My thirteen-year-old is keenly focused on our family being more environmentally conscious, which I’m all about. Currently, the recyclables in my kitchen are balancing precariously on a tall black kitchen trash can stuck in the corner of my kitchen. At least, I think everything in there is recyclable.
It’s overflowing with cardboard boxes, old school papers, and plastic bottles from the sodas my kids snuck on a visit to Grandma’s. When I cook, I try to rinse off our cans before tossing them in. That said, as much as I genuinely want to do my part to help the environment, I know I don’t get it right 100 percent of the time. Non-recyclable materials probably get in the mix, and not everything gets properly cleaned before we toss it in the recycling.
So when an ad for the Lasso closed-loop recycling bin popped up on my Instagram feed this week, I was immediately intrigued and instantly thinking of how I can save up to get one of these devices. It will take all the guesswork and prep work out of recycling, right in your kitchen.
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How the Lasso recycling bin works
This machine effectively puts a recycling center in your home, taking all the guesswork out of the process. When you have a bottle or can or milk jug to recycle (or any of the 7 most commonly disposed household materials), you simply drop it into Lasso.
Lasso then scans the item to determine if it is recyclable. If it isn’t, it returns it to you and you toss it in the trash (with a mental note to check for a TerraCycle program and look for an alternative, recyclable option next time).
If it can be recycled, Lasso steam cleans the food, grease, and packaging labels off the product (which saves water), then—and if that’s not impressive enough—it flakes the plastic, crushes the glass, or shreds the metal so that it’s ready for remanufacture.
All in your home! And it’s about as loud as a washing machine.
It has 7 storage compartments inside, one for each type of material, that you can monitor on an app on your phone. When a bin is full, you can schedule a pickup so that the materials can be reused.
Is the Lasso recycling bin worth it?
The design is sleek and the function is really cool, and it’s something that will give my kids a better understanding of how recycling really works—and why we don’t just throw anything and everything in our recycling trash can.
It will certainly be a conversation starter in your kitchen: it is huge. Taller than your average kitchen counter, and about two feet wide. And it kind of looks like a trash can you’d find in the food court at the mall, but it’s certainly more attractive than the piles of trash in my house.
Here in the suburbs, I’d have the luxury of storing it in my garage, but apartment dwellers might decide to pitch their landlords to get one for the building rather than investing for their own apartment. Especially since we know this is going to be one pricey gadget. Hey, mention that you can even get a cash return for the materials you recycle, which would eventually pay you back for the machine itself?
Either way, Lasso looks like an incredible piece of technology that I’d love to try, and it’s exciting to see ways that companies are coming up with smarter ways to help individuals fight against climate change and save the earth.
Lasso will be available for purchase in late 2022 or early 2023, and early estimates on the price are between $3500-$4500.