Resource Recovery Bin


Anthropocene.Design is a consultancy designing products, services and systems for circularity in the Anthropocene Age. The Anthropocene era refers to our current time period in which humans have created significant impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems. Founded by award winning designer and sustainability advocate Barent Roth, Anthopocene.Design seeks to avoid contributing to these problems by instead designing for a circular economy in which all materials are either recycled back into functional products or composted to retain their valuable nutrients. The BetterBins project was approached with this Design for Circularity methodology.

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RePETE Resource Bin is a circular manufacturing solution for collecting discarded materials in New York City.

Water bottles collected from around the city by Sims Recycling, are immediately shredded, ground into plastic powder, and then Solar Rotationally Molded (SRM) into Resource Bins directly on site. SRM reflects the sun’s rays directly onto a rotating mold, making two bins per mold with zero emissions. By combining the existing proven technologies of sorting, shredding, and solar rotationally molding recycled polyethylene, RePETE Resource Bin creates a cyclical system for a more sustainable New York City.


  • RePETE Bins collect material waste streams for recycling and landfill

  • RePETE Bins are emptied by New York City Department of Sanitation workers

  • Recycled material is transported to SIMS Recycling in Brooklyn (predominantly by Barge)

  • SIMS Recycling sorts collection into various material categories

  • PETE bottles and objects are shredded on site into flakes using the open source Precious Plastic machinery

  • PETE flakes are ground into powder on site using the open source Precious Plastic machinery

  • PETE powder is inserted into a mold cavity of two Bins positioned of top of each other

  • PETE powder is rotated in a mold and then heated using reflected sunlight in a proven Solar Rotational Molding process

  • PETE powder melts and coats the surface of the mold cavity with a thick layer of liquid plastic

  • Mold cools to allow liquid plastic to harden into a solid hollow plastic form

  • Plastic form is removed from mold and cut in half, thereby creating two Bins each molding cycle.

  • Bins drilled and machined to create holes and handles

  • Bins assembled into recycled stainless steel frame

  • RePETE Bins deployed back onto New York City street corners

  • Cycle repeats


RePETE Bins are designed for functionality, durability, and ergonomic performance. Plastic Bins are molded in translucent blue, green and black to correspond with NYC’s current collection operation. Holes drilled into the bin are large enough for liquid drainage but small enough to prevent larger rodents. Recycled stainless steel provides an attractive, durable, skid resistant protective support structure. The bottom rim allows for several additional lift areas reducing back bend of the sanitation workers during collection. The entire RRRB is Designed for Disassembly so that when the bins eventually do reach the point of repair individual components can be repaired and replaced as needed.



Dimensions: 29W x 31H

Material: Recycled PolyEthylene Terephthalate, Recycled Stainless Steel

Weight: approximately 29 pounds

TOTAL HEIGHT : 64 inches

TOTAL HEIGHT: 64 inches