Zerocycle provides a citywide, normative comparison report for both city officials and homeowners that compares recycling effectiveness by neighborhood. 

TARGET USERS: Individuals, Businesses, Industry, Government

KEY CONSIDERATIONS: Zerocycle relies on data that that is already collected at the city level, and only provides tools for sharing and distributing data to stakeholders.


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    Recycling rates continue to fall, just as plastic use is spiraling out of control. And while most reports on collection and recycling rates that we read about are national or global statistics, what many find most interesting, is data about their communities. But local data is often limited. In order to motivate individuals across cities, neighborhood data can be obtained and leveraged to inspire local action, and even healthy competition.



    Zerocycle’s flagship product is a citywide, normative comparison report for both city officials and homeowners that compares recycling effectiveness by neighborhood. Zerocycle sends these reports, which include full-color maps ranking neighborhoods’ diversion rates, to homeowners on behalf of the City. This fosters an environment of friendly competition that can lead to increased recycling throughout the region.

    Here’s how it works:

    Collect Data
    They collect and analyze garbage, recycling, and compost data to determine diversion rates for each neighborhood in a city.

    Engage Communities
    They share those insights in customized Neighborhood Waste Reports, which they send to households in the service area.

    Effect Change
    By learning how much they recycle compared to their neighbors, households adapt their behavior and recycle more.


    Zerocycle has also developed a Recycling Analytics Dashboard (RAD), which can be a customized standalone site, embedded on a city’s official website, integrated into an open data platform (e.g. Socrata), as well as made available to third-party websites (e.g. local newspapers, schools, businesses, community organizations, associations and clubs, etc.). The RAD leverages data that cities already collect or currently have access to. As a result, valuable real-time data and insights can be generated without the need to install new hardware or devices on the ground. In addition to helping civic leaders and other officials identify neighborhoods that are exceeding, meeting or falling below waste diversion targets, RAD keeps citizens informed and motivates them to recycle more.



    There are other assessment and planning tools designed to deliver insights and actionable recommendations to city officials, such as the Municipal Measurement Program, among others.



    The City of Buffalo, New York is among the first cities to deploy Zerocycle’s RAD platform, which can be viewed here:

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