RecycleGo, a New York-based technology company for haulers of recyclables, has partnered with DeepDive Technology Group, also based in New York, to bring transparency and better decision-making to the recycling supply chain using blockchain technology, the companies say.
RecycleGo, founded in 2016, says it is creating a distributed ledger platform that connects recycling participants to a suite of services designed to make recycling easier.
DeepDive says its ASTERI Blockchain for supply chains provides “greater visibility into the origin and movement of goods and more accurate and timely supply chain data to address inefficiencies and risks in today’s global value chains.” It is designed to allow “buyers, suppliers, shippers and other supply chain actors to transact in a trusted network that keeps everyone in sync, in real-time and in strict privacy.”
The companies say recycling industry growth is bottlenecked by a need for greater supply chain visibility for better decision-making.
RecycleGo CEO Stan Chen says, “The more visibility you have in any kind of supply chain, the more you’re able to engage in enterprise resource planning, including pricing and purchasing decisions and inventory management, which has a direct impact on protecting your margins and, ultimately, your value creation as a whole.”
Chen founded United Metal Exports, where he serves as president, in 2007. He also is president of United Metal Recycling, Irvington, New Jersey, a recycler of ferrous and nonferrous metals, electronics and plastics.
RecycleGo says it is collaborating with household brands, many of which have publicly pledged to reach 25 percent recycled content by 2025, though the plastic recycling rate is currently around 8 percent, meaning it will be difficult for brands to find the recycled plastics they need in sufficient volumes. “There is a market that wants more recycled material, but we currently don’t have enough content to support it; consumers simply are not recycling enough,” Chen says. He suggests, “Blockchain technology could be the single catalyst to actually solving that.”
Phase 1 of the multiphase project will allow project collaborators to identify the entire history of a particular plastic bottle—from the moment it is created to when it is collected for recycling, converted into raw material and shipped to the manufacturer to make another plastic bottle.
The companies say participants in the recycling blockchain technology could see 15 percent to 20 percent savings from supply chain optimizations during Phase 1. Simultaneously, big-brand producers can use data to directly and indirectly improve the availability of recycled content in a way that boosts corporate brand image.
DeepDive CEO Misha Hanin says, “Blockchain technology will provide irrefutable proof of the good environmental behavior for each and every stakeholder up and down the recycling supply chain, which can be monitored, incentivized and, ultimately, trusted.”
“What we have is the world’s first comprehensive and inclusive blockchain solution that allows any kind of material to be tracked and any kind of stakeholder can join,” Chen adds. “Touching every stakeholder, every recyclable piece of material, at every point of the recycling process, this first-of-its-kind recycling solution will help us rid the environment of all recycling waste altogether. Plastic bottles are just the start.”
On the DeepDive website, Hanin writes, “Blockchain can assist in creating an incentive-based approach for recycling of waste.
“Incentives in the form of digital tokens can be distributed in exchange for playing a role in waste recycling. A scalable reward system can be developed using Hyperledger Fabric, an open-source platform used for building decentralized applications. For instance, an app that incentivizes users to dispose of plastic or food waste can be deployed on the Hyperledger Fabric + ASTERI platform. In exchange, tokens are sent to the user’s digital wallet that can be exchanged for essential services like food or goods.”
The new blockchain product under development will be built using Hyperledger Fabric, an open-sourced blockchain framework supported internationally by more than 250 members, including IBM, Intel and, most recently, DeepDive, the companies say.
“In the past two years, blockchain has gone from something almost no enterprises talked about to something today where close to half of enterprise companies have set aside substantial budgets for at least some form of POC (proof of concept) project,” Hanin says. “The more valuable and critically important use-cases we have, the faster the enterprise blockchain adoption we’ll see.”
Chen says, “The goal is to get from 8 percent recycling to 100 percent. That’s the moonshot we’re shooting for. This is our target. And we know we have to use blockchain to do it.”