A smart grid for commercial and industrial waste

Topolytics enables organisations to maintain and demonstrate producer responsibility for their waste - from generation to processing or disposal.


Topolytics is a smart grid for the waste industry. Our WasteMap and Waste Track data platforms use mapping and analytics to expose the system of waste generation and movement, this generates better commercial, environmental and investment decisions for waste managers. Our vision is to enhance the value of these materials and enable a scaled circular economy. Topolytics is, according to Cleantech Group (the Gartner for cleantech) at the forefront of the growing 'smart waste' sector. In 2017, Topolytics was named by WIRED as one of the top five tech start-ups in Edinburgh and was invited to join the Ellen Macarthur Foundation CE100, as one of the world’s leading circular economy innovators. In 2018, Topolytics was voted by Deloitte as the most disruptive technology start up in Scotland and won a European Space Agency competition to track waste movements from satellites. Our customers are waste managers in industry and the recycling sector. Topolytics helps them to reduce the cost of waste management, maximise efficiency, report accurately and maximise the value and utility of secondary raw materials. We enable recyclers, re-processors and re-manufacturers to identify and predict sources of ‘feedstock’, optimise investment decision making and add significant value to customer relationships. We have no external investment as yet and have built WasteMap and WasteTrack over the past two years through a series of proof of concept projects, funded by grants and customer revenues. In this way, we have worked close to the market and built out our product to manage data from ‘Internet of Bins’ systems, explore the use of blockchain for tracking waste and refine our business model. We are now starting to deploy WasteMap and WasteTrack with a growing number of waste producers, waste and facilities management companies.

Key Benefits

Providing greater insights, generating better decisions - The baseline waste/resources meta-map draws in data from the company, its waste/recycling contractors and other waste related information. This delivers clarity as to what currently happens to this material, what material is being stored and where. This would identify gaps or inconsistencies in the data and generate initial questions and insights about other ways of dealing with this material. Topolytics has the capacity to deal with significant volumes of data – in terms of numbers of sites plus waste material types. Empowering the supply chain - Handling of waste and levels of segregation may be driven by the demands of waste contractors and the capacity to ‘valorise’ waste materials. By bringing this data into the Topolytics meta-map, the company will gain a better view of its own waste ecosystem. This in turn will generate ideas and opportunities to keep this material in a closed loop and/or valorise in a better way – perhaps locally to its sites – generating cost savings and reducing the impact of transport. Topolytics is developing a ‘blockchain for waste’. We believe that a geospatially enabled smart contracts system will be a key part of a globally scaled circular economy – ensuring visibility of materials flows and reducing the commercial friction of waste separation and value creation. Redefining transparency and reporting - Topolytics is an ideal platform for measuring and displaying the level of extended producer responsibility for waste materials. Our use of mapping within an attractive user interface also offers a proven means of engaging employees and other stakeholders in a debate on attitudes and behaviours in relation to waste. Such a visual, data driven and verifiable approach is we believe part of the future of sustainability and responsibility reporting. Generating economic value – In the same way that data and technology is used to drive a model of smaller-scale, distributed energy generation, we see the valorisation of waste material moving in the same direction. Some of this will be prompted by new energy from waste capacity, but increasingly it will be driven by the need to keep materials and products in localised loops – through re-use, remanufacture or recycling. Understanding the geographic distribution of this ‘system’ of materials inputs and waste outputs will be critical.


The global market for smart solutions in the waste sector is currently worth about $2bn billion globally (Markets and Markets, 2016). More than 60% of this market is comprised of revenues from collection systems such as that sold by internet of bins vendors that, in theory, make waste collection more efficient (TechNavio, 2018). This market is expected to grow by billion up to 2022, with the greatest growth in higher value processing. This will be characterised by use of machine learning and robotics for waste sorting and segregation, technologies for recycling and re-using difficult to process wastes and the use of apps, big data and analytics to drive greater valorisation. As with other 'clean' technologies, Europe and North America are the biggest market territories, while Asia is the fastest growing. We work with companies with varied and significant waste streams and resource efficiency challenges. These companies want to minimise cost and risk, maximise efficiency, report efficiently and accurately and generate value from waste material. We work with recyclers, re-processors and re-manufacturers, whose key challenge is to identify, characterise and predict opportunities to valorise waste material. We optimise location and investment decision making and add significant value to their customer relationships.

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