OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

The Coca-Cola SmartBin

Similar to the Coca-Cola Freestyle Fountain Machine (, we prototyped the Coca-Cola SmartBin. A intelligent recycling bin you have at home that scans "trash" and places it in the correct recycling bin.

Photo of Hao Dinh
4 7

Written by

Explain your idea in one sentence

Coca-Cola SmartBin, an easy, convenient, rewarding and fun way to recycle!
Process to use the Coca-Cola SmartBin to recycle:
1: Walk up to the SmartBin
2: Place item to be trashed in front of SmartBin's scanner
3: SmartBin will scan item and determine which recycling bin it should be placed in (Technology that will tell you what the material makeup of object is thus will enable SmartBin to know which recycling bin to place object in:
4: Place item in SmartBin
5: Walk away happy knowing you are recycling! 

Coca-Cola SmartBin is the brainchild of a "Brainstorm in a Box" event with Alex, Alex's Mom (who joined after she saw the fun we were having), Pamela, Ketu and Hao.  Also thanks to the Research Triangle High School for the awesome space for us to brainstorm/prototype!  


Describe how your idea would help form new habits and improve recycling at home

Coca-Cola SmartBin tackles the 5 areas that prevent people from recycling at home: 1: Confusion on what can be recycled: SmartBin will scan your trash and place it in the correct recycling bin 2: Convenience: Empty out the bins and place them outside for recycle pickup...done 3: Money: Possibility of linking data of what you have scanned back to Coca-Cola (or other companies) for them to pay you for the information of what your are trashing (which relates to what you are buying) 4: Recycling bins are eyesores: SmartBin will be a beautifully designed machine (possibility of have advertising on the SmartBin to offset cost so consumer does not have to pay for machine) 5: Recycling is not fun: Possibility of adding apps to advise you of how much you have recycled and associated environmental benefits

How might you design an early, lightweight experiment to further develop your idea?

See pics of our prototype. We can actually build a SmartBin if desired for people to "tryout" for refinement purposes

What aspects of your idea could benefit from the input of our OpenIDEO community?

OpenIDEATORS, would you recycle more if you had a Coca-Cola SmartBin? What other functionality do you think should be added?


Join the conversation:

Photo of DeletedUser


I believe recycling is still a big issue since a solution which is convenient to the user has not come up till now. For instance, your solution would be much better if instead of the user, the in charge of the recycle bin can use a scanner to determine which item goes into which recycle bin rather than making it more inconvenient for the user.

View all comments