Babcock Ranch to host pilot of “SmartCan”
06 October 2021 | Lisa Hall
Innovative robotic platform carts trash barrels to and from the curb
BABCOCK RANCH, FL – The future of waste collection will be rolling out this fall at Babcock Ranch, when small but mighty robots will take on the task of carting trash and recycling barrels to and from the curb for pickup. The solar-powered town has been selected as a pilot site for SmartCan, a robotic platform under development by Boston-based entrepreneurs who are leveraging automation to ease the burden of household chores.
“We started with the chore of taking out the trash, because it is a struggle for the elderly and those with limited mobility to move heavy barrels,” said Andrew Murray, CEO and Co-Founder of Rezzi Company. “We imagine a future in which homeowners will no longer struggle to bring their trash barrels to the curb, or incur fines for leaving the barrels out.”
“With our focus on innovation and sustainability, Babcock Ranch provides a ‘living labortory’ environment to put inventions like SmartCan to the test,” said Tom Hoban, President and CIO of Kitson & Partners, the founders of Babcock Ranch. “It’s the perfect environment for entrepreneurs to introduce and refine new technologies as they prepare to introduce them to the marketplace.”
Rezzi has identified a small group of Babcock Ranch homeowners to participate in the earliest phase of the pilot. Starting in mid-November, the SmartCan robotic platforms will be programmed to connect to barrels on the appropriate times and days for collection, opening garage doors and navigating obstacles to deliver the barrels to the curb for pickup – and then doing the same in reverse after the containers are emptied.
The first phase is all about collecting key data that waste management companies have requested to improve their operations, and then utilizing that data to define the next evolution of residential solid waste collection.
“We want customers to be able to monitor their waste trends and potentially, in the future, move to a system where customers pay a transparent fee based on their actual waste production, while also empowering communities to effectively communicate with residents and track the results of new initiatives,” Murray said. “We see potential to significantly increase efficiencies for an industry that is struggling to meet demand due to industry wide labor shortages and inefficiencies in the traditional system of curbside pickup.”
The current system of navigating every single street of every neighborhood multiple times a week consumes massive amounts of time and energy, both human and mechanical. Rezzi believes the use of electric-powered robots to transport trash barrels to and from central pickup sites would greatly reduce the distance travelled and the resulting emissions, while also lowering the risk of worker injury.
The pilot agreement with Babcock Ranch will allow Rezzi to launch SmartCan and evaluate units operationally within the community in real time. At the same time, Rezzi will work in parallel with Babcock Ranch’s waste collection company (Ecologic) to identify key data points that drive collection efficiencies. At the conclusion of the pilot, Rezzi will have completed three phases of real world research and development which they can utilize to secure capital for commercialization and full scale production for deployment of the SmartCan to the open market.
Rezzi is creating a more efficient, sustainable, and transparent future of residential waste collection. The proprietary robotics and data collection platform, SmartCan, scalably automates trash valet services and provides waste management companies with the real time insights needed to optimize collection processes. Working with stakeholders across the industry, Rezzi is setting a new standard for sustainable waste collection. For more information about Rezzi, visit www.RezziCompany.com
ABOUT BABCOCK RANCH
Babcock Ranch was created by Kitson & Partners with respect for the natural environment and the philosophy that smart growth and sustainability work hand in hand. Half of the solar-powered town’s 18,000-acre footprint is set aside as greenways, parks and expansive lakes, providing recreation and scenic backdrops for Babcock Ranch’s planned 19,500 homes and the Founder’s Square downtown district. For more information visit www.babcockranch.com