Smart cities will use virtually all their trash, aided by 3D printing


Smart cities like Zurich, already reuse 90% of their trash. Mitchell Joachim proposes to take this even further and use 3D printing and existing technology to empty our landfills.

In Zurich, the city requires individuals pay handsomely for waste that is simply discarded, while thorough recycling is encouraged by free citywide collection services. Therefore well over 90% of municipal waste inside Zurich is recycled and sent to incinerators to produce energy.

‘Smart trash’

How could this work? Outsized automated 3-D printers could be modified to rapidly process trash and to complete the task within decades. These potential automatons would be entirely based on existing techniques commonly used in industrial waste compaction devices.