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EnGoPlanet Info via YouTube
EnGoPlanet Info via YouTube

These Vegas Street Lights Are Powered by Footsteps

EnGoPlanet Info via YouTube
EnGoPlanet Info via YouTube

When it comes to energy-sucking utilities, street lights have no equal. The pavement-illuminating fixtures are said to eat up $40 billion in costs worldwide each year, releasing 100 million tons of CO2 to make for a giant-sized carbon footprint. This past week, clean tech start-up EnGoPlanet and the city of Las Vegas teamed up to present a possible solution.

Four Smart Street Lights located in Boulder Plaza are powered by both solar energy and the kinetic energy of passersby, collecting power from footsteps that travel across energy-harvesting pads installed on the pavement. The lamps also double as a Wi-Fi charging station with a wireless charging pad available to the public.

While the pressure produced by a single footstep varies, EnGoPlanet estimates that they can harness between 4 and 8 watts whenever a shoe passes over their pad. The company’s eventual hope is to bring this kind of low-resource energy to impoverished areas of the world, where grid power is not in plentiful supply. The company currently has a fundraising campaign to target 10 areas of Africa via Indiegogo.

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PrintYourCity
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environment
Amsterdam is Turning Plastic Trash Into 3D-Printed Furniture
PrintYourCity
PrintYourCity

The city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands is taking a unique approach to waste management, Inhabitat reports. Under the direction of The New Raw, a Rotterdam-based design studio, recycled plastic is being used to make public benches that capture a lot of the area’s charm while providing solutions for the 51 pounds of plastic refuse each Amsterdam resident tosses away each year.

The initiative is called Print Your City! and encourages those materials to be repurposed via 3D printing to make new, permanent fixtures. The New Raw calls it a “closed loop” of use, where the plastic is used, reused, and materialized in the same environment. The bench, dubbed XXX, seats two and rocks back and forth with the sitters' movements, offering a metaphor for the teamwork The New Raw is attempting to cultivate with the general public.

A plastic chair is surrounded by trash
Print Your City!

“Plastic has a major design failure,” says Panos Sakkas, an architect with The New Raw. “It’s designed to last forever, but it’s used only for a few seconds and then easily thrown away.”

The goal is to collect more plastic material in the city to use for projects that can be designed and implemented by citizens. In the future, 3D printing may also support bus shelters, waste bins, and playground material—all of it recyclable.

[h/t Inhabitat]

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To Encourage Responsible Trash Disposal, a Startup in Nigeria Pays People for their Waste
iStock
iStock

Nigeria is home to more than 180 million people, who produce more than 32 million tons of waste per year and just 20 to 30 percent of this garbage is collected, according to one estimate. To provide Nigerians with incentive to dispose of their trash responsibly, Junks, a Nigerian waste management startup, provides people with the chance to exchange their trash for cash, according to Konbini.

The company offers to pay for items and materials like discarded electronics, glass, plastic, aluminum, books, and clothes. Once purchased, these materials are re-sold to wholesalers and recycling companies, according to Techpoint. Potential users who want to sell their trash are required to register on the startup's website, Junks.ng, and fill out a form with a description of the trash they're selling, along with their asking price and contact information. Once this information is received, representatives from Junks are sent to pick up and pay for the waste.

Computer programmer Bradley Yarrow founded Junks.ng in August 2017. Based in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, Nigeria, the company currently has just three employees, in addition to Yarrow. That said, the tiny startup appears to be doing big business, judging from a growing list of sold junk—which includes laminating machines, old laptops, and scrap car parts—already listed on Junks.ng.

[h/t Konbini]

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