Frequently Asked Questions

1. WHAT IS THE ZERONET?


The ZeroNet is an intelligent collection network – based on a consumer app and a driver app - that facilitates an easy way for many different kinds of unwanted products and materials to be collected directly from the homes of domestic consumers. In other words, you won’t have to bring your unwanted items to another location, we will come to you! By collecting in this ‘source separated’ manner, far greater value can be recovered from the materials or products recovered. Originally designed and piloted in Stirling, Scotland in 2019 and with support from Zero Waste Scotland, The ZeroNet is, we believe, the first intelligent collection logistics technology platform in the world designed explicitly around the logistical requirements of the Circular Economy.




2. HOW DOES IT WORK?


The ZeroNet consists of 2 parts: a user app that allows you to register a collection request and a driver app that permits a delivery or reuse organisation to come to your house with a list of materials to collect. By collecting from many different homes at the same time and by collecting several different kinds of materials or products from your home at the same time, it makes the ZeroNet model very efficient and cost effective to operate.




3. HOW CAN IT HELP THE REUSE SECTOR IN BRIGHTON & HOVE?


We have partnered with takeback and data erasure specialists Tech-Takeback to create the RevaluElectricals service in Brighton & Hove to maximise the recovery and processing of unwanted small electrical items. By recovering items directly from the home, we can maximise the reuse potential of all recovered materials. For those items that cannot be reused for whatever reason, then they can be safely recycled at the material level.




4. WHY IS REUSE SO IMPORTANT? IS RECYCLING NOT ENOUGH?


Recycling is still very important and we should continue to practice it . However, As this extra processing requires energy and also produces waste, as a rule of thumb, reuse is environmentally preferable to recycling because it saves the energy that comes with having to dismantle and re-manufacture products. It also significantly reduces waste and pollution because it reduces the need for raw materials thus saving forests, water supplies, and fragile ecosystems.




5. WHAT CAN BE COLLECTED WITH THE ZERONET?


The ZeroNet app and platform can facilitate the collection of many different products and materials, with plans to introduce multiple services to the platform over time.

Please see The ZeroNet app for details on the current categories and items that can be collected across Brighton & Hove as part of the RevaluElectricals service.




7. WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT THE ZERONET? AREN’T THERE MANY REUSE AND CHARITY APPS AVAILABLE?


Whilst there are many platforms and forums that allow donations for reuse, The ZeroNet platform differs in that it permits a very smart way of collecting products and materials from the home in a way that is extremely convenient for householders. By gather data (via The ZeroNet app) from many different homes about the location of products and materials, we can create a very efficient collection mechanism. Many brands, including several global household brands, are particularly interested in being able to recover their own pre-owned products for a second life such as reuse, refurbishment and re-manufacturing and we have many testimonials from these brands supporting our plans for a Brighton and Hove launch.




8. WHAT IS THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY?


“A circular economy is a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing, and narrowing energy and material loops. This can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing and recycling. This is in contrast to a linear economy which is a 'take, make, dispose' model of production.” (Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation)




9. HOW CAN THE ZERONET HELP WITH THE ADOPTION OF THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY?


One of the ‘missing links’ needed to permit the widespread adoption of the Circular Economy is the existence of a professionalised collection network (sometimes referred to as ‘reverse logistics’) to facilitate the easy recovery of products and materials from consumers. The ZeroNet is a direct response to this requirement – there is ample material available online on the subject. You'll find a good explainer here.




10. WHAT ARE CIRCULAR ECONOMY BUSINESS MODELS (CEBMS)


Circular Economy Business Models keep products and materials in use, by design, for as long as possible to get the maximum value from them. For more detailed information on CEBMs, have a look here (with thanks to Zero Waste Scotland).




11. HOW CAN THE ZERONET HELP WITH CLIMATE CHANGE?


The ZeroNet’s primary purpose is to facilitate the easier recovery and re-use of pre-used products or materials from householders. When implemented at scale, this could help reduce the need to continuously extract raw materials from the ground which requires far more energy and produces more pollution than with secondary materials. A good example is aluminium which when recycled uses only 5% of the energy and produces 5% of the CO2 when compared with ‘raw’ aluminium. Click here for full story.




12. WHAT ARE THE TOP 5 FEATURES OF THE ZERONET?


  1. The ZeroNet permits many different categories of unwanted materials or products to be registered or ‘geo located’ to any given address in the UK (Brighton and Hove initially, as part of the RevaluElectricals service).
  2. The ZeroNet app is customisable to present services that are localised to different locations – this means that the app will change appearance and functions depending on where it is deployed. New services can be deployed quickly and simply.
  3. The ZeroNet will permit smart doorstep collections of unwanted post-consumer products and materials in a highly efficient manner with multiple notifications to householders via The ZeroNet app.
  4. The ZeroNet, through the RevaluElectricals service, will facilitate peace of mind to those concerned about their personal data regarding any old data bearing IT equipment recovered. Simply put, we will ensure that all your data is securely erased and you will receive a notification by email from Tech-Takeback when this has taken place.
  5. The ZeroNet will facilitate – over time – the deployment of new ways of consuming that will eliminate the creation of waste. These are sometimes referred to as ‘Circular Economy Business Models’ or CEBMs, and we have several of these already in the pipeline. An example of a CEBM is ‘Light as a Service’ whereby a householder never actually owns any lightbulbs but simply enters into a contract to purchase ‘light’. In such models, the way in which the broken lightbulb is recovered is critical – and that’s where The ZeroNet comes in!




6. WHY ARE NOTIFICATIONS SO IMPORTANT IN THE ZERONET APP?


The ZeroNet platform has been designed to create a whole new collection experience for residents that transforms how unwanted items and materials can be recovered from the home. In order to create such a service, we have designed a system whereby our driver app - which manages doorstep collections - and The ZeroNet user app have been tightly integrated. This means that as a user of the ZeroNet, you will enjoy an experience whereby you will receive many realtime updates and messages about the status of your collection. This will include messages - sent as either SMS, app notifications or emails - about your collection, including driver proximity.