Many people have started to separate waste at home and even in many public places it has become the norm. However, in the workspace it is not quite common to have separate bins for different types of waste. And this has to change, according to Wesley de Bie, CEO of Dutch student startup MushBIN. The Ace Venture Lab alumnus raised €25K from Proof of Concept, and now another €40K from Takeoff HBO to make this change possible.
What could be so special about a waste bin? De Bie explains: “The MushBIN has modular bins that can be composed to your liking, and all bins are made of 100% recycled plastic.” MushBIN gets the recycled plastic from Plastic Heroes, the number one organization for collecting and recycling plastic waste in the Netherlands. “In addition, we designed the MushBIN in a way that it makes the cleaners’ work easier. The bins do not have any sharp hooks that could tear out the garbage bags.”
The MushBIN would save a lot of costs, because instead of several little garbage bins in every room, the garbage will be collected on a few central points in the building. De Bie: “The cleaner saves time, because he does not have to collect the waste from so many different bins.” It sounds beautiful, but how is MushBIN going to ensure that all employees will go to that central point every time they have some waste?
De Bie admits that this is not easy: “It is a challenge for us to make more people aware of the importance of separating waste. Together with the employer we will look at ways to motivate employees. Instead of forcing the idea upon the employees, we propose it and we ask what they think. That is, I believe, a much more constructive way of motivating people.” De Bie read some psychological articles on the topic: “It is funny how this business suddenly got me into psychology as well!”
At the moment, the startup is working on the production of injection molding baskets. “This is what we are using the investment for. The production of the MushBIN is relatively cheap, but the start-up costs are high.” The MushBIN will be available coming summer, but can be ordered already on their website.