Everything seems to be more fun when its a game. Many recycling programs have flourished by creating a competitive atmosphere, which inevitably results in more unwanted materials being recycled. So why wouldn’t we give incentives to people to properly remove waste? One man from Brooklyn, New York thinks he has devised the perfect plan.

Sean Auriti first created the ECan, which is an electronic trashcan that is able track and identify anything disposed in it using infrared sensors. The ‘E’ could stand for electronic but perhaps also environmental for many obvious reasons, especially because the trash can will run completely off of solar power. However, there is much more to the ECan plan!

After a “trash gamer” tosses some garbage away, they must identify themselves. Then using the internet, the ECan starts mining Emrals, a type of “cryptocurrency,” that was also created by Auriti.

“It’s a more human version of Bitcoin because instead of being mined by machines, it’ll be mined by real-world actions,” Auriti said. Future versions of the ECan will be wifi enabled.”

As more ECans begin to pop up, citizens will be able to take advantage by making “money”, using the wifi and of course cleaning up their city. Auriti hopes that eventually Emrals can be directly exchanged for money but at the very least receive discounts for various products. This plan seems rather ambitious, considering not every piece of trash has a bar code to track, but Auriti has of course thought of that!

ECan users will be able to manually input the type of trash they are disposing through the mobile application or directly on the receptacle. The app can also be used to create “dirt alerts.” This is when users can direct other gamers to waste removal opportunities to earn Emrals. This is mainly for bigger projects but it can really be anything that someone else does not want to pick up.

Three ECans have already been produced and Auriti has been demoing them around New York City and some area colleges. The ECan will eventually be available for around $380 but that seems very reasonably with all the Emrals you will be able to get! Although Auriti wants an ECan on every block in the world, he knows he must start small and wants to get some ECans in Yankee Stadium relatively soon.

Auriti just wants to make a mutually beneficial situation for people and our environment, however there are many critics. Many believe that it may be too costly and others argue that this doesn’t make people recycle, it just motivated them to get more Emrals. Regardless of what others may say, adding any technological advancements to waste removal will be positive.

This ECan project is a great concept but it is heavily reliant on the participation of the average citizen, which is usually hard to get. Once we get the electronic trash can, it is only a matter of time before we get the Edumpster! Until the ecan is on your street corner, contact Budget Dumpster to remove your unwanted materials and we can at least help the environment.