Israeli Company Converts Trash into Bins to be Used in Virginia

By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 29 August 2019
Photo by Adi Gefen/TPS

The Central Virginia Waste Management Authority (CVWMA) on Wednesday launched a partnership with UBQ Materials, an Israeli company based in the Negev which has developed a process to convert unsorted household waste into a plastic substitute that can be made into everyday goods and, in this case, trash bins.

As part of the 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.

CVWMA is the first organization in the US to leverage this solution, and the bins recently arrived in 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.

CVWMA provides waste management and recycling services for 13 local governments, including Richmond, Chesterfield, and Henrico.

“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.”

Founded in 2012 by Rabbi Yehuda Pearl, founder of the popular Sabra hummus brand, 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 result, called UBQ Material, is a bio-based, climate-positive composite material. UBQ has been granted worldwide patents for its material and process.

“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,” he added.