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Virginia testing North America's first recycling bins made from world's most climate-positive thermoplastic material

Pilot program to trial recycling bins made with UBQ Material – a plastic alternative comprised of unsorted household waste

UBQ co-founder and CEO, Tato Bigio.
UBQ co-founder and CEO, Tato Bigio.

The Central Virginia Waste Management Authority (CVWMA) has launched a partnership with UBQ Materials, an Israel-based company which has developed a patented process to convert unsorted household waste into a plastic substitute that can be made into everyday goods. CVWMA is the first organization in the U.S. to leverage this solution.

As part of a pilot program, CVWMA is offering 2,000 recycling bins made with UBQ Material, a proprietary composite of unsorted organic, paper and plastic waste -- everything from banana peels to dirty diapers to used yogurt containers and cardboard. The bins recently arrived in Central Virginia after being shipped from Israel. 

According to Quantis, a leading provider of environmental impact assessments, every ton of UBQ Material produced diverts up to 12 tons of CO2 equivalent, and has qualified it as the most climate-positive thermoplastic material on the planet. 

2,000 recycling bins made with UBQ Material, a proprietary composite of unsorted organic, paper and plastic waste, are part of a current pilot project in the State of Virginia.

CVWMA provides waste management and recycling services for thirteen local governments, including Richmond, Chesterfield, and Herico. 

"Virginia has long been proud to welcome some of the most innovative companies that provide new opportunities for our commonwealth," said State Senator Tommy Norment. "UBQ is a world-changing technology that has the potential to change the face of so many industries. I'm proud to see Virginia at the forefront of this solution and cannot wait to see what comes next." 

"At CVWMA, we work every day to provide the best waste management and recycling programs for our 1.5 million customers in central Virginia," said Kim Hynes, Executive Director of the Central Virginia Waste Management Authority. "Our partnership with UBQ is an extension of our efforts -- finding a productive way to deal with waste and improve the community around us. Come pick up a bin before we run out!" 

UBQ Materials takes unsorted household waste - consisting of roughly 80% organic material and 20% plastic - and converts it into a bio-based thermoplastic that can be integrated into existing manufacturing processes.

Founded in 2012, by Rabbi Yehuda Pearl, founder of the popular hummus brand, Sabra, and renewable energy leader, Tato Bigio, UBQ Materials takes unsorted household waste - consisting of roughly 80% organic material and 20% plastic - and converts it into a bio-based thermoplastic that can be integrated into existing manufacturing processes. The company breaks down this waste to a nearly molecular level, combining its most basic organic components (lignin, cellulose, sugar, fibers) together with plastic. The end result, called UBQ Material is a bio-based, climate positive composite material. UBQ has been granted worldwide patents for its material and process. 

"I want to express my gratitude to the Commonwealth of Virginia for the generosity of spirit, with which I have always been welcomed here. Virginia has been an amazing place to grow and innovate because of the spirit of its people," said Yehuda Pearl, Co-Founder and Honorary Chairman of UBQ. "We continue to be grateful to Kim Hynes of the CWMA, and to the Virginia Israel Advisory Board, which helped us to make our first commercial sale of waste bins in the United States. I am sure that this partnership will lead to great opportunities for UBQ and our partners, just as I am sure that it will help create a better future and a cleaner world." 

"As a company, we dream of a world in which waste is never truly wasted, and are so pleased that Virginians and the CVWMA share our vision," said Tato Bigio, CEO and Co-Founder of UBQ. "We're hopeful that within a few years, every Virginian will be able to dispose of their recycling in a UBQ bin and many more products will be made out of this remarkable material."

Our planet generates 2 billion tons of waste each year, the majority of which ends up in landfills, seeping toxins into our soil and polluting our air and oceans. Growing landfills are the largest source of human-caused methane emissions in the U.S., which is 156 times more toxic than CO2 over a five year period. 

"The relationship between UBQ and the CVWMA is a perfect example of the type of partnership we hope to create between Israel and Virginia," said Dov Hoch, Executive Director of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board. "UBQ is bringing a transformational Israeli technology to the Commonwealth, creating competitive advantages for Virginian companies and supporting job creation across the commonwealth."