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Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/116056
Kind Code:
The invention relates to a method for recycling materials and to an application system, where recycling packages (6) include bags (7) and labels (8) with identification elements (9). The data are entered by the users (3) in a database (2) so that after the bags (7) are disposed of in the bins (10) and sorted, each bag (7) may be detected and identified in relation to the respective user (3) who disposed of it and the overall performance of each user may be recorded. The labels (8) may be part of the bag (7) or may be separate objects. The bags (7) may have different colours depending on the recyclable materials therein.

STENGOS, Georgios (4 Efranoros Str, Pagrati Athens, 11635, GR)
MAROUTAS, Theodoros-Nikolaos (25 Ploutonos Str, Palaio Faliro Attikis, 17562, GR)
PONIS, Stavros (14 Dervenakion Str, Agia Paraskevi Attikis, 15343, GR)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
June 20, 2019
Filing Date:
December 04, 2018
Export Citation:
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STENGOS, Georgios (4 Efranoros Str, Pagrati Athens, 11635, GR)
PAPANAGIOTOU, Anastasios (1B Agias Annis Str, Kifisia Attikis, 14563, GR)
MAROUTAS, Theodoros-Nikolaos (25 Ploutonos Str, Palaio Faliro Attikis, 17562, GR)
PONIS, Stavros (14 Dervenakion Str, Agia Paraskevi Attikis, 15343, GR)
FRERI, Paraskevi (21B Kallipoleos Str, Elliniko Attikis, 16777, GR)
International Classes:
G06Q50/26; G06Q10/00; G06Q10/08
Domestic Patent References:
Foreign References:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MAROULIS, Andreas (15 Efessou Str, N. Smirni Attikis, 17121, GR)
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1. A system for i plementing a method to recycle materials, comprising at least one physical server ( 1 ) in which there is at least one database (2), in which registration pages (4) are created each of them corresponding to a user (3) who has a bag (7) with a label (8) bearing an identification element (9) which the user (3) enters in the database (2), characterized in that the label (8) is identified at the disposal place or at a recycling plant ( 12) by a scanning device (13), from which it is transmitted to the database (2), where the identification element (9) is electronically compared and identified in the database (2).

2. A system for implementing a method to recycle materials according to claim 1 , characterized in that the identifier (9) of the label (8) can be a printed alphanumeric code, a bar code of one or more dimensions, or a component with radio frequency identification technology.

3. A method to recycle materials, comprising the following steps:

a user (3) procures a recycling package (6), with a bag (7) bearing a label (8) with an identifier (9), accesses ( 17) an electronic platform with a data base (2), enters his details and the identifier (9) data, disposes of the bag (7) with the label (8) in bins ( 10), characterized in that when the bag (7) is sotted in a recycling plant ( 12) the label is electronically detected by a scanning device 13), its identifier (9) is transmitted by the scanning device ( 13), is compared and identified in the database (2)



The invention relates to the field of art of methods for sorting and separating materials according to their specific characteristics, using their optical and electromagnetic properties it also refers to a data processing method and system.


The method disclosed in the present invention as well as the system for recycling materials have not been disclosed in the prior art. Although large urban centres cover only 2% of the planet's surface, it is estimated that almost over 50% of the world's population lives today therein, and there are estimates that this percentage is going to increase by as much as 75% by 2050. The above prediction, in association with the over-consuming lifestyle and increased use of packaging in more and more products, has led to a rapid increase in the production of total urban waste. In particular, it is estimated that each household in the European Union produces 23 kg of waste on average per week while in Greece the total municipal waste generation has increased significantly in recent years from 4 12 kg per person per year in 2000 to 5 12 kg in 2015. Even more important is the fact that almost 40% of the total amount of municipal solid waste is packaging waste, i.e. materials that can he recovered and further utilized. And yet, even if the majority of packaging materials are reusable, a large amount of them ends up in landfills and dumps ln fact, Greece continues to send thousands of tons of recyclable material to landfills, paying for the burden on the environment and non-compliance with good European practices and directives, millions of euro in fines and charges, which eventually burden the already over-indebted Greek household.

So far, a respective state of the art invention is WO2016/024043, which discloses a "method, apparatus and system for sorting litter". According to the method disclosed in the invention, each bag bears identifiers to separate the bags solely according to the type of litter they carry. Moreover, sensors are used in an auxiliary way to identify the size of the bag, its weight and its position on the conveyor belt of the sorting centre. Depending on the data, sorting devices separate the waste, leading it appropriately. Similarly proposed solutions to date include the separation of waste at source, usually within home, depending on its type and its disposal in suitable bins.

As it becomes evident, the solutions applied show multiple disadvantages, which often hinder their large-scale implementation and the active participation of the majority of the population. The need to separate waste, depending on their type, complicates the recycling process in the household as it requires a lot of bags to separately collect the various materials. Additionally, it does not ensure that users actually do the proper separation before disposing of the bags in the bins. To date, most systems and applicable methods, such as those in WO2016/024043, focus on utilizing the technical possibilities to improve separation of waste in sorting centres.

It is thus an object of the present invention to advantageously overcome the aforementioned prior art disadvantages and shortcomings by proposing a method and a system for recycling materials.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a method for collecting the waste to be recycled, easily identifying them, depending on the contents of the bag, sorting the materials to be utilized in the recycling centres with high productivity, thus reducing their operating costs and at the same time increasing the quality of the materials to be recycled.

it is a further object of the present invention to provide a system for recycling materials comprising the registration of all participating parties in a database, the assignment of unique numbers to each of them, the tracing of their waste and their identification in the recycling process cycle. A further feature and advantage of the invention is the dual correlation of both the user with the bags he has purchased and the waste that he has placed in the recycle bin and which has ended up in the respective sorting centre. This ensures complete supervision of the recycling process from the beginning to the end.

t is a further object of the invention to provide a method for recycling materials, its application requiring the use of bags with a system for their identification by the competent bodies.

It is an advantage of the invention that it allows the separation at source of the products to be recycled by a sorting system, the identification, the recording of performance and ultimately the rendering of the products to be recycled to the respective user.

Another advantage of the invention is that it provides a system that facilitates the recovery of materials by increasing effectiveness and reducing the operational cost of the recycled materials in the recyclable material sorting centres and the mechanical treatment facilities.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent in the following detailed description. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be understood by those skilled in the art with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which it is illustrated in an exemplary, non-limiting manner.

Figure 1 shows an exemplary illustration of the system of the present invention, according to an exemplary embodiment thereof.

Figure 2 shows a flow diagram of an embodiment of the method according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 3 shows an exemplary variant in the application of the invention using radio frequency identification technology.


Referring now to illustrative examples of embodiments, we will present the method as well as the material recycling system to highlight both its advantages and its mode of application.

The main objective of the system, Fig. 1 , is to ensure the correct identification of the recyclable materials through identification of the respective means in which they are found. A physical server ( 1 ) with one or more storage units, such as hard disks, where a database (2) is installed is required for the implementation of the system. Users (3 ) are registered in the database (2) with the creation of unique registration pages (4), through a computer program (5). Each user (3) may acquire a recycle package (6) before or after its data entry in the database (2). Each recycle package (6) contains at least one bag (7) and at least one label (8), without this excluding the presence of more bags (7) and labels (8) per recycle package (6), but the number of bags (7) should never be higher than the number of labels (8).

Each label (8) has a unique identifier (identification element) (9), which may be a printed alphanumeric code, a bar code of one or more dimensions, or any other known element that may be used to uniquely identify an object. The identifier (9) of each label (8) is entered by the user (3) via the computer program (5) in the database (2), where it is assigned to the registration page (4) thereof. The user (3) is associated in this way to the particular label (8) and thus to the particular bag (7).

The waste to be recycled is collected in each bag (7) as usually, without requiring any separation of materials, and disposed of in the respective bins (10) outside the houses. Collection thereof is also carried out with the methods known to date, such as by garbage trucks (1 1 ), without any difference at this stage in the handling of the bags (7) of our invention compared to conventional bags. They are transported to appropriate recycling facilities (12), such as sorting centres for recyclable materials, where materials are sorted and separated. The bag (!) identification is made directly by identifying the label (8) and the identifier (9) on it and scanning it by means of a scanning device (13), Fig. 3, which may be handled by a worker, may be part of a structure within the recycling plant ( 12) or part of the refuse vehicle ( 1 1 ) itself. Such a structure may for example comprise a conveyor belt on which the bags are placed and which has an installed scanning device (13) at some point so that the passing bags (7) with the appropriate label (8) are automatically identified. In this way it is identified that the bag (7) of the user (3) at the time has arrived at the recycling plant ( 12).

in an alternative embodiment of the invention, each bag (7) may be coloured in a particular way so that it is optically separated from the most commonly used bags, thereby facilitating manual sorting and possibly separation of the bags (7) bearing the label (8) from the other bags to make it easier to scan the labels (8).

In a further alternative embodiment of the invention, each bag (7) or each label (8) may be wholly or in part of different colour, depending on their respective content to be recycled. Thus, for example, a bag (7) or a label (8) may be blue in the case of plastic materials, green in the case of glass materials, red in . the case of aluminum and yellow in the case of paper materials. In this way, the worker manually sorting the bags at the recycling plant ( 12) can first separate the materials by identifying the colour of the bag (7) or the label (8) and diverting the bag (7) towards the corresponding material flow. Accordingly, an increased sorting of waste at the source is sought in order to achieve a zero entropy stream in the handling of packaging waste and thus increase the possibility of recovering the recyclable materials by up to 100%.

In an additional illustrative embodiment of the invention, the recycling bin ( 10) may also be provided with an identification element (9), such as an alphanumeric code, which the user can register upon disposing of the bag (7) with the materials to be recycled so that disposal is registered and the particular identification is enabled in the respective user registration page (4) of the system.

In still a further alternative embodiment of the invention, the label (8) with the unique identifier (9) may be integrated into the bag (7), forming part thereof, being made of the same or a different material with respect to the bag (7). In this case, it becomes apparent that each recycle package (6) comprises at least one bag (7) with an integrated label (8). The label (8) may, for example, be printed on the bag (7) by any of the methods already known.

In another alternative embodiment, the identifier (9) may use radio frequency identification technology, known as RFID technology, or near field communication, known as NFC. When the labels (8) with the respective identifier (9) are within the range of the antenna ( 14), Fig. 3, of the reader ( 15), its control unit communicates by means of radio waves with the label (8) antenna. The labels (8) are activated in turn and return the retrieved data to the reader ( 15). Then the information is analyzed with the appropriate software and identification of the bag (7), which is assigned to the respective registration page (4) of the user (3), is obtained. It is obvious that alternatively the identifying elements (9) may likewise consist of active circuits, with some supply, usually via battery, which continuously transmit data.

Fig. 2 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of the proposed method in the context of the invention. Initial ly, the user (3) procures one or more recycling packages, each package (6) carrying a bag (7) and a label (8) with an identification element (9). Then, he enters an electronic platform located in a database (2), where he first enters its details and creates a corresponding electronic account. His account corresponds to a registration page (4) in the database (2). The user (3) enters the identifier in the respective field so as to match the label (8) and hence the bag (7) with the user (3). The user applies the label (8) to the bag (7) and discards the bag (7) in the predetermined bins ( 10). The bag (7) is collected and ends up to the recycling plant ( 12) where it is electronically identified through the label (8) identifier (9). The identification element (9) is identified and assigned to the appropriate user (3). Both the user (3) and any system administrator, who is linked to the database (2) and has the respective rights, can see information about the type, the discarded materials quantity, the level of participation and the performance of each user (3) and any other information that may arise fro cumulative processing or after partial analysis of the aforementioned data.

At this point, it is to be noted that the description of the invention was made by reference to exemplary and not limiting embodiments. Therefore, any change or modification in terms of the materials used, the steps of the manufacturing process shown, unless they constitute a novel inventive step and contribute to the technical development of the already known one, are considered to be within the scope of the present invention, as summarized in the following claims..