Eric Mwirichia, James Maina, Thomas Tsuma and Kelvin Ngure

Eric Mwirichia, James Maina, Thomas Tsuma and Kelvin Ngure, all in their early twenties, developed Smart Bins in 2019 while studying technology at Multimedia University of Kenya, Nairobi.


After being told about MASK Awards by a friend who participated in the Awards in 2022, Eric decided to enter the Innovation category and is grateful to have found a platform to showcase his Smart Bins and to network with other young creatives.


Eric, a leader of the project, says that the main goal of the Smart Bins is to recycle plastic bottles and conserve the environment by incentivising safe waste disposal. The bins are an advance on regular bins, and use technology, the internet, and AI in their operation.


Each bin has sensors that monitor when it is full, then send a notification to a collector who picks up the trash. Recyclers and manufacturers then pay for the useful waste materials which have been collected. The bins are electronic and must be plugged into a power outlet, or alternatively, solar panels can be mounted onto them.


Users of the Smart Bins register through their phones and receive 80% of the value of the recycled waste in ‘points’ as commission and as an incentive to encourage use of the bins. The points can be redeemed for cash or discounts on products. The business retains the other 20% of the value to cover operational costs.


After overcoming inevitable challenges developing such a project, the team began marketing it with the support of Multimedia University and the Nairobi Bottlers Plant who offered their guidance in creating a commercially viable product.


At a cost of 50,000 Kenyan shillings and with a delivery period of just one week upon purchase, the Smart Bins are indeed the future, available today.  


As a creative person, Eric appreciates his environment and wants to help transform and benefit society. He has now founded his start-up, the Circularity Space, where he offers consultancy to help young people grow and become better people and entrepreneurs.