Get inspired by the circular ideas of young innovators we've worked with since the launch of our Circular Campus Programme.
Problem identified: A significant amount of plastic waste generated on campus is from single-use cups served at food and beverage outlets.
Circular idea: A returnable cup service which includes providing on-campus vendors with recyclable cups (with QR codes to track usage), having collection points across campus where they’ll be picked up, cleaned and redistributed to food and beverage outlets by a third-party sanitary partner.
Problem identified: Large volumes of cooked food from the campus canteens are being thrown in the garbage. One of the reasons being that food services staff often cook for full capacity.
Circular idea: An attendance management app that requires students to mark whether they will eat at the cafeteria or not, a few hours before food preparation starts. To incentivize students, there will be a reward and penalty system.
Problem identified: High volumes of food waste generated by the campus food court from overproduction, preparation and pre-consumer waste.
Circular idea: On-campus composting of food waste, where the compost can be used on campus grounds (instead of using chemical fertilizers) and sold commercially.
Problem identified: Waste on campus is not properly segregated and the overall waste management system is largely unstructured.
Circular idea: Create a student organization to help manage waste systems on campus. The students will collaborate with the university and help form collaborations with recycling companies who buy waste to be remanufactured into new products.
Problem identified: Food waste from the cafeteria and culinary programme kitchen is poorly managed and ends up in the landfill.
Circular idea: Design a campus composting programme that includes the segregation and collection of food waste, composting, using some of the compost to fertilise the university’s sustainable gardens, and commercializing the rest of the compost so that profits go back to the cafeteria and kitchen.
Problem identified: Large volumes of solid waste are not segregated and not properly managed. There is a lack of recycling programmes, policies and incentives on campus.
Circular idea: A mobile app which incentivizes people, through rewards, to bring recyclable goods to the campus deposit centre to be properly segregated and recycled or remanufactured into new products (in collaboration with partner organisations and companies).
Problem identified: Increasing electronic waste of older/repairable laptops that can still be refurbished and used.
Circular idea: An on-campus service to refurbish laptops so that they can be sold to students at an affordable price, with an installment option and volunteer programme to waive interest on payments.
Problem identified: The paper waste produced on campus (e.g. printed sheets, newspapers, project sheets and packaging cardboard) is poorly managed and often ends up in the landfill.
Circular idea: Collect the used paper products on campus and process them with used rice water (as a binder) to create products such as dustbins, decorative items and deity sculptures. After full use of the products, they can be remanufactured or composted.
Problem identified: The plastic waste on campus is collected by third party recyclers, however, a very low percentage of plastic is actually recycled. Also, outdated and damaged products on campus end up in landfills because replacement parts are out of production.
Circular idea: A service to collect and categorise plastic waste which will then be processed into 3D printing filaments and used in a 3D printer to make items and spare parts for the facilities and technical department (e.g. electronics and other machines).
Problem identified: Biodegradable waste (e.g. used paper and dried leaves and grass) is poorly managed on campus. It is either burned or ends up clogging drainage systems.
Circular idea: Create biocomposite materials with the biodegradable waste, which can then be made into higher-value products such as plates, cups, boards, and cutlery.
Problem identified: Large volumes of paper are thrown away after being used just once. There is no organised paper recycling system on campus.
Circular idea: An environmentally-friendly printing ink that's produced from paper waste. The used paper and cardboard will be collected and converted to biochar. The biochar will then be made into ink that can be used for the printing machines on campus.
Problem identified: There is no proper disposal system for scrap materials and electronic waste (e-waste) on campus. When left exposed for long durations, the hazardous materials can pollute the surrounding environment.
Circular idea: A mobile app that connects e-waste producers (e.g. universities) and recyclers. Once the university provides the scrap details in the mobile app, a real-time auction will be set up for the recyclers to bid on scrap materials.
Problem identified: Storm surges cause the campus grounds to flood for extended periods of time. The stagnant water creates breeding grounds for mosquitoes which then puts people at risk for life-threatening vector-borne diseases.
Circular idea: A device that can vacuum and convert the wastewater from the ground into a solidified form. The solid can be reverted back to water by adding salt and filtering it before use. The wastewater can be used by farmers to irrigate their crops.
Problem identified: Construction waste takes up a large portion of the landfill. Surplus construction materials from large scale construction companies are thrown away even if they are still usable.
Circular idea: An e-commerce app where large scale construction companies can sell their waste materials to small scale construction companies and others in the craft and artisan industry to use as raw materials.
Problem identified: A large amount of plastic waste is generated on campus from leftover plastic pieces from 3D printing projects and old/faulty models. These plastics are not reused or recycled, but instead, thrown in the garbage.
Circular idea: A service to convert wasted or unused plastic from the 3D printing and laser cutting process. Using a customised machine, the plastic waste will be melted and processed to create new plastic materials (e.g. plastic slabs used in laser cutting or moulded into different shapes).
Problem identified: There is no effective and accessible system or platform for buying and selling second-hand/used learning materials among students on campus. They often buy textbooks and reviewers brand new.
Circular idea: A mobile app that allows students and teachers to buy and sell their used textbooks, reviewers and other learning materials. The learning materials can be reused and refurbished as necessary by others instead of being thrown away.
Problem identified: In Balanga City, Bataan, universities generate a significant amount of paper waste. There is currently no effective solid waste management system to prevent paper waste from ending up in the landfill.
Circular idea: Process the paper waste into a pulp, which will then be glued together and turned into a lumber product. The lumber will be durable enough to be used for lightweight applications, such as making benches, tables and other furniture.
Problem identified: There is an excess of tarpaulin waste in the Philippines, especially during election campaigns. After use and reuse, the tarpaulins are either burned, buried or sent to the landfill.
Circular idea: Make the tarpaulins into plastic fibres that can be used in the production of fibre cement boards. The plastic tarpaulin fibres would become a replacement for coconut fibres.
Problem identified: A lot of energy is consumed on campus and a lot of energy is used during the daily commutes of students, faculty and staff of the university. Amongst the zero waste initiatives on campus, energy recycling has not been considered.
Circular idea: An energy conversion device that can be attached to motorbikes so that motor energy is converted to energy for electricity that can be used on campus.
Problem identified: Local schools lack efficient student data management systems, which results in excessive printing and repetitive data entry. This not only wastes paper, but also money and human resources.
Circular idea: A web-based school data management system where student data and learning materials will be available. Instead of printing the modules for students, teachers can provide them with digital access.
Problem identified: The tap water on campus is contaminated and students find it hard to drink. With no access to free mineral water, the students purchase bottled water.
Circular idea: A water filter that can be attached to tumblers. After a few minutes, the contaminated water that you put in the tumbler will be filtered and ready to drink.
Problem identified: The campus parking lots have a high thermal output. The fans that are currently being used to cool the lots are ineffective and a waste of energy, especially during peak hours.
Circular idea: Install a solar energy system that absorbs the sun’s energy to operate a nebulizer. The nebulizer will create a water mist to reduce the heat from the surrounding area, and the remaining energy from the solar energy system can be used for other purposes.
Siklo (previously Team Raziel)
Problem identified: As the population density of Naga City continues to rise, air pollution and traffic congestion directly intensify to the detriment of citizens. Currently, people-centric modes of transportation are not prioritised.
Circular idea: Create a platform to help make biking a more cost-effective and accessible transportation option. The platform would provide access to affordable bikes, active transport accessories, biking information and a community of bikers.
Up to Green
Problem identified: Rice straw and rice husk from the rice farming industry are often burned after the harvest. The greenhouse gas emissions from the burning pose environmental and social risks.
Circular idea: Fabricate a machine that can process agricultural waste, such as rice straw and rice husk, into a biomaterial. The material can then be used to make products, such as seedling pots, that can replace the single-use plastic products currently being used.
BPSU - Group B2
Problem identified: Coconut vendors on the streets and in markets are left with a significant amount of coconut shell waste after selling coconut water, coconut meat and/or milk.
Circular idea: Utilize the coconut shell waste and make them into briquettes. These briquettes would be an alternative to the coal or wood briquettes often used for cooking.
Problem identified: Single-use plastics ,such as sachets, are negatively impacting the environment. In the Philippines, sari sari stores sell a lot of products in single-use plastic sachets.
Circular idea: A refill service for products that are usually bought in single-use sachets, such as shampoo. There would be incentives for customers to refill at the designated refill stations, or have products delivered to them.
Problem identified: In Bataan, paper waste from schools and sawdust from small-scale wood manufacturers end up in the landfill because these waste products are not properly managed.
Circular idea: In collaboration with schools and small-scale wood manufacturers, paper and wood waste are collected and turned into biomass briquettes, which would be an alternative to conventional charcoal.
Problem identified: Coconut vendors often burn or improperly dispose of coconut husks and shells. In rural areas, improper disposal can lead to canal clogging.
Circular idea: Use the husks from mature coconuts to create floor tiles that would be an alternative to wooden tiles. A natural resin would be used so that the tiles are biodegradable and non-toxic.
Problem identified: Facilities on campus still consume energy even when being left unused. For example, automated parking card machines are only used when vehicles are entering the campus. However, when there is no vehicle, it still operates and consumes energy.
Circular idea: Develop a piezoelectric speed hump to generate on-demand electricity supply. Mechanical pressure on the hump from motorbikes is converted to electrical potential, which is then used as energy supply for the parking lot’s card machine and lighting system.
Problem identified: In the province of Bataan, various types of waste are generated across industries: gypsum boards from the construction industry, fly ash from coal-fired power plants, and coconut husks from the agricultural industry.
Circular idea: Utilize industrial waste by-products such as fly ash, gypsum board, and coconut husks to make granulated filtering media (GFM). The GFM can be used as a coarse aggregate for concrete used for flooding infrastructure to absorb heavy metals from stormwater runoff.
Grassya: The Leader Green
Problem identified: Local broom makers typically use large amounts of tiger grass (Thysanolaena maxima) as a raw material for broom production. Because the stem
has no purpose in the creation of brooms, it is frequently discarded and thrown away.
Circular idea: Use the tiger grass stem as a raw material to make a vegan leather, which has a lower carbon footprint than animal leather.
Problem identified: The return of students to Ateneo de Naga University for in-person classes has generated an influx of waste on campus this past year. Among the wastes produced, food waste is not managed properly.
Circular idea: Develop a machine that will convert ADNU food waste into compost. The compost will be sold and also used to fertilize a university kitchen garden.