February 20, 2020

Talking Trash: The Data and Technology Behind Garbage

What is the future of trash? What do we do with it? How bad are single use plastic bags and are there better alternatives? How does technology and data fit into the trash equation? What are startups doing to alleviate the trash problems and are they being successful?

Summary: Get ready for some trash talk in this waste-focused episode. Hosts Brian and Malinda look at the business of recycling and the ways in which companies are trying to reduce their carbon footprint. While Malinda drops staggering facts about the state of our oceans and the plastics that litter it, Brian shares how technology can alleviate some of our waste issues. From single use plastics to food waste, this episode expertly explains the data and technology behind trash and waste.

What We Covered:
3:55 - The business of recycling
5:43 - Low-income countries are dumping or burning 90% of their waste rather than recycling it
6:05 - Maine’s single use plastic ban
9:47 - How can companies think about their carbon footprint?
11:00 - What are purity numbers and what does China have to do with it?
14:47 - Understanding the removal chain
16:00 - When MIT started electronically tracking trash
17:42 - Can AI help you sort your trash?
18:54 - Phood and food waste
22:08 - Denmark's study on the energy it takes to produce plastic bags vs bags made of other materials.
30:31 - Ever hear of a smart waste bin?
34:33 - Can UBQ solve our trash trouble?
43:02 - The true cost of being a throw away culture
45:00 - The Gagnons make their trash predictions for the future

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