Sustainability And Recycling Pitch And Pilot Competition Aims To Improve Area Recycling

Thursday, September 16, 2021

The city of Chattanooga and The Company Lab are partnering for a Sustainability and Recycling Pitch & Pilot Competition. 

“Recycling and waste management processes are overdue for innovation,” CO.LAB Director of Programs Christine DiPietro said. “This is a great opportunity to test ideas and see what works in our city.”

The city and nonprofit are looking for creative ways to drive the waste management structures and infrastructure systems. This includes changes to technology, infrastructure, and educating residents.

"Chattanooga is a city with a strong identity rooted in our great outdoors and our commitment to sustainability,” Mayor Tim Kelly said. “I count myself as fortunate to be mayor of a city where people care deeply about limiting waste and litter.”  

Members of the public are invited to submit ideas covering one or more of the five areas listed below.

Circular Economy (reducing what goes into the landfill) 

Cost Efficiency in Recycling Processes (improving recycling processes)

Consumer/resident Education (reducing methane emissions from the landfill)

Labor Reduction (citizen education around what to recycle/not to recycle, how to make sure what you recycle is recycled)

Composting (how to implement and utilize composting effectively, reducing methane production in landfills)

Four submissions will be selected to pilot in partnership with CO.LAB and the city of Chattanooga, and those selected will be awarded a small stipend.

Chosen solutions will be presented during Startup Week CHA 2021 and be evaluated on:

Understanding of problem/solutions

Quality of recommendation

Implementation

Feasibility (including an estimated budget)

The selected solution(s) will be selected for pilot programs to assess their feasibility in Chattanooga.

As part of the pilot process, these four ideas will be presented as a pitch event on Tues., Oct. 19, at noon. 

Applications are due Oct. 3, and selected applicants will be notified Oct. 10.

Anyone with an idea can email a proposal to info@colab.com.

Proposal guidelines are online here.

“I am so excited that the city of Chattanooga will be partnering with CO.LAB during Startup Week Chattanooga to invite local entrepreneurs and the broader public to share their ideas and innovations to ensure our city is on a path to becoming a zero-waste community," said Mayor Kelly.

“The stop in curbside recycling pickup allowed Chattanooga to have a conversation most cities are putting off," said Ms. DiPietro. "The demand and supply chains for recycled products no longer exist. This is an economical way for the city to try new solutions. Innovation comes from everywhere. These pilot programs are a way for Chattanooga to test ideas before investing millions in new equipment or processes that may not work — and a way for us to be a leader in both innovation and sustainability.” 



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