Waste management is a pressing problem all over the world, but it’s especially hard for isolated communities that lack access to recycling facilities. Taiwan-based architecture studio Miniwiz has come up with an environmentally friendly solution: TRASHPRESSO, a traveling solar-powered recycling plant that turns trash into tiles.
Wherever it goes, TRASHPRESSO takes local waste and recycles it into tiles for use in architecture. The mobile recycling plant is in a 40-foot container platform that a trailer truck can transport, and Miniwiz says the plant opens up similar to how a satellite unpacks in orbit. It can recycle plastic and fabric waste, running on solar power. Garbage is “washed, shredded, melted, and molded” into architectural tiles, and the water to clean the trash is reused in the process.
The off-grid plant can pump out 10 square meters, or over 107 square feet, of the architectural tiles every 40 minutes. Each tile contains the equivalent of five plastic PET bottles. They can be utilized for exterior or interior floor finishes, according to Miniwiz, “or sold as raw material for further upcycling manufacturing processes like yarning, injection, and extrusion.”
Miniwiz CEO and co-founder Arthur Huang said in a statement, “Until now, industrial grade recycling was limited to plants. The TRASHPRESSO overcomes the distance and energy barriers by showing that recycling is possible everywhere. Not only does it serve to transform trash on-site, it also serves as an educational tool in isolated communities.”
The TRASHPRESSO will be deployed for the first time this summer to NianBao Yuze on the Tibetan Plateau. The natural beauty of the glacier region has been trashed by tourists who leave behind litter. From there TRASHPRESSO will travel to other remote areas where garbage gathers, such as beaches, lakes, reservoirs, or rivers.
Miniwiz showed off the TRASHPRESSO recently in Shanghai to celebrate Earth Day. They’ll bring the recycling plant to NianBao Yuze in partnership with Jackie Chan’s Green Heroes documentary series on National Geographic.
Images courtesy of Miniwiz