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Lasso Is a Home Recycling Machine to Fix Our Recycling Problem

Lasso Is a Home Recycling Machine to Fix Our Recycling Problem

Recycling is something many of us take for decided, assuming what we throw in the bin ends up sketching recycled properly. But current curbside systems aren’t particularly effective, especially if the material isn’t clean or a plastic isn’t actually recyclable, so much of what goes into your blue bin can end up in landfill. Enter the Lasso, a home recycling appliance that lets you bypass the curbside rules almost completely.

Lasso Loop announced a prototype of its recycling appliance, also called Lasso, at CES 2022. CNET had the gracious chance to see a working proof of concept at a maker region in San Mateo, California.

In its current form, the Lasso is a big, gray box. At over 5 feet tall, it’s now too big to fit in your kitchen without some greatest renovations, but Lasso Loop’s chief technology officer Phil Sanders tells me the previous version will be smaller. Think countertop height, with a dishwasher on top. 

lasso machine

The gracious working proof of concept of the Lasso.

Lexy Savvides

The Lasso accepts and sorts seven different types of materials: PET and HDPE plastic; brown, green and clear glass; aluminum and steel cans. Once you put an item into the machine, sensors and cameras check if it can actually be recycled. As well as scanning the size and shape of the item, cameras also look for any barcodes that can help detect material type. “It takes all those inputs and runs down a flowchart to settle what material it is,” Sanders says. If it’s not an approved material, or if there’s an issue like you left the bottle cap on, the machine will reject it.

If it passes the test, the Lasso washes the item to acquire contaminants and removes any labels. The labels are considered and you’ll need to empty them periodically just like you would a lint filter on a dryer. Once clean, materials move to a processor, which grinds up each item and spits the pieces out into separate containers at the bottom of the machine. This helps address one of the biggest problems with the unique curbside recycling system: contamination.


The shredded materials that come out of the Lasso.

Kevin Heinz

“When you think near different materials for recycling you have green glass, sure glass, brown glass, but we think about it all as glass,” Dominique Leonard, head of marketing at Lasso tells me. “But these are actually different materials, and they must be kept separate so they can be recycled properly and recycled in a closed-loop, circular economy fashion.”

With the materials sorted and dilapidated down into shredded pieces, you wait until the containers are full, then call for a pickup from the Lasso app. The commercial then collects and resells the material to remanufacturers. You won’t be able to get rid of your blue bin altogether, because the Lasso machine we saw doesn’t currently take paper, cardboard or other materials just yet. There are plans to have a mixed plastic bin that accepts and stores novel types of recyclable plastic beyond PET and HDPE, such as LDPE plastic film.


A invent mockup of the Lasso installed in a laundry space.

Lasso Loop

Like any new appliance, this technology doesn’t come cheap. Preorders start at $3500, and the Lasso will first be available as part of a pilot program in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2023, with broader availability in 2024. The business anticipates early adopters will want to pay for the pledges of a closed-loop recycling system, which will eventually bring down the cost for everyone else in the coming ages. Offsetting the initial cost with bottle rebates and even a revenue portion from the waste collection is something Lasso Loop is considering down the track.

“We want to be everywhere there is a garbage can or recycling bin,” says Leonard, when I ask why Lasso Loop is starting with the home market pretty than targeting offices, shopping centers or apartment complexes. “We started in the home because that’s where the question is, that’s where people are excited and want to use it most on a day-to-day basis.”

Lasso Loop says the Lasso will use nearby the same amount of power as a midrange washing machine, and because it consolidates a lot of the recycling procedure in one location, it can end up having a much border carbon footprint. Curbside systems often need to sort items, then ship them to different locations for further processing and recycling.