About The Saru Project

Problems With Modern Recycling

Our Solution and Services

Our Vision for the Future


The Problem

Current Recycling Measures Fall Short

More than 60 million plastic bottles are thrown into landfills or incinerated every day, with many more aluminum cans and glass bottles going to waste. According to National Geographic, nearly 91% of all plastic goes unrecycled. This is a waste of resources and harms the environment. Recycling helps to mitigate this harm, but even individuals who care about the environment currently lack any additional incentive to recycle. Our country is in the midst of a global climate crisis and we cannot afford to ignore the need for compelling solutions to waste reduction. California alone runs a $500 million recycling deficit. Although recycling is critically important to mitigating the amount of waste sent to landfills and conserving natural resources, its reclamation is often lost by the consumer given the inefficiency and inconvenience of modern recycling methods. 


Our Solution

A New System, Empowering Individuals and Campuses

Saru aims to reinvent how people relate to modern recycling. The Smart Automated Recycling Unit is an integrated bin that uses object recognition to sort collected recyclables and return monetary value (CRV) back to the users. Saru is complemented by client and consumer mobile applications to facilitate efficiency, empowering firms with live data on the status of each unit’s capacity and enabling consumers to reclaim their benefits conveniently. The purpose of these devices is to incentivize individuals to recycle by providing a unit that can instantly measure the recyclable inserted and immediately pay out its CRV. Our goals are to: reduce the amount of plastics and recyclable materials that go into landfills each year, improve consumer recycling habits, help campuses and other organizations achieve their zero carbon emission goals, and simplifying the recycling process.


The Future

Innovation and Recycling, Reimagined

Saru addresses modern problems with recycling by improving diversion rates through the sorting and subsequent cleaning of waste streams, incentivization to the consumer, and cost-reduction of the host property. Our device allows users to observe and take an active role in the positive effects of recycling via charity point counters, the ability to track key milestones in their success, and business partnerships accessible with the mobile application. Eventually, we hope to provide value to an expanded audience, moving to the public at large with Saru devices curated in bustling city spaces. By providing an automated and innovative instant CRV-allocation system to campuses, comprehensive positive user experience, and dynamic data collection and telemetry, Saru reimagines modern recycling.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

What can I recycle?

All recycling centers (RCs) in the State of California are required to accept all CRV glass, aluminum, and bi-metal beverage containers from customers, including CRV plastic resins (#1 - #7). Saru supports large (24 oz.+) containers as well.

How long does it take to get my refund? 

Your CRV is given to you instantaneously at point of return directly from Saru, so there is no delay in accessing your funds immediately.

What can I do with my refund?

Your CRV is yours to spend as you please, but the Saru mobile application features many avenues for your consideration. Via the application, visit our “Initiatives” and “Platforms” pages to learn about micro-investing compatibility and eco-friendly charities, or visit our “Clean Coin” page to turn the coins you receive alongside CRV into a variety of goods and services from our partners.

Where can I use Saru? 

Saru is currently in its prototype testing phase, however, at full launch you can expect to find Saru on university campuses throughout California and beyond.

How much can I get for my recyclables? 

The typical rate for CRV is 5 cents per item for containers under 24 oz. and 10 cents for those in excess. Be on the lookout for our special flex rate promotions, where recycling can earn you even more per item including additional Clean Coins.

How can I get in touch with Saru?

For business inquiries or general questions about Saru, please visit our “Contact Us” page and submit a form. All inquiries are sent directly to us, so feel free to reach out and we will get back to you as soon as possible.