This hack intends to bring together like-minded sustainability innovators who want to tackle the global waste issues within consumer hardware and e-waste, urban food systems, built environments, retail, and textiles. Innovators will collaborate to design and create solutions focused on eliminating, reducing, recycling, reusing and redesigning products or services.


“How might we use the latest advancements in science and technology to transform the global waste epidemic and create sustainable products and practical solutions or services to eliminate, reduce, recycle or reuse waste and drive a transition to a circular economy?”


For centuries, waste has been discarded into unwelcome piles that take up space and emit toxins. As cultures and technologies have developed, waste streams increased creating larger piles and higher financial, social, and environmental costs. Now is the time for a shift to recognize that waste is no longer trash but a resource.

Looking beyond the current “take, make and dispose” extractive industrial model, the circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design. It relies on system-wide innovation, it aims to redefine products and services to design waste out, while minimizing negative impacts. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural and social capital. (Ellen MacArthur Foundation)




Economical – Certain materials, such as plastic, are cheap and quick to produce. Shifting production and resourcing sustainable alternative materials may cost more and may not be fit-for-purpose.

Convenience – Certain products and/or services are convenient for consumers and businesses. Consumers don’t want to [always] carry their own shopping bags, cutlery, keep-cups, straws, etc.  Recycling and responsible disposable facilities are not typically easily accessible.

Social, behaviours and habits – ordering take-away, taking a straw for a drink, etc. are common behaviours that create waste.

Education – Lack of awareness:

  • of the impact of mass consumption on the planet, ecosystems and human health, and;
  • how and what to recycle or re-use, where to take waste/unwanted/broken products



Criteria Guiding Question(s)
INNOVATION (the idea) Need: Does the project identify a compelling need and present a clear solution to a local or global challenge?
Originality: How bold or fresh is the idea driving this project?
IMPACT (the idea’s potential) Growth: Is the potential for the concept to grow or scale explained?
Sustainability: Does the project demonstrate the ability to sustain itself in the long term?
Growth & Sustainability: Is the potential for the concept to grow, scale and sustain explained?
Metrics: Are the metrics for measuring impact and success explained?
IMPLEMENTATION (how the idea will happen) Budget: Does the applicant/team provide a coherent, detailed budget?
Timeline: How feasible is the timeline for implementation and is it well thought out?
Risks: Does the applicant/ team address risks and challenges and how they will overcome them?
Feasibility: How feasible is the implementation and is it well thought out?
PRESENTATION Presentation: Is the overall aesthetic and appearance of the executive summary and slides clear, consistent and effective?
STRUCTURE OF PITCH Structure: Is the team’s pitch organized, clear and concise? Does the team allocate time for questions?
DELIVERY OF PITCH Delivery: Does the team effectively use professionalism, confidence, posture, eye contact and tone to communicate their idea?
Frequently Asked Questions

Friday 10/19 from 3pm-12am, Saturday 10/20 from 7am-12am


Tooker House—500 E. University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281 Rooms 101 and 102

Who can come?

Any and all ASU students, both undergraduate and graduate students, are welcome to attend. We also invite all majors, STEM and non-STEM to come join us for the event.

What should I bring?

Along with good spirits and good ideas, participants will need to bring their valid student ID, as well as a government issued ID for borrowing equipment or hardware. Students should bring their own hacking equipment, such as laptops, chargers, and the like. Participants are also welcome to bring their own sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, etc. as well as other toiletries and basic amenities.

Where is it again?

Trash Hack will be held in the eSpace classrooms in ASU’s new residential community Tooker House. Tooker House is accessible via Light Rail at the Veterans Way/College Ave Station. Parking is also available at the Fulton Center and Stadium parking structures.

How much does this event cost?

Nothing! Admission is free for ASU students.

How do I find a team?

While you’re welcome to come with a preformed team of your choosing, we’ll kick off the event with a team building activity to help you form a team of around 3 to 6 people.

Do I have to be programmer?

Definitely not. While we welcome tech based ideas, your idea doesn’t have to be based in technology at all – and could include various disciplines such as design, business, engineering, or science.

Any rules we have to follow?

Here’s the Code of Conduct!

Wait, what is a hackathon?

Glad you asked. Hackathons are events where creative and like minded innovators come together for a sprint paced weekend long event to develop new or creative solutions. While typically thought of as tech based events, hackathons can include various focuses and disciplines beyond technology.

What if I’m a beginner?

That’s awesome, we’d love to have you! We’ll have plenty of mentors and volunteers to help you along the way, and will have specialized workshops to help you get started. Every innovator needs to start somewhere, and we’ll have plenty of support for you to dive right in.

Who can I contact for more info?

If you still have any questions, please feel free to contact our organizer, Amanda Jordan at


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