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Scan Challenge: Week 2

We are almost two months into the beta test of the ERbin recycling app in Weston, WI! Weston residents are amazing. We have about 60 testers who are scanning product UPC codes and text-searching for products and materials to learn what is actually acceptable in Weston recycle bins, at local alternative drop off sites, and what should just go in the trash.

Each time a tester scans one of the following products, ERbin is donating 50 cents to Recycling Connections, a central Wisconsin non-profit that is doing some recycling education and infrastructure analysis at Weston Elementary Schools. It’s a win-win-win-win-win…you get the point!

Here’s the list of Week 2 Scan Challenge products:

1. Kroger peaches, 15 oz

2. Jif creamy peanut butter, 40 oz

3. Welch’s concord grape jam, 30 oz

4. Country Hearth split top wheat bread

5. Cuties, 5lb bag

6. Breyers Natural Vanilla ice cream, 1.5 quart

7. Smuckers Strawberry Jam, 18 oz

SCAN. RECYCLE. IMPACT. That’s the ERbin way!

Just scan the UPC barcode of any product AND BAM, see if it’s acceptable in your recycling bin, at a nearby alternative drop-off site, in your compost bin, or in your trash!

You scan, kids win

Find the recipe, below, and start scanning ingredients

Two months ago, ERbin launched its beta test in the Village of Weston, WI. Today, we have about 60 Weston residents testing out the app. Residents are able to scan the UPC barcode of any product or text search for a product to see what is acceptable in their recycling bins.

To encourage more Weston residents to test out the app, and especially to get kids interested in helping their parents scan items, we started a super cool incentive program. The goal: 1,000 product scans by June 6 (last day of school).

Each time a Weston resident creates an account in the app and scans a product, that scan is worth a monetary unit (50 cents), and we (ERbin) are donating the total amount generated by the scans to Recycling Connections in Stevens Point. Recycling connections is going to use that money to implement some recycling programming at Weston Elementary School—a great public-private-non-profit partnership to benefit everyone involved. We anticipate a total donation of about $500. How cool is that!

For some extra fun, and to educate about packaging we hear A LOT of questions about, we’re including a group of products to find and scan whether at the grocery store or at home. It gets better. The group of products come together to make a delish meal!

This week (May 13) we tested out a new recipe we found on Pinterest. Check out that recipe, or scan five of the following ingredients to win a $5 gift card to a local Weston grocery store!

1. Sam’s Choice Organic Vegetable Broth
2. Simple Truth Roasted Cashews
3. Cauliflower (any brand from the fresh produce aisle)
4. Simple Truth Organic Free Range Chicken Thighs
5. Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk
6. Green Giant Riced Cauliflower Medley
7. Organic Valley Ghee (clarified butter)
8. Archer Farms Ground Ginger (or another brand of ground ginger)
9. Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste
10. Garlic powder (any brand)
11. Market Pantry Curry powder (or any brand)
12 Turmeric (any brand)
13. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Original 15 oz

Quick hint – we spent a lot of time at Pick N Save in Weston finding these ingredients. We made the trek to Downtown Grocery to find the ghee (we’ve never used it before!). Feel free to scan the butter product listed instead of the ghee. The vegetable broth comes from Walmart. Overall, we gave the recipe a 6.5 out of 10. Yummy, but not spectacular

Rolling in style

Less than one year ago, ERbin was the recipient of a University of Wisconsin-Extension Ideadvance Seed Funding Award. That funding and a whole lot of hustle later, ERbin is launching its beta test in the Village of Weston, WI this month. Holler!

So, what is ERbin, right? ERbin is an app that simplifies household recycling. Grab your phone, scan a product UPC barcode or text search for a product or material and you’ll get instant, local how-to-recycle answers.

Why ERbin? Because most people don’t realize that where they live defines what is actually acceptable in their recycle bin.

But still, WHY ERbin? Because we are putting so much trash, compostables and reusables in our recycle bins, it’s wreaking financial havoc on the material recovery industry. If we want community recycling programs to remain operational and financially viable, we need to clean up our mess.

The ERbin app is going to completely change the way people get educated about how to recycle right and more in their community. We let you skip the test and get straight to the local how-to-recycle answers you need.

Follow our story on FB and Instagram.

And if you’re a municipal leader, hauler or solid waste management professional who catches our vision, let’s connect.

Thank you immensely to everyone who has helped us prepare for takeoff.