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01 Apr 2016 
A Family pet bottle-collecting machine that pays users through their clever phones? An app which you can use to order pickup of recyclable products from your home?


One Beijing company is wanting to bring recycling in to the "smart" period - and make money at it.


In China, municipal governments do not generally take part in recycling efforts as they do in many other countries. An informal network of cargo-tricycle-riding scrap collectors who buy bottles from urban residents and then sell these to small recycling facilities has long dominated the recycling market here.


But unregulated recycling practices can make earth and water pollution. Incom Resources Recovery Recycling Co. Ltd. was began by three business college classmates back in 2008. The trio is trying to modernize and set up a far more regulated recycling system in Beijing.


Their company companies and monitors sensible PET bottle collecting machines, also known as reverse vending machines. They manage where those collected containers are sent for recycling after that, partnering with government-approved services that move environmental standards.


The company is really a subsidiary of Incom Resources Recovery Co. Ltd., among the only Chinese companies that may make top quality recyclable bottle-grade polyester lists and chips Coca-Cola Co. among its customers.


While official figures show that consumers in Beijing use 150,000 to 200,000 a great deal of plastic bottles a complete year, Incom was struggling to source enough PET bottles to recycle because of competition from informal recyclers. Deputy General Manager Liu Xuesong said that their company was created to solve this nagging issue.


"As we started out, the bottleneck was found by us. We simply can’t obtain enough recycleables. Our parent manufacturing plant can process 50,000 a great deal of PET containers a full 12 months, but the service wasn’t working for greater than a half of the year. We didn’t have enough recycleables, and we couldn’t purchase enough."


Liu and her two cofounders, company Chief executive Yang Guangze and General Manager Chang Tao, started a company with the simple aim of trying to greatly help their parent company source more containers.


The three, all idealistic and entrepreneurial graduates of the China Europe International Business School’s EMBA program had an objective: bring the recycling industry into the IT age. According to a profile inside a CEIBS alumni publication, Yang wished to use IT solutions to bring the making and environmental security industries to another level.


The three made a decision to place bottle-collecting machines in public areas spaces that informal scrap collectors cannot access, like airports, subway stations, schools and hospitals. Originally they planned to source the machines from a supplier, but in the finish they noticed they needed to develop their very own. By the end from the 2012, with support from a national federal government subsidy in the Country wide Advancement and Reform Commission, their 1st four machines had been placed into a subway place in downtown Beijing.


According to Liu, the very first machines were a work in progress definitely.


"At the start, there were plenty of issues with the machine. We had to stand right alongside it to be sure it was functioning right." Today the machine is within its fifth revision and 150,000 folks are recycling bottles at 1,323 Incom machines that dot the Beijing landscaping.


The machines attracted an entire large amount of attention, with news reports by local and state media assisting to promote the initiative. Perhaps one of the most attractive aspects of Incom’s recycling machines for consumers is that they pay out almost double the price that casual scrap collectors do. For each PET bottle consumers are paid a reliable rate of about 1.6 U.S. cents (RMB .10). Scrap collectors pay typically 0.9 cents (RMB .06) per Family pet bottle, with regards to the fluctuating cost of petroleum.


The ongoing company has plans for rapid expansion. By the ultimate end of 2015, it intend to have 3,500 machines installed in Beijing and 5,000 by the finish of next calendar year.


"We want to concentrate on Beijing, so it's a great model that can be copied in various other cities," stated Liu. By the final end of the year Incom will bring 500 machines to metropolitan areas in Guangdong, Shandong, Chongqing and Shanxi provinces.


Because the company is using the machines to monitor container collection, it has access to a whole lot of valuable data.


Liu opens up an app on her behalf smartphone and showcases detailed charts and diagrams. One displays the real amount of containers collected up to now by Incom’s machines. July as of early, the company offers collected and recycled 7,000,697 bottles since its 1st machine went into procedure in past due 2012. Another displays the statistics for each full time. The app shows data on who's recycling and where they're recycling. Some people make use of wise credit cards to obtain reimbursed, while others make use of their phone.


The data makes the system attractive not only to consumers, but to big brands and the national government aswell. The machines collect info from checking bottle bar codes and can give a picture of current styles in consumption and recycling. For instance, there are statistics becoming collected which brands are getting consumed. For the present time, Liu said, Incom gives this data free of charge to the federal government and brands they offer advertising space to.


Incom can also utilize the system to track where the containers 're sheet extrusion line going for recycling.


"We use the Internet to monitor the recycled rubbish and ensure that it would go to legitimate factories where it is processed without [leading to] pollution," Liu stated.


The challenges that Liu and her colleagues face are excellent, however they are banking in the hope that if indeed they can crack the task, their success shall provide great rewards.


"Not really a single company of the recycling industry in China includes a [integrated] recycling system. That is our biggest advantage at present," she said. "It’s very hard to get and to build a recycling system. But there also lies the most chance," she added. "So we feel that if we can build-up this system, it’ll be actually useful for our company. It’ll end up being our primary worth, because actually governments can’t actually build such recycling systems within the towns [here]."


Liu and her team also plan to expand to recycle other materials, including other plastics, paper, glass, metal, consumer fabric and electronics. This month they will move out a door-to-door service where users can use a smartphone app to contact a collector to come quickly to their house and grab recyclable items.


"That will bring us the large amounts of the recycleables that we want. Recycling machines should help collect one part and door-to-door services another part, so I estimate the fact that [total] amount will be quite Fine by 2016," Liu stated.


As its stock of raw material grows, the ongoing company is attempting to develop products created from recycled PET.


"Without added value, it’s hard to make profit this line [of business]," she said. Incom is working with a Japanese designer about a member of family line of stationery made from recycled PET.


The pressure is on for the trio to be successful. Liu said they would like to be good models for other business owners.


"It’s very hard to produce profit our line. We do want to do environmental security. [But] if you don’t make money, we won’t be considered a good model, because people will think it’s too hard to do environmental protection and won’t go into it for their career."
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