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Zero Waste Management Platform using AI

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: 68HERC23C0005
Agency Tracking Number: B23P2-4B02
Amount: $400,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 4B
Solicitation Number: 68HERC22R0127
Solicitation Year: 2023
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-10-21
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-10-20
Small Business Information
Walnut Creek, CA 94595-2203
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Nikhil Balachandran
 (925) 289-9345
Business Contact
 Nikhil Balachandran
Title: CEO
Phone: (925) 289-9345
Research Institution

Zabble's mission is to help organizations achieve zero waste by delivering real-time actionable insights using an AI-enabled SaaS platform. Our immediate focus is to create a zero waste blueprint for the healthcare industry, followed by universities and corporate campuses. There are 6200 hospitals across the US generate 5.9M tons of waste annually, around 30 lbs. of waste per patient per day, 6 times more than the national per capita average. This disposal of waste costs hospitals $10B every year. According to American Hospital Association’s Sustainability Roadmap, hospitals can save over $4B annually on hauling costs alone by properly separating the waste at the source. In July 2022, over 650 hospitals have pledged to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, with waste goals in place. However, they face an uphill challenge implementing strategies to achieve their waste goals. Current solutions involving waste audits, sensors and manual aggregation of waste data don’t provide granular data to effect measurable change. There is an urgent need for new types of measurements and tracking tools that provide granular insights to optimize processes and educate stakeholders. Zabble has developed a patented SaaS platform that uses AI to identify a bin’s fullness and contaminants from photos, recommends container right-sizing options by digitizing and analyzing invoices and engages stakeholders by creating feedback loops to streamline workflows and send less waste to landfills. Leading educational and health institutions and non-profits such as Stanford, The Recycling Partnership and UCSF use the Zabble Zero platform to track their progress to zero waste. In 2021, Zabble was recognized as one of the top 5 AI startups advancing the circular economy. In 2022, so far, our clients have measured more than 15,000 tons of materials and prevented more than 100 tons from going to landfills. During Phase I of the EPA SBIR Grant, Zabble implemented a novel feature to automatically detect and classify contaminants from an image using an AI model and notify users when certain contaminants are found. The overall goal in Phase II is to develop Zabble Zero into a command center for efficient waste and workflow management for organizations. Zabble will develop a fully functional solution by adding new features to the current prototype developed during Phase I that will help bring a holistic SaaS platform to market as an efficient low-cost option for the healthcare, education and corporate sectors.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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