goBin smart textile-recycling bin makes donating a snap


January 21, 2014

An inbuilt sensor notifies the organization that it's time for a pickup (Photo: SFGoodwill)

An inbuilt sensor notifies the organization that it's time for a pickup (Photo: SFGoodwill)

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Goodwill of San Francisco has launched a smart donation bin called goBin that aims to make donating old clothes and other textiles a snap. Instead of having to make a regular trip to a Goodwill store, the bin will allow residents of apartment towers to donate their stuff from the comfort of their buildings. Developed in collaboration with the global product strategy firm, Frog Design, the high-tech textile-recycling bin is expected to help the city's environmental department reach its goal of making San Francisco a zero waste city by 2020.

After making a donation to goBin, a donor will be able to access an online donation tax form via the bin's QR code. Not only will they get a receipt via email, they'll also learn more about how their contribution is making a difference in helping people without a job to get one, through the Goodwill organization.

An inbuilt sensor notifies SFGoodwill that it's time for a pickup before the contents of the bin exceed the bin's maximum capacity. Goodwill drivers will be able to service each goBin in under five minutes per trip, thanks to an internal rolling cart system.

Its developers hope that goBin will help make the idea of donating items a matter of everyday convenience for time-strapped residents. According to Goodwill, more than 80 percent of its job training and placement partnerships are funded by the sales generated from donated goods.

The organization, which is currently accepting pre-orders for the goBins, intends to make more of them from recycled materials and provide them for free to local building managers. This year, SFGoodwill is planning to place goBins in select hi-rise towers that contain about a 100 units or more. After a pilot phase, the organization hopes to produce and roll out more of its patent-protected goBins for other chapters of Goodwill across the nation.

Source: SFGoodwill

About the Author
Lakshmi Sandhana When Lakshmi first encountered pig's wings in a petri dish, she realized that writing about scientists and imagineers was the perfect way to live in an expanding mind bubble. Articles for Wired, BBC Online, New Scientist, The Economist and Fast Company soon followed. She's currently pursuing her dream of traveling from country to country to not only ferret out cool stories but also indulge outrageously in local street foods. When not working, you'll find her either buried nose deep in a fantasy novel or trying her hand at improvisational comedy. All articles by Lakshmi Sandhana
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