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5 New Recycling Technology Trends (2022 Edition)

Recycling technology innovation

Will new recycling technology finally take the industry from flat to flourishing in 2022? The new year promises a wide range of developments, innovations and trends that are making the world greener.

The New York Times recently said that the Covid crisis is now a garbage crisis too. Thanks to pandemic fears, a lot of recyclables ended up being trashed instead. With more waste than ever before, and less being recycled because of transmission concerns – we need technology to step in and help us solve what is fast becoming the most wasteful era in human history.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the latest and best advances in modern recycling technology. Some of it will be available right away, and some in the near future. This post will orientate you on the brightest minds in the industry and how they’re working to make recycling more effective.

Here are 5 new recycling technology innovations to watch out for in 2022.

#1: A Peek into the Metaverse

 Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse was announced this year, which has far reaching implications for the recycling and waste management sectors. With the arrival of the Metaverse, a clear shift is happening that makes travel less important, and physical presence less necessary.

This new evolution of the virtual world is a strong indicator that more and more people will be at home during the average work day. This means people will have the time, resources, and ability to recycle correctly – if equipped with the right tools and education.

Is your municipality considering the implications of the upcoming metaverse? Technology at all levels is about to function in an integrated virtual and physical environment.

Recycling innovation

#2: Plastic That Can Be Recycled

It’s been in the works for several years and continues to be a cutting-edge science. Now more than ever, scientists and researchers are experimenting to discover sustainable ways to recycle plastic. So far, one recycling technology that makes it work, belongs to John Layman.

Working for Procter and Gamble, Layman has developed ‘PureCycle Technology’ – a way to recycle polypropylene by removing contaminants, odor, and color until nothing is left but a reusable resin.

PureCycle succeeded in creating a recycled plastic showerhead in 2021, leaving room for more exciting developments as we enter 2022. Imagine having a plastics recycling program where your municipality can collect and recycle residential plastic! The future is coming.

recycling plastic

#3: The Internet of Things Streamlines Recycling Routes

Already widely used in Europe, Internet of Things technology uses sensor hardware fitted in garbage disposal units and residential dumpsters to streamline route collections.

When linked with the right front-end software, this can reveal data like who is recycling, where, and how well they are doing it.

On a community level, this will allow municipalities to target residential and commercial areas that are not successfully achieving proposed targets. With customized educational programs, IoT technology stands to drastically improve how cities manage how their residents recycle.

#4: Innovative City Recycling Programs

Fueled by the China ban and the ongoing pandemic, city recycling programs have had to get creative to survive.

An upsurge of interest in building sustainable programs has occurred as a result – with many municipalities exploring alternative funding and engagement sources to supplement their operations.

Funding streams rely heavily on modern technologies like online fundraising platforms, app networks and social media. One thing is for certain, local municipalities should have a way to directly engage with their community about what their recycling needs are in 2022.

Recycling systems

#5: A Better Way to Enhance Recycling Systems

Even the most efficient mechanical recycling system struggles if the recyclables are contaminated. One way to combat contamination is through RFID technology, or radio frequency identification tech. Tiny, affordable circuits can be embedded in products – and they can store vital information – like how to recycle a particular product, in a particular municipality.

RFID chips stand to replace the older and completely ineffective recycling symbols of yesteryear. With this new recycling technology, smart recycling bins will form a direct link between residents and municipalities. According to RFID journal, this technology has only just become accessible.

That means we will start to see recycling systems rapidly improve in a multitude of ways. The RFID chip is a great example of a small shift that could result in sweeping reform.

Recycling technology innovation gets more exciting every year. From the introduction of an entirely new iteration of the internet (Metaverse) to the gradual interconnectedness of everything – your municipality is sure to see massive changes over the next few years.

The greatest change comes from the toughest challenges. If we’re going to save recycling, we need to embrace the change that technology brings. Let’s dream of a future where recycling isn’t complicated at all. The team at Recycle Coach will be with you every step of the way.





  1. Richard J Kelosis

    January 31, 2023 at 12:41 pm

    I live in a Florida county where we residents are instructed to toss our used household batteries right in our regular trash,
    that gets dumped at one of two local landfill heights along with most anything else…and Florida’s population is exploding.

    • April

      February 3, 2023 at 7:29 am

      Yes, the procedure for some locations is to send household alkaline batteries to landfills. In order to avoid this, you could recycle these types of batteries yourself with a Call2Recycle shipping box for alkaline batteries. This costs money, but it will also help keep them out of landfills. Remember that any household lithium batteries can be dropped at Call2Recycle drop boxes at Home Depot or Staples stores.

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