Redesigning the future of plastics.
Trash Hack
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What is Trash Hack?

RISN Incubator is excited to announce Trash Hack – Redesigning the future of plastics. Trash Hack is a new type of hackathon aimed at finding new and innovative solutions to reduce, repurpose, recycle, and design out solid waste in the City of Phoenix. The focus of the current one is on PLASTICS.


Sustainability minded innovators (like you)! This includes students and faculty in engineering, business, industrial design, computer science, life or biological science, chemistry, biomimicry, graphic design, architecture, education, and more.


The sky is the limit and teams can develop technologies, products, services, solutions, methods, etc. that reduce, reuse, or divert plastic waste.


Plastic is forever, is not bio-degradable, and virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form. Over 50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away. Plastic accounts for around 10 percent of the total waste we generate. Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean's surface, and enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times. Let’s change this.


Friday, Sept. 29 @ 5:30 PM to Sunday, Oct. 1 @ 3:00 PM


At ASU's new residential community, Tooker House


NOTE: This is subject to change.

Winning team takes home a brand new MakerBot 3D printer.


Check In Begins 5:00PM

Opening Ceremony and Welcoming 6:00PM

Keynote Virtual Speaker Tom Szaky, CEO and Co-Founder of Terracycle

Tom Szaky is the founder and CEO of TerraCycle, and came up with the idea his freshman year in college. He is now a global leader in the collection and repurposing of otherwise non-recyclable pre and post-consumer waste. TerraCycle operates in 21 countries, working with the world’s largest brands and companies to create national platforms to recycle products and packaging that currently go to landfill or incineration. Through TerraCycle, Tom is pioneering a new waste management process, involving manufacturers, retailers, governments and consumers, to create circular solutions for materials such as cigarette butts, laboratory waste, coffee capsules and even food packaging that otherwise have no other path to be recycled. Tom and TerraCycle have received over 200 social, environmental and business awards and recognition from a range of organizations including the United Nations, World Economic Forum, Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, and the Environmental Protection Agency.


Program Outline and Needs Statement 6:20PM

Workshop: Plastics 101: Intro to the Material, Its Use and Reuse Speaker - Lucas Mariacher, City of Phoenix 6:30PM

Team Formation and Team Building 7:00PM

Status Report #1: Business Model Canvas and Concept 9:00PM

Break for the Night (Lab Closes) 12:00AM


Labs Reopen, Breakfast 9:00AM

Workshop: 3D Design 101: 3D Prototyping and CAD Design 10:00AM

Workshop: Programming 101: Basic App and Web Development 10:00AM

Status Report #2: Ideation and Final Concept 11:00AM

Lunch 12:00PM

Fun Stuff: Giant Jenga 2:00PM

Workshop: 3D Printing 101: How to 3D Print 3:00PM

Status Report #3: Prototype and Mockup 5:00PM

Dinner 6:00PM

Fun Stuff: Four Square Tournament 8:00PM

Workshop: Pitch 101: Final Presentation and Tabling Basics 9:30PM

Break for the Night (Lab Closes, Hack External) 12:00AM


Labs Reopen, Breakfast 8:00AM

Final Status Report: Pitch Review 9:00AM

Lunch 11:00AM

Final Pitches 12:00PM

Final Deliberation and Awards 2:00PM

Clean Up and Depart 3:00PM


Have a question that's not answered here? Drop us an email. We'll get back to you as soon as possible!

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, ect. 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 accesible via Light Rail at the Veterans Way/College Ave Station. Parking is also available at the Fulton Center and Stadium parking structures.

Are there any rules?

We do have a short and simple list of rules and a code of conduct to ensure the safety and happiness of all participants.

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.

What kind of tools and materials can I use?

We will have a wide range of resources in the eSpace classrooms, like hand tools, power tools, and 3D printing. We'll get a full list out soon!

Do I have to be there the whole time?

All participants must be present Friday night to check in at registration. We'll break for the night on Friday and resume Saturday morning and hack all the way until Sunday afternoon. Students are encourage to stay for the full event! We'll set up areas where you can rest during the hack, and recommend you bring a blanket in case you get chilly.

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.

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. We want participants of all majors, and we'll be giving out prizes in different concentrations, such as best design or best business model.

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 main organizer, Veronica Head at 570-677-2042 or email at


We're looking for awesome student participants and volunteers to help make this year's Trash Hack a success and create meaningful global impact on our solid waste problem.

Register Now