.
"As we began, the bottleneck was found by us. We just can't obtain enough raw materials. Our parent manufacturing plant can process 50,000 tons of Family pet bottles a year, but the facility wasn't working for greater than a half of the entire year. We didn't have sufficient raw materials, and we couldn't buy enough."
Liu and her two cofounders, company President Yang Guangze and General Manager Chang Tao, started a company with the simple goal of trying to help their parent company supply more bottles.
The three, all idealistic and entrepreneurial graduates of the China Europe International Business School's EMBA program had an objective: provide the recycling industry into the IT age. According to a profile within a CEIBS alumni publication, Yang wanted to use IT answers to provide the developing and environmental protection industries to another level.
The three decided to place bottle-collecting machines in public spaces that informal scrap collectors could not access, like airports, subway stations, schools and hospitals. They planned to source the machines from a provider originally, but in the end they realized they needed to develop their own. By the end from the 2012, with support from a authorities subsidy through the Country wide Advancement and Reform Commission, their first four machines had been put into a subway station in downtown Beijing.
Based on Liu, the first machines were definitely a function in progress.
"At the start, there were plenty of problems with the machine. We had to stand right close to it to make sure it was functioning right." the machine is in its fifth revision and 150 Right now,000 people are recycling bottles at 1,323 Incom machines that dot the Beijing surroundings.
The machines attracted a whole lot of attention, with news reports by local and state media helping to promote the initiative. One of the most appealing aspects of Incom's recycling machines for consumers is that they pay out almost double the purchase price that informal scrap collectors perform. For each Family pet bottle consumers are paid a steady rate around 1.6 U.S. cents (RMB .10). Scrap collectors pay an average of 0.9 cents (RMB .06) per Family pet bottle, with regards to the fluctuating cost of petroleum.
The company has plans for rapid expansion. By the end of 2015, it plan to have 3,500 machines installed in Beijing and 5,000 by the ultimate end of next year.
"You want to focus on Beijing, so it's a great model that may be copied in various other cities," stated Liu. By the end of this yr Incom will bring 500 machines to cities in Guangdong, Shandong, Chongqing and Shanxi provinces.
Because the ongoing company is utilizing the machines to monitor bottle collection, it will have access to a whole lot of valuable data.
Liu opens up an app on her smartphone and shows off detailed graphs and diagrams. One displays the real amount of bottles collected so far by Incom's machines. July as of early, the company has collected and recycled 7,000,697 bottles since its 1st machine went into operation in past due 2012. Another displays the figures for each full day time. The app displays data on who's recycling and where they're recycling. Some individuals use wise credit cards to obtain reimbursed, while others make use of their phone.
The info makes the system attractive not only to consumers, but to big brands and the national federal government aswell. The machines collect info from checking bottle bar rules and can give a picture of current trends in usage and recycling. For example, there are statistics being collected of which brands are being consumed. For now, Liu said, Incom provides this data for free to the federal government and brands they offer advertising space to.
Incom can also use the operational system to monitor where the containers 're going for recycling.
"We use the Internet to monitor the recycled rubbish and ensure that it goes to legitimate factories where it is processed without [leading to] pollution," Liu said.
The challenges that Liu and her colleagues face are great, however they are banking on the hope that if they can crack the challenge, their success provides great rewards.
"Not a single company from the recycling industry in China has a [integrated] recycling system. This is our biggest benefit at the moment," she said. "It's challenging to collect and to create a recycling system really. But there also is situated the most chance," she added. "So we feel that if we can build up this functional system, it'll be actually valuable for our company. Be our core worth it'll, because also governments can't actually build such recycling systems within the towns [here]."
Liu and her team plan to expand to recycle other materials also, including other plastics, paper, cup, metal, consumer fabric and electronics. This month they'll move out a door-to-door support where users may use a smartphone app to contact a collector to come quickly to their house and pick up recyclable items.
"That will bring us the large amounts of the recycleables that people need. Recycling machines should help gather one component and door-to-door support another right component, so I estimate the fact that [total] amount is going to be quite Alright by 2016," Liu stated.
As its stock of raw material grows, the ongoing company is working to develop products created from recycled PET.
added value "Without, it's hard to create profit this line [of business]," she said. Incom is dealing with a Japanese designer in a member of family line of stationery created from recycled Family pet.
The pressure is on for the trio to reach your goals. Liu said they would like to be good versions for other entrepreneurs.
"It's really difficult to help to make money in our line. We do want to do environmental protection. [But] in the event that you don't earn money, we won't be a good model, because people will think it's too much to do environmental protection and won't get into it for his or her career."